Andrew Curry writes: In the unlikely event that you missed it, Apple made a couple of announcements at its annual convention last week. Although the Apple Pay project is likely to have the bigger impact, it was the iWatch that attracted the media attention.
At Medium, Felix Salmon was sceptical:
Here’s my main beef with the Apple Watch: Apple has always been the company which makes products for real people, rather than gadgets for geeks. It’s the Less Is More company, yet the Apple Watch is overloaded with features. … By allowing thousands of different apps on its watch, Apple is buying into the More Is More mindset: make sure that the watch offers something for everybody. And in order to get there, it has had to create a whole system of twiddles and taps and swipes which you’re going to have to learn before you can really start using the watch. Put it this way: no one who only has one wrist is going to be wearing an Apple Watch.
The question I’m interested in is whether Apple’s long-awaited arrival in the buzzy wearables category finally means that people — regular people, that is, not pixel-pushing pundits and Tesla-driving tech titans — are ready to wear them.
The fact is, while wearables have generated a lot of attention, they’re being used a lot less than the fanfare might suggest.
As he notes, smart watches and smart fitness bands have sold around 16 million units in the past year – compared to close to a billion smartphone.
There are pretty good reasons why people have so far failed to adopt wearables in droves.
The first is that this first generation of devices have been, in the larger scheme of things, pretty useless. Or single use, at most: Fitness trackers may be invaluable for dedicated dieters and exercise junkies, but most people don’t have room in their personal digital portfolios for another device that does nothing but count steps and calories. …
But the second and most critical reason is that technology needs to reflect demand, not supply. Are consumers actually hungry for what you’re cooking?
If they aren’t, your smart [insert device category here] is an interesting idea, not a product. It’s an answer looking for a question. And it is designed to make nerd fanboys and technology columnists wet their pants, not to change the way ordinary people live.
Of course, there’s a couple of contrasting issues here, when it comes to releasing new products that come to define and dominate emerging categories. The first is that Apple’s Version 1.0 products have often left something to be desired, and its first generation products are often derided in the first round of reviews. The second is that when Apple gets the products right, as it learns from the market, they do change the way people live their lives.
Read the whole of Jeff’s CNN post here.
The image at the top of the post is from those inveterate Apple watchers Geeky Gadget, and is their “concept image” of possible iWatch packaging. It is used here with thanks. For their iWatch coverage, click here.