As many expected, Apple today unveiled its answer to the smartwatch craze that’s been sweeping the nation: the Apple Watch.
The announcement was one of several during the highly-anticipated media event in Cupertino, Calif. In addition to showing off some gorgeous photos of the Apple Watch, Apple also confirmed rumors that it was preparing to roll out two new iPhones and new mobile payments system.
But back to that watch: Apple CEO Tim Cook said the watch would be available beginning in early 2015 and for a starting price of $349. That Apple finally put out a smartwatch is certainly exciting, but hardly groundbreaking in a space that already has a number of options to choose from, including Samsung’s Gear 2, Sony’s SmartWatch and the LG G, all of which retail for as much as $100 less than what Apple is asking for.
With all that said, now that Apple has arrived on the scene, it may be worth taking a closer look at why smartwatches are becoming so popular in the first place. According to data published by German research institute GfK on Monday, smart watches are particularly popular among fitness enthusiasts as a means of tracking progress over time, measuring their activities and gaining feedback on how to make improvements. This infographic provides even more context:
Business Insider explains further:
The international survey was split between users’ second-most-wanted features: U.S., U.K., and German respondents said they wanted their smartwatch to be able to tell them the time — like a normal watch — while users in China and South Korea said they wanted their smartwatch to be able to make and receive phone calls. Android Wear smartwatches, along with several others, carry all of these features, and Apple’s iWatch, said to debut at the company’s event Tuesday, is expected to do all the above and then some, including the ability to make mobile payments from one’s wrist.
What does make Apple Watch interesting is its ability to sync with users’ iPhones, make mobile payments and more. In many ways, this is a classic tactic from the Apple playbook: take an existing technology, improve on it and knock out the competition. It certainly worked in the portable music player market; now let’s see what it can do for smartwatches.
Photo Credit: Apple Store