Apple official announcement of its Apple Watch yesterday received a decidedly mixed reaction. Apple’s stock initially rose during the big event, but plummeted as CEO Tim Cook expounded on the watch’s features, and finally bottomed out when he announced the price. Apple’s stock price is down by two percent at the close of market today. So when was the first watch invented? How was the Apple watch made? Technology is certainly advancing from an old fashioned clock!!
Ellen DeGeneres tweeted humorously that we’ve been using our phones to tell time “for centuries.”
So excited for the Apple Watch. For centuries, we’ve checked the time by looking at our phones. Having it on your wrist? Genius. #AppleLive
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) September 9, 2014
But it would seem that much of the reaction was to the pricing. Shipping on April 24, the watch will start at $349 for basic models. The dizzying array of customization options available, such as a rose gold band, could set a buyer back as much as $17,000 putting the watch squarely in competition with the likes of Rolex and other luxury timepieces.
Influential personal technology columnist Walt Mossberg took to Twitter in Apple’s defense noting that the lowest price point for the Apple Watch is less than the launch prices of the iPod, iPhone, and iPad.
Yes, the gold Apple Watch is pricey. But the base $349 model costs less at launch than the iPod, iPhone or iPad. pic.twitter.com/edN5z6hBh4
— Walt Mossberg (@waltmossberg) March 10, 2015
PC Magazine raises doubts about the product’s appeal given its hefty price point asking: “Who will buy the $10,000 Apple Watch?” while Forbes claims it’s a nice-to-have accessory, not yet a must-have. It seems the virtual water cooler is having trouble focusing on the features of the watch, which include health and fitness tracking, Apple Pay, remote lock control, WiFi, and more.
By some accounts, the best thing about the Apple Watch announcement has been the Internet’s reaction.
— MirrorTech (@MirrorTech) March 10, 2015
Humorous photos like the one tweeted by MirrorTech’s Twitter account were the norm and ranged from people placing Apple stickers on their watch faces, to those rubber-banding Galas to their arms, to techies taping together an array of objects that would be encompassed by the Apple Watch and affixing the whole kit and caboodle to their wrists.
The watch’s 18-hour battery life was also an issue. While longer than many had expected, the device would still require a charging frequency of more than once a day; precluding the ability for sleep tracking to be integrated into the watch’s health features. Apple claims that, if you’re only checking time, the battery will last for up to 48 hours. And, as the battery gets low, the watch will automatically switch into a power saving mode, enabling it to last an additional 72 hours. TechCrunch thinks this issue could be the device’s Achilles heel.
But still, the announcement had watchmakers taking notice. The co-founder of well-known watch brand Swatch predicts that the Apple Watch could have a big negative impact on traditional Swiss watchmakers. The Apple Watch purportedly keeps time to within 50 milliseconds of UTC, the universal time standard. While perhaps not a selling point for a generation of digerati, this does directly compete with the long-heralded Swiss movement standards for traditional watches.
Initial Take: Apple will likely sell more than a few Apple Watches but whether it will enjoy the success of its previous hits remain to be seen; especially since much of the features are dependent on the wearer also owning an iPhone.