Apple doesn’t reinvent water, but instead, they make it taste better. From the first iPod, to the latest iPhone, Apple has always offered a great glass of water. Some companies add different flavours to their drinks, and that appeals to people with different tastes. That’s common, but what isn’t common is the recent influx of smart watches. From Samsung to Motorola, tech companies are trying to make the real estate on our wrists relevant again. It’s a matter of mass appeal and personality to tell if people are willing to drink something different.
Apple stands behind their belief in making the best computers, and the best mobile devices available. However, Apple doesn’t want to make the best smartwatch. Apple wants to propel a widespread attention to watches; without further assumption. While watching the September 2014 event, Tim Cook didn’t even say the word “smartwatch”. Instead, he advocated the ability to make a personal computer actually personal. By saying that, millions of people had the opportunity to witness the most personal device Apple has ever made: a watch with (1) a full fledged operating software inside, (2) a variety of bands, and (3) sensors that let you virtually share an actual physical connection with someone.
I’ve been able to use smart watches by companies such as LG, Motorola, Pebble, Sony, and Samsung. Out of all the current smart watches you can buy now, the Moto 360 seems to provide the best balance of form and function on the Android Wear platform. Size wise, the 360’s diameter is 46mm, while the largest Apple Watch diameter is 42mm, and the smaller-sized Apple Watch is 38mm. Apple offering two sizes is great, and they’re not targeted to certain genders; some women will prefer the 42mm model, while some men will opt for the 38mm Apple Watch. The Moto 360 feels cumbersome, although its relatively light, and except for the Horween leather band, the watch doesn’t feel great. Nonetheless, the Moto 360’s round face offers the aesthetic of a classic timepiece. But we should note that watches are first and foremost a fashion accessory. And so far, no other company offers the amount of customisation expected from a watch the way Apple does.
Benjamin Clymer, founder of the wristwatch publication, HODINKEE, said, “There is nothing that comes close to the fluidity, attention to detail, or simple build quality found on the Apple Watch in this price bracket,” and I believe him. Apple’s balance of visual and functional aesthetics is nearly unparalleled compared to other tech companies. From their website, Apple offers an insight into their modern buckle band:
A small French tannery established in 1803 produces the supple Granada leather for this elegant band. The smooth top-grain leather is lightly milled and tumbled to maintain its refined texture. What looks like a solid buckle is actually a two-piece magnetic closure that’s delightfully simple to secure. We also added an inner layer of Vectran weave for strength and stretch resistance. It’s the same material NASA used to create the parachute strings for the Mars Rover.
The attention to detail is what fuels the experience of having an Apple device, and its something that makes owning an Apple device memorable and mesmerising.
Watch and learn
Apple’s intersection of technology into the watch market is very risky, but we’ve yet to know all the information about their plans for the Apple Watch. While the starting price for the Apple Watch is $349, watch companies that target the sub $1000 watch market need to pay close attention to the build quality and personalisation offered in their timepieces. At this point, though, Apple’s official prices for all of its watch are all speculatory, but we can see the 18-karat gold models go for thousands, which seems reasonable, because these aren’t gold-plated, they’re actually gold.
Its worth mentioning Apple’s logical decision for revealing the Apple Watch alongside of their new iPhone's since their Watch is heavily reliant on an iPhone, but that comes with the territory—for now. Nonetheless, the Apple Watch has its own mobile operating software, so we’ll see where that goes before its slated release early next year. I’m concerned about Apple’s long-term goals in the [smart]watch market—if there is any. Watches have a lifespan longer than us. Computers, however, dramatically change in the span of a couple of years. Walt Mossberg told me that if you’re looking at the Apple Watch as a timeless piece, then it probably isn’t for you. Spending thousands on a 18-karat gold/sapphire Apple Watch that may last for a few years becomes a questionable act, varying on how deep your wallets are.
It’s a matter of time and more information to tell if the water tastes better. Some have had the chance to sip it, but we need to have a full glass before we can make any final judgments. The Mac, iPod, iPhone, and iPad made something that was already there taste better. But this time, we’re not only just experiencing a different taste, we now have the option to choose what type of glass we get to drink from.