As a card carrying member of the local chapter of the Curiosity Club, I watched Apple’s keynote introduction of iPhone 6, Apple Pay, and Apple watch. Twice. The first time didn’t count because the live streaming video wasn’t live and didn’t stream very well. Black eye, Apple.
The first impression I had was aimed at iPhone 6. It’s about time there’s a bigger screen (Steve Jobs would never have allowed that). And iPhone 6 Plus is a dumb name. Yes, it’s plus, but lame. As a name, iPhone 6 Air would have been better. That way, the 4.7-inch could be ‘lighter than Air.’ I love it.
The second impression started with Apple Pay and ended with Apple Watch. Why not iPay and iWatch? Because it’s time to end the iNonsense with Apple’s iDevices. Apple did the right thing. iDeath.
The third notable impression was not Apple Pay. Yes, it’s good that someone has come up with a more secure yet easier way to purchase products, and it’s hard to argue with Apple’s approach– provided it catches on. The credit card system in the U.S. is older than archaic and needs to be updated.
No, the most impressive segment of Apple’s new product line was Apple Watch (again, not iWatch; that’s good, simple, and perhaps a forerunner of future products). As it is with most people of my generation, I have four or five watches but the one I wear the most cost me $69 in 1990 and still tells time to the minute. It’s thin, light, attractive, and obviously durable.
Other watches cost much more and have a different purpose. First, to tell time. Second, to look good. They’re more of the luxury class than utility class. Apple Watch has created a new class of watch. It’s an artful blend of utility watch (does more than a standard watch, luxury or otherwise) and luxury watch (looks great and should be durable enough to last many years).
People who live, eat, breathe and sleep watches have mostly good things to say about Apple’s Watch design, including Benjamin Clymer. From a design perspective, Apple got it right, and plenty of effort went into the details. If all Apple Watch could do is tell the time it would remain competitive with the mid-range watch segment.
Apple Watch does more. First, it’s highly customizable with multiple models, multiple cases, and many different watchbands and combinations. Add to that custom watch faces which change whenever you want, and Watch becomes a very personal device– a touch of luxury and taste, multiple personalities, and with unmatched utility.
Utility? Typical Apple. Watch becomes an unobtrusive but always available extension of the iPhone for notifications, weather, Maps and directions, Messages, Mail, reminders, transactions, and much more– all without the need to dig around in a pocket or purse to pull out a phone.
Will everyone want an Apple Watch? Of course not, and it won’t sell in numbers to match iPhone or iPad. It just won’t happen. But it is an appealing device for those who appreciate such design and utility. And isn’t that pretty much how we view every Apple product?