Apple Watch is a hit. Apple Watch is a failure. There doesn’t seem to be much in between the two extremes. If you view Watch as a failure because it’s no iPhone, then you have plenty of company because that’s the prevailing opinion among Apple’s many tech critics.
If you’re among the growing number of Watch users, you’re also quite satisfied with your Watch, have already found a few killer apps to make it worthwhile, and recognize it for what it is. An iPhone accessory.
Yes, Watch is an accessory to iPhone which means Watch is no iPhone and won’t sell as well or have the same utility as an iPhone. Critics just need to get over it. But wait, isn’t watchOS 2 dog slow and cumbersome to use? Yes. My original iPhone from 2007 wasn’t exactly a screamer out of the box, either. watchOS 3 promises to put new life into the original Watch, a device which already has a satisfaction level approaching 95-percent.
Those who survey such things came up with some numbers that indicate Watch 2 may see a renaissance of sorts when it launches later this year. Surveys tend to be worth the paper they’re printed on, and digital surveys even less, but half of Apple Watch owners surveyed said they plan to upgrade to the newest model, and based upon an estimate of total Watch sales to date, Apple could say Watch is doing better in its first couple of years than the iPhone did in 2007 and 2008.
What do current Watch owners want to see in a future Watch?
- 57% Longer battery life
- 37% Easier/faster to charge
- 36% More stylish design
- 31% Wi-fi enabled
- 30% Useful fitness apps
- 26% Better integration with health apps I use
- 24% Faster switching between apps
- 20% Simpler user interface
- 19% More personalized design such as custom watch face choices
- 18% Replaces credit card by making watch a payment method for online and/or offline shopping
- 17% More accurate tracking of heart rate
- 14% Emergency alert and calling
- 12% Voice activation such as SIRI
My experience after using Watch for a year does not mirror the list above. I can get 36 hours of battery life from Watch (42mm; my wife’s 38mm gets less). I don’t have a device that charges as quickly as Watch. The design is somewhat timeless; it’s the bands available that make it more of a watch fashion statement.
watchOS 3 will take care of the simpler user interface and faster switching between apps; emergency alert and calling is coming, too, but I found Siri to be too slow to use reliably. An improvement in Siri responses in watchOS 3 would be welcomed. As usual, Apple’s pending upgrade cycle has an impact on the market as sales of smartwatches and smartphones are taken a drastic hit as the world awaits new iPhones and new Watch models.
There are two things to remember about Watch. First, it’s an accessory to iPhone. Second, Watch is in its infancy, not even 18 months on the market, yet already it has sold more units than the original iPods and original iPhone in a similar period. Anecdotally, I see plenty of people wearing Watch these days and the range of users is like iPhone– broad. Young, old, everywhere in between.