Apple iWatch? That’s a really dumb iDea

12 Feb
A mockup of what Apple's unlikely iWatch could look like.

A mockup of what Apple’s unlikely iWatch could look like.

The latest silly Apple rumour has the company interested in selling a watch. Or, an iWatch, as it would probably go.

According to the New York Times, “investors would most likely embrace an iWatch, with some already saying that wearable computing could replace the smartphone over the next decade.”

It seems the Times, and perhaps the investors it references, have forgotten one simple fact: it’s a freakin’ watch.

Seriously, does anyone under 50 wear a watch anymore? And of those few souls who do, are any of them doing it for any other reason but to make a fashion statement (that statement, by the way, is “I’m a dinosaur.”)? Surely nobody wears a watch to actually tell time.

Analysts’ justifications for Apple - or anyone - to make a smart watch are collectively some of the dumbest ideas ever put forward:

  • “The technology, including bendable glass, is ready for prime time.” Sure it is. You could also build a base on Mars, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea.
  • “Such a watch could be used for phone calls, text messages, navigation and other smartphone-like functions.” Yup, but people won’t do that for the same reasons they avoid taking photos with their tablets (because it makes you look like a giant dork).
  • “Wearable computers will be popular in the future.” Most likely, but just because 1950s science-fiction said it’ll happen on the wrist doesn’t mean that’s where they’ll end up.
  • “Smart watches could be cheaper than a phone and therefore Apple’s best way into emerging markets.” Yeah, but so could… I dunno… a cheaper phone.

Honestly, where do they come up with this stuff?

Everyone seems to be forgetting one simple fact: Does anyone want to do any of that stuff on a postage-stamp-sized screen that sits on their wrist? And does anyone remember that actually wearing a watch isn’t all that comfortable? And while we’re at it, mightn’t we also remember that all of these functions are already performed quite ably by our smartphones, which have acres of screen size in comparison? And aren’t people already complaining about all the gadgets they have to carry?

Unless there’s a giant Dick Tracey revival some time in the next few years, I’m betting that any smart watch will result in one thing: iFailure.

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Posted by on February 12, 2013 in apple


10 Responses to Apple iWatch? That’s a really dumb iDea

  1. Marc Venot

    February 12, 2013 at 12:15 am

    Of course a bland watch is passé.
    There are two ways that may give a reason to wear one of those iwatch:
    - fashion as for example the swatch, tokyoflash or a supersophisticated swiss one.
    - physical overwatch or surveillance, in particular if your health is (becoming) frail.

  2. Jean-François Mezei

    February 12, 2013 at 5:25 am

    Actually, the iWatch is a good thing. The fact that Wall Street Casino Analysts have runned out of bad things to say about Apple and have begun to spaeculate about upcoming products is a good one. They are done with driving AAPL shares down and will let the stock rise once more.

    Having sad that, if Anyone were able to make watches fashionable/cool once again, it wuld be Apple.

  3. Old Fossil

    February 12, 2013 at 10:31 am

    [Checking watch on wrist…] Oh good, I’ve got time to reply to this article.

    Yes, I’m over 50 and I wear a watch so please stop reading this now. Clearly my opinion will sound to you like the bleating of a stegosaurus.

    When you need to know the time, it is vastly more efficiently to turn your wrist and glance down. Elapsed time? Less than a second, …

    … or …

    … you can stand up so you can reach in your pocket, fumble to pull out the phone because the jeans are too tight and the phone has a 5″ screen(!), orient the phone so that you can reach the power-on button and so that the display is right-side up, …

    … or you go hunting around the house trying to find where you set your phone down and pass by the clock on the stove.

    Some women will spend minutes trying to find the phone in their purse. Oops, only women over 50 use purses.

    Need to use the chrono or timer functions? Forget it with the phone. Many more steps.

    You chide people for wearing a watch for fashion but you don’t see a fashion statement being made when someone pulls out the iPhone 13sx, or the Samsung Universe MMXIII and waves it around? And what if you owned a BlackBerry? Do you really want people to know that?

    Being a geek I do love my gadgets, so I’ve got a Pebble watch on order. I wore my MSN Direct Fossil watch until Microsoft killed the content delivery service. But, I’m a fossil.

    I prefer to use the best tool to get the job done, and until Google Glass becomes available (which you will no doubt mock like you would a Segway), a watch is the most efficient means of determining the time.

    Now, I must confess that my pet peeve is people who feel their time is more important than mine and are chronically late. Not surprisingly, most of them do not wear a watch. But that’s a coincidence.

    • petenowak2000

      February 12, 2013 at 11:43 am

      No offense intended, I was merely trying to be cheeky. I’m no spring chicken either and certainly can’t pretend to know what’s cool these days. One thing I do know is that watches didn’t so much fall out of fashion as they did out of function. You’re right about it being quicker for telling time, but they’re also a) uncomfortable for a lot of people, b) don’t do anything a phone doesn’t, and c) are a second item and second cost that must be borne. The reason most people ditched watches is the same reason that any technology is adopted over another: the tradeoffs are worth it. So unless people are willing to trade their phones back for watches and give up all those positive tradeoffs, I’m pretty sure such smart devices are a bad idea. Or iDea, as it were.

      • Old Fossil

        February 12, 2013 at 12:54 pm

        No offense taken. My humour didn’t come across clearly.

        My $125 Timex watch does more than I need, but the integrated strap lasted a mere two years, which meant throwing the watch out. I complained to Timex and “this one time” they sent me a replacement. It’s far more expensive per function than my iPhone.

        Part of wearing a watch is habit, part is efficiency. It was great to replace my iPod, Palm Tungsten T3, and Motorola Razr with one device. It just never occurred to me that the watch would also be replaced.

        These things are cyclic though. If enough people buy into the smart watch, more functions will be transferred to it and the pocket phone will become the dinosaur. Remember when getting an ever smaller phone was the rage? Now it’s bigger smart phones. Maybe in ten years we’ll be using smart contact lens and invisible earpieces.

  4. Lunch with Mary

    February 12, 2013 at 11:14 am

    I want a shoe phone.

  5. BT

    February 12, 2013 at 4:10 pm

    “Unless there’s a giant Dick Tracey revival some time in the next few years, I’m betting that any smart watch will result in one thing: iFailure.”

    Tell that to the Pebble people…

  6. Daniel Friesen

    February 12, 2013 at 6:52 pm

    Traditionally the value of a watch is in companion with a phone:
    - Notifications and text/phone alerts can pop up on the watch. And with a glance the watch can allow you to decide whether it’s important enough to pull out your phone to look at it.
    - Likewise it would make a good pair with a bluetooth headset. Phone stays in your pocket. You’re jogging along. Call comes in. You look at your watch. And accept the call from there without pulling out your phone.

    But as for an iWatch. I can see only one actual rationale for Apple trying to create one. As a response to the various projects trying to create a watch for Android devices. To avoid that becoming a reason to buy an Android phone instead of an iPhone.

  7. Adrian

    February 14, 2013 at 1:40 pm

    I’m only 22 and I wear a watch… Of course, it has conveniences people forget all the time. For one, being strapped to you. For another, I can actually use it in classes or meetings without looking like I’m distracted, or worse, cheating. It also doesn’t hurt that watches can be waterproof (though mine is not).

    Of course, a technological watch has a lot more issues which would result in failure. Mainly I’d say it’s just too small, as you mentioned; since actually reading or interacting with such a small surface would be horrible (especially for people who don’t have stick-thin fingers). But it would probably be annoying to cool attached to a warm human being constantly, and of course as a phone it would be a joke unless connected to a headset (holding wrists up to mouths and ears does not make you look like a spy, only an oddball).

  8. dave

    February 24, 2013 at 11:52 am

    The itards will lineup for it and everyone else will laugh at their dumb azzez


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