MarketWatch columnist Jurica Dujmovic took a close look at the Apple smartwatch, looking for reasons as to why the device is not selling in the numbers anticipated by the manufacturers.
The big question surrounding the Apple Watch is really whether it is a device that is needed or whether it makes a fashion statement. Dujmovic expresses the view that wearing an Apple Watch will not give him anything his iPhone can't give him, the only difference being he would have to flick his wrist instead of pulling out his iPhone. The pleasure of doing that would cost at least $349.
Apple (AAPL, -1.28%) obviously realize that all is not well with their latest smartwatch and as a result, we already have the update offering of the OS2, with its new operating system. The new device has had additional features added, more exclusive and natively run apps yet Dujmovic sees the watch as an expensive companion gadget. While he in no way impugns the quality or efficiency of the watch, Dujmovic thinks it will have a tougher time winning over customers not in the same way the iPhone did.
The advertising for the watch in many respects emphasizes the fashion aspects, such as the watch case and strap options and the color range ahead of the tech advantages, an approach that does seem to have changed for the new OS2 model.
Dujmovic goes on to list 4 reasons why he wouldn't buy an Apple Watch.
First off, he says many of its features are reliant and dependent on the iPhone which it is designed to complement, rather than to be a stand-alone device. IPhone owners and users therefore wouldn’t gain very much by owning the watch, although he concedes that the OS2, with its increased number of native apps, might well fill a need not catered for by the iPhone.
Looking at it from the perspective that it is first and foremost a watch, digital time pieces are nowhere near as valuable as mechanical watches with luxury watch seekers rather looking to the Rolex type of offerings. He says sales number confirm this view as less that 2,000 of the $10,000 Apple Watches have been sold to date. While the value might increase in the future, digital watches in the high price range are not finding much favor with the public.
The Apple Watch is not a particularly user friendly device, unlike the easy to use iPhone. Users face a steep learning curve in order to master the software to be able to enjoy its full potential. No doubt, Apple is aware of this deficiency and will roll out watches with more intuitive operating systems. Dujmovic concedes that the watch does have other features and being able to see and react to your notifications at a glance, might be one of its standout features.
Dujmovic concludes by saying the Apple Watch might well have a bright future and is certainly one of the leaders in digital wearables. The pacesetter in any race has to overcome the obstacles ahead of the pack, and the experience gained will refine the device and turn in something more than it is at present. We will know when that has happened as soon we all need one of Apple’s smartwatches in our daily lives.