On April 24, Apple released its newest product, the Apple Watch. Sales are projected to be ranging from 8 million to 41 million, similar to sales of the iPad its first year after release.
With prices ranging from $349 to $17,000, this highly anticipated wearable technology has customers wondering: Is it worth the exorbitant price? Apple offers their new product in over 20 designs which are divided into three general classes: sport watches, classic watches and special edition watches in 18 karat gold and rose gold.
“I think that if you can buy a car or a watch for the same price, then that’s definitely not right,” said junior Carmen Bodziak. “Always go with the car.”
Many other sensible shoppers may agree, and this is a huge point of contention. However, the luxurious models are likely intended to appeal to more high-end buyers. Not only is gold being used to construct these watches, but also other lavish materials such as stainless steel and sapphire crystal are being incorporated into the watch designs. In Apple’s advertisements, a particular focus is placed upon these luxurious materials as well as the new special features the Apple Watch will provide.
Unlike the typical watch, this advanced device does more than tell time. It has the capability to physically tap the wearer as a notification technique, determine heartbeat and track other data points relating to fitness. The “Health and Fitness” app has the power not only to measure the amount of standing, movement and exercise the user has fulfilled daily, but can also measure the intensity of a workout as well as calculate the number of calories that were burned.
These features can also be interactive; friends who both own Apple Watches can send taps and pictures to one another. The Apple Watch app for iPhone can track this data daily and show the watch owner the exercise completed over a longer period of time. Even more impressive is the ability of the watch to get to know its user. Over time, the watch will grow to comprehend the physical abilities of its wearer and set attainable goals every day, acting as a personal trainer.
Reviews of this new product all praise the sleek and attractive design of the watch itself. Joshua Topolsky, a technology journalist, described the device as “beautiful in a surgical way.”
“The little cube of metal and glass wouldn’t seem out of place in a futuristic lab or sci-fi movie. It is very much an Apple product: clean, sleek, remarkably solid,” Topolsky explained.
Many other reviews held this popular opinion: the Apple Watch itself is polished and immaculately made. Yet still many people question the necessity of another apple device that offers few new capabilities and is very similar to all of Apple’s other products. Scott Stein, a journalist for CNET magazine, was one such critic, claiming that it felt more like “a fashionable toy than a necessary tool.”
Topolsky questioned the need for the Apple Watch as well. “So far, the biggest question about wearables — there are already plenty of products on the market — is really: Who needs one?” he asked.
“With all of these new ‘smart’ features on that small screen, it probably won’t be that easy to use,” said senior Ben Bellis. “I think the idea of it is pretty cool, but it’s not something to rush out and get.”
Other concerns include the battery life, or lack thereof. As with other Apple products, burning through battery life quickly when streaming and using data may be a prevalent. Apple claims that their device will be able to function for 18 hours after a single charge, but can run for 48 hours if used purely as a timekeeper.
Despite apprehension, it is apparent that the watch is well-made and very technologically advanced. Time will only tell if this new innovative technology will become irrelevant due to its seemingly frivolous nature or succeed as projections predict.