Apple launched a new iPhone, the iPhone 6 this week. With this, a new operating system—Apple the 8th–appeared on your iPod, IPhone, and iPad. And a trailer for Watch, Apple’s first wearable tech, took stage with Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, promised in early 2015.
Another first: Apple has dropped the ubiquitous “I”. In 2015, eager consumers will wear Watch. The Watch will signal incoming phone calls, messages, and emails. The Watch tracks physical fitness and health. App developers will be busy with coding apps that work in tandem with the iPhone.
The Watch passes the Get Smart silliness test. You do not talk into the phone like a Maxwell Smart. Comic. The watch face is large–38mm and 42mm. These are mannish watches.
How will watch aficionados respond? Apple designers, the best in technology, have studied the best watchmaker, matching materials and design while keeping Apple’s cool emphasis on the balance of form and function. See the full display of Watches here. They tempt us to believe they are not wrist computers. But are they watches?
Swiss watchmakers do not think so. They’ve weathered the digital watch revolution and the Japanese quartz competition with aplomb—and large revenues with even bigger profits. The watch industry is mature with watches for every customer. The Apple Watch prices in for those buyers who like Citizen, Movado, high-end Calvin Klein and kindred style leaders.
For the luxury crowd, used to paying over $2,000 for watches the Watch will not be noticed. The Rolex crowd–please!
We wondered about the buzz the Watch would create here at ATG. We asked ourselves, will those of us who use our smartphones as timepieces even think about buying wearable technology like the Watch? No cell phone service vendor will be paying the premium difference between Apple retail for the iPhone and its two-year contract price. Will Mickey Mouse collect or buy the Mickey Watch to keep pace with their a collection Disney character watch collections? Will fitness nuts abandon their Garmin, Polar, and Iron Man heart/exercise monitors?
We will have to wait. Oh, one could somehow attach Velcro to the back of our iPhone and use another Velcro piece as a strap. That would be one big digital watch, wearable and app loaded.
The Apple Collection will arrive at stores in early 2015. Apple awaits FCC approval. Be ready to pay the old fashioned way–real money or credit card. Apple Pay at select stores in October for direct iPhone6 to a NFC (near field communication) payments. Depending on features, Watch will retail in the $300-$600 range.
Dennis Brunning is Director, the Design Library at Arizona State University Libraries. The design school services the Design School of the Herberger Institute for Art, Dance, Film, Theatre, and Music. Dennis is subject librarian for all areas except music. He also writes for Against the Grain and the Charleston Advisor. Dennis opened the first boxes of personal computers at ASU and has been playing with technology ever since.