The iWatch conundrum
If Apple makes it, would it sell? And if the market isn't there, would Apple bother?
Computerworld - For the past month or so, the hot topic among Apple users has been the iWatch. My RSS and Twitter feeds have blown up as bloggers and analysts have had a field day conjuring up futuristic what-if scenarios about what an iWatch would do, could do or should do -- and whether Apple would ever actually announce such a device.
Many digital bits and bytes have already been devoted to the mythical iWatch, with everyone from former Apple GUI guideline author Bruce Tognazzini to Computerworld's own Jonny Evans weighing in on the concept -- often in great detail.
I'm not yet sold. But I'm not willing to write off the possibilities. (Neither, apparently, is Samsung, which is pressing ahead with its own iWatch rival.)
Without anything real to evaluate hands on, it's almost impossible to predict the real-world usefulness of a new product. Much depends on the design, and how that design is implemented. Far too many gadgets have failed to live up to their promise, which is why they end up shoved in drawers and forgotten.
Why an iWatch?
When I think of an iWatch, I keep coming back to the question: Is this a good idea? If so, why? I asked a couple of Apple experts, Ben Bajarin, an analyst at Creative Strategies, and curiousrat.com's Harry Marks to weigh in with their thoughts.
"If Apple makes an iWatch - and I don't think it's imminent, meaning this year - it will be positioned as an accessory to iPhone, iPad, and Mac," said Bajarin. "That is the real opportunity: to add to the strength of the ecosystem and the 'works better together' solution."
"Many smart watches are doing baseline things like body monitor and sensors, which [an iWatch] may have," he said. "But I think the biggest opportunity is for glanceable data. Things like: when an email comes in, a phone call that just came in, etc. I can see this as a strong conduit for notifications. This way the watch becomes a visual display for glanceable info. [The iWatch] may not be where you read or answer an email, text, or phone call, but you can use it to decide whether or not you want to need to get your phone out and respond."
Even that might not be enough for some users, among them Marks. His main concern: Would an iWatch be useful enough to entice buyers to plunk down their money?
"If Apple did release a watch, it would take quite a bit for me to be interested," Marks said. "It would have to have all day battery life; FitBit technology; GPS; Bluetooth support for headphones; ample storage for music; a logical and efficient way to respond to messages without using voice and without requiring me to pull out my phone; interchangeable bands; and must cost no more than $150. Any more than that and I'll spend my money more wisely on a real watch."
- Want an Apple watch? Just 3D print one
- What to listen for during Apple's earnings call today
- Mac sales will again outstrip industry average
- Apple, IBM spell out enterprise support for iPhone, iPad
- Timeline: How Apple's iOS gained enterprise cred
- Apple and IBM: A winning combo for IT
- Why Microsoft isn't spooked by the Apple-IBM alliance
- Apple-IBM deal threatens Android's enterprise push
- IBM and Apple ties go way back
- Apple fashions 'brilliant' partnership with IBM for instant enterprise cred
- Three Best Practices to Help Enterprises Overcome BYOD Challenges The new Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) environment presents challenges for IT managers and business leaders. This paper discusses how IT managers can address those challenges,...
- Intelligent Imaging for Improved Banking Performance and Profitability A new generation of "Intelligent Imaging" solutions has emerged that is helping banks remove the burden of paper in legacy processes, like loan...
- Shifting Gears: The Value of Customer-Driven Quality in Manufacturing In today's competitive manufacturing market, the customer must be the center of the quality universe. This paper details how manufacturers can improve customer...
- Aberdeen Group: Marketing Analytics for Manufacturing: Forging Customer Insights There are no recalls for poor marketing. Manufacturers need to get their customer intelligence and messaging right the first time. Learn how.
- IBM FlashSystem V840: Leveraging Software-Defined Flash to Drive Your Business With end-to-end, tightly integrated functionality and super-fast flash technology, products like IBM FlashSystem V840 Enterprise Performance Solution empower businesses to leverage the efficiency...
- Leveraging Flash Storage to Accelerate Oracle Real Application Clusters Join this webinar to understand the latest solid-state storage trends, the specific applications driving solid-state storage deployments and the benefits of deploying the... All Emerging Technologies White Papers | Webcasts
Our new bimonthly Internet of Things newsletter helps you keep pace with the rapidly evolving technologies, trends and developments related to the IoT. Subscribe now and stay up to date!