Tuesday, 10 March 2015

A $17k FAIL

Once again, you must have lived under a very large rock for a very long time if you didn't realise Apple have finally lifted the curtain on iWatch, sorry, Apple Watch.

Sadly, a very large portion of the tech press seems to have lived either under a similarly large and mossy rock for an even longer time, or Apple didn't only keep a curtain on their latest smart-watch creation, but also on the tech press' collective eyes, ears - maybe even noses.

How come?



Well, if you have read any coverage of the Apple Watch announcement you may have come away with an impression that Apple Watch is the first product on the market to do the following (exaustive!) list of smart things:

  • it's a smart-watch, i.e., it connects to a smartphone
  • it'll show you notifications from said smartphone
  • it'll measure your heart rate
  • it'll let you interact with said smart-phone from your wrist
  • it'll tell you time
How revolutionary! you may think. Before the ninth day of March, anno domini 2015, there existed no such device. The world is a better and a richer place now, infinitely more worth living in.

This, of course, provided the above mentioned rock - or an iDistortion Field™ - shielded you from the simple fact that thing like Pebbles (no, not the sort you get on a beach), LG Watch Gs, Moto 360s, a few other rather smart ones - even lowly Martians - already happily existed and did substantially, if not exactly, the same things.

Now, you may argue that Apple Watch is prettier but that is a matter of taste. You could try and argue it's somehow smarter, but that is very arguable. Nothing in the Apple keynote suggests it does any of the things it does any better - or even differently - to any other similar device already on the market. It doesn't even have an iota better battery life. 

What it does have and is unique to most other smart watches is that it is way more expensive - and that's on top of the fact it requires a smartphone which is also way more expensive than those required by, say, Android Wear watches. Go get a brand new iPhone for less than $200 if you can. And then there is that ridiculously expensive $17k Apple Watch. Yes, it's gold. It has all of ~$700 of gold in it. Add to that the full price of the cheapest Apple Watch and you get a BOM of the whole of $1000-ish. Why would anyone buy a piece of kit with a mark-up of $15k+ that will become a) obsolete, and b) the battery of which will die in two years or less is totally beyond me. If I were Apple, I'd probably make two to make product photos and videos and then not even start on the third one until some deranged individual clicks BUY button next to the $16,999.99 price tag and a PhotoShopped image of the iRolex.

Which is, actually, all well and good. I tend to subscribe to the view that it is morally wrong to allow stupid people to keep their money. However, please, please, please, just don't go around telling urbi et orbi that Apple has again managed to be first to market with a revolutionary iProduct.

Because that, my friends, is the kind of stupidity not even worthy of those with a $17k burning their pockets.