A wearable smartphone watch is an inviting piece of technology. Though there are tweaks to be figured, the thought of a wearable smartphone smart-watch gets the neurons sparking. Samsung did a good showing with their Samsung Gear wearable line in 2013. Now Apple Watch wants its turn at slicing the pie. Is it a marketable venture that will pay off? For now, it’s a small pie, more like an apple turnover. In a diet-conscious, struggling economic world, is there ample room to bring smart watches back to young people’s wrists? Will these be the smart cuffs of tomorrow? Wearable smartphone accessories offer a vast range of opportunities. Against other wrist devices, or going bare, do Apple iPhone Watch and Samsung Galaxy Gear have a solid place in your life?
Portable timepieces came about in the 16th-century using a mechanical power of a mainspring. Winding the mainspring kept the mechanism going. The clock became wearable and activated new concepts in fashion and life. The elite enjoyed the concept of knowing the (then) precise time of day. Time zones, however, didn’t happen until the 1800’s when train schedules required elements of standardization. Until then, time was subjective to the region your were in.
Most of these early portable clocks needed practical places for carrying. Technology always initiates new technologies to make revolutionary inventions practical. In the 16th-century, virtually no clothing had pockets. Instead you wore bags, often around your waist. Pockets needed to be invented and interior pockets for pocket watches started to emerge nearly 100 years later.
The wristwatch was made popular around World War I and pretty much became a common part of everyday wear for nearly everyone.
By the beginning of the 21st-century, pocket cell phones and smartphones all displayed the time and the habit of using wristwatches began to disappear among those born in the late 1980’s. The smartphone brought its own truths in fashions as earphones replaced earrings and bracelets replaced watches as body ornamentations.
In the quest to expand smartphone penetration, wearable phones seem like a nice idea. About 2 years ago, Samsung Gear was introduced as a wristwatch accessory to their Galaxy smartphones. It would allow you to see texts, dictate texts, scan e-mails, use as a heart rate monitor, make and receive calls, and also read time and weather. What a concept! A smartphone wearable extension seemed like a spectacular idea. Indeed, the wearable smartphone concept was a moneymaker worldwide as about 2-million of these were sold. Most of the turf was controlled by Samsung, the Android smartphone producer.
So the folks at Apple were perplexed since Steve Jobs death and wanted a larger market share of iPhone sales. Last year’s 5s and 5c sales were nice but Apple was still in a stalemate with Samsung. The iPhone-5-series still used a 3.5″ screen, a measly comparison to Android 4.5″ and larger screens that attract customers seeking size.
Along with the iPhone-6 4.7″ and iPhone-6 Plus 5.5″ iPhone models, Tim Cook announced that Apple is entering the wearable market. Sleek jewelry, the Apple iPhone Watch is an ambitious way to extend Apple’s marketing reach as jewelry and technology. It also moves against Samsung and other international smartphone manufacturers that market wearable tech products.
Compared to 1-Billion smartphone sales in 2013, 2-million wearable smart extensions seems almost insignificant. I think that Apple executives believe that the Apple-brand watch will have a heavier impact on sales, when it hits the market sometime in 2015.
Apple returns to iPod with a round crown that makes feature access easier. As a wearable timepiece, it uses multiple technologies in conjunction with your iPhone to keep time within 50 milliseconds of the definitive global time standard. Apple claims that you’ll feel a gentle tap when you receive an incoming message. Apple Watch also allows you to connect with your favorite people in some new, spontaneous ways not possible with any other wearable smartphone device. Apple also plans distinctive dress and casual watch bands.
One might think that Apple is going into an attack mode of the Rolex type watches with this iPhone wearable accessory. This is a gamble. The watch is about as thick as a smartphone and adds weight at the wrist. Like Samsung, it’s a partner to a smartphone so both need to be with you. It’s a pocket and wearable combination to carry with you. Some of the more expensive luxury wristwatches are reaching paper-thin thicknesses, thinner than a USA dime.
Perhaps, as with anything wearable, water and weather resistance are key factors. Apple claims the iPhone Watch is water resistant so you can expose it safely to fog or very light rain. It is not waterproof so don’t swim or shower with it. Many wristwatches are waterproof.
Samsung and Apple are betting that significant numbers of people will be attracted to the 500-year tradition of wearable watches as cultivation for wearable convenience. It’s a nice idea. A problem might be that these smart watches will sell for generally above $300 US. For many that’s a hefty decision. Of course, I often give people more credit for practical wisdom than reality suggests. The pay-off will be should I compromise on food and health so I can afford a smart watch partner for my smartphone.
Freud suggests 2 key defense mechanisms protecting yourself and they are projection and displacement. From fashion to fun, billions of dollars are spent on enhancing or hiding our egos behind personas that may not be representative of your self. Among the averages aspiring to greatness, a wearable Samsung Gear and Apple iPhone watch might prove successful as peer-pressure drives sales beyond need.
Then again, as third-party manufacturers slide in to offer less expensive, compatible wearable smart watches, popularity will result from affordability. Because Android is public domain, Android may have an advantage over Apple in the wearable market.
Investing for long-term financial gain is still very speculative for the wearable smart watches but as Dick Tracy might have thought, it’s a nice thing to have available.