I went into today's Apple's Watch event ready to be convinced. I wanted Cook and Co to settle the nagging unease I had around the timepiece, to show me this is a smartwatch worth owning.
Instead, I'm wholly disappointed. You know that empty feeling you get when your favorite sports team blows an early lead? Yeah, that's about how I feel right now.
I'm still impressed with the Apple Watch's design, don't get me wrong. I think it's one of the sleeker if not the sleekest-looking smartwatches around. And the ability to customize the actual hardware of the timepiece is something other watches should envy.
I also appreciated how Apple played up the Watch's health and fitness features today. As someone who is constantly looking for external motivation to get my butt out of my desk chair, Christy Turlington Burns running a half marathon with an Apple Watch strapped to her wrist resonated with me. MAYBE I CAN DO THAT, TOO.
But then things flatlined. Kevin Lynch, vice president of technology at Apple, took us on a too-long journey through the airport, drew a poor excuse for a flower, talked to his dog groomer and viewed a garage camera to see who was entering his house.
I get the real-world-application demonstration, but the entire time all I could think was a) I don't want to look down at my wrist that often during the day and b) I can already do all of that on my phone.
And then came the kill shot: the price.
The Apple Watch Sport starts at $349 (£299, AU$499), the smaller stainless steel Watch eases users in at $549 (£479, AU$799) and the 18-karat gold Apple Watch Edition has an entry price of $10,000 (£8,000, AU$14,000).
Apple has fallen into its usual trap: creating a product that has all the bells and whistles with a price to match. Mind you, I think that's a bad thing - I don't have $300+ to spend on a watch. I'll turn to Fitbit to reach my fitness goals and pull out my phone when I need to tell the time or, you know, answer a phone call. If I do decide I want a smartwatch, there are far more affordable ones I'll buy instead.
I know, I know. Apple isn't in the business of making cheap hardware, and that $10,000 Watch isn't for the everyday buyer. But as someone who wants access to Apple products yet doesn't have the bankroll to do so, I can't help but feel ignored and pretty put off by Apple's strategy, one that's continued right into its wearables. You aren't making this smartwatch for me, Apple. And I don't like that.
We'll see if over time there's a price drop, and whether enough buyers find the upfront cost worth the investment. As more apps come to the Apple Watch, it could become useful enough that - if the price falls, too - I'll seriously consider buying one.
It's just that today Apple had a chance to get me on-board the iWatch train. It whiffed, and I'm still here, standing on the platform.
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