The Apple Watch could be the next game-changing trailblazer in tech, or a catastrophic end to the fledgling smartwatch category.
I like Apple's chances, though. Wanna know why? Here are five good reasons.
1. It's from Apple
Apple is widely viewed as a winner, a trend-setter; its products are headline-grabbing status symbols. The launch of a new Apple device is a social event. It's why people stand in line for days to buy the first new iPhone or iPad, and that same excitement will draw more attention to the Apple Watch than any previous smartwatch has come close to capturing. Add an onslaught of advertising bankrolled by Apple's billions, plus endless free publicity in the press, and you've easily got the most buzzed-about product launch of 2015.
More importantly for the long term, the people at Apple are pretty darn smart. While the company's competitors were rushing to market with half-baked smartwatches that didn't catch on, Apple took a careful, considered approach to the development of its own version. Time and time again, Apple's slow-and-steady process has resulted in well-crafted, market-defining products. Who'd bet against it happening again?
2. The Apple ecosystem
Anyone who owns an iPhone, iPad, iPod, Mac or Apple TV already has at least one reason to buy an Apple Watch. That's the knock-on effect of building such a robust ecosystem in which everything works together, where the pairing of products makes them all a little bit better. Wouldn't it be handy to control Apple TV from your wrist? To check incoming messages without pulling out your iPhone? If you own other Apple products, you'll find dozens of little reasons to want an Apple Watch.
3. It's got style
No company has made a bigger impact on the look and feel of today's tech than Apple. Hell, even the bridge of the Enterprise in the last two Star Trek films looks like a white, curvy Genius Bar. With Apple Watch, the company is appealing to more than the usual tech-geek crowd with a product that not only offers valuable functionality, but valued aesthetics. It's telling that Apple has courted the fashion industry to help spread the word.
4. It looks fun!
When the Apple Watch was revealed onstage, the most important part of the demonstration may have been when people shared their heartbeats with one another using haptic feedback. The feature is pretty pointless when put against everything else the watch can do, but it made people smile. The same can be said for twisting the Crown or navigating the device's custom Home screen, which feels like digging through a candy dish full of M&Ms. Apple has proven time and time again that tech specs and feature lists can only take a product so far - it has to elicit an emotional response. Compared to the playful, colorful world of Apple Watch, other smartwatches seem dull and lifeless.
5. It does more
Many people want to get excited about wearable technology because the sci-fi novelty of it sounds cool, but the fledging smartwatch market hasn't given them any real reason to do so. Pebble, Samsung Galaxy Gear - these devices offer some of the same basic experiences expected from Apple Watch, but they haven't delivered them in a way that inspires or entertains. Apple's extra hardware features and pumped-up processing power should make more robust apps possible, along with an endlessly varied and vital selection of third-party apps.