The Apple Watch

Wed, Mar 11, 2015 3-minute read

Apple announced it watch last year. And it decided to ship it from next month, this year. Of course, as a fan boy, it is a fab gadget to own.  As an electronics engineer, it is a piece of marvelous engineering and worthy of owning. What follows is not a review, not a rant and definitely not a promotion. This is just an observation.

Apple watch is a first in many things for Apple. For the first time, Apple announced a non-shipping product in its annual meet. For the first time, Apple could not predict the exact date their watch would ship. After a long time, Apple dropped the proverbial ‘i’ from its naming. For the first time, Apple is venturing mention-ably into the fashion industry. For the first time, Apple is releasing a multi-variant product line. For the first time, I am scared of what Apple is doing to itself. But why does that last line matter at all?

I think part of the reason why Apple succeeded was it had a focused product line. New products almost always phased out previous ones. That makes many things simple. At any point in time, you only need to worry about so many variations. That makes software development better and can help make quality excellent.  Which they currently have. Their hardware builds are definitely amongst the sturdiest. I would dare to say my iPhone 5 is the only smartphone that has last 1.8 years without slowing down. Yes, I have faced a few technical snags, but nothing more that what I have faced with any other device so far. The only other mobile device that had a comparably brilliant sturdiness was my Nokia E51/E52.

No, this is not to say that Apple would fail. This is to say they just complicated their lives. Apple was the only company that had the ability to decide what product would go into the market. They usually did not allow the market to decide what product they should make. They had to budge for iPhone 6/6+. Occasionally yes. I would think Jobs might have taken a similar decision. I am convinced, though, he would not have 4 variants of the phone in the market. Which ones would have gone maybe a debatable topic. Again, its not like I know Jobs and can say what he’d do. It’s just a thought.

The scary part is this. A company that is Apple had to budge to market requirements to stay competitive. What choice do the smaller start-ups trying niche things have? So who is the next company to keep Henry Ford’s statement true?

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.

All said, Apple watch pricing is a master stroke. It has something for everyone. If nothing else, the price tag is visible from the strap and frame. After all why do people buy expensive Swiss brands? Yes, they are technically superb but you could have a $5 watch do the same things, may be you’ll need to buy one every 6 months. But the finesse and the finish of the big brand will tell a story. A story about you, without your having to mouth one. And that can open some doors. The Apple watch could be vying to take that spot. And they just might succeed.

I hope my company would give me a freak bonus this year – the only way I can pick one Watch for myself at this point in time.