back to article Apple's Watch is basically electric perfume

It isn't just Apple that looks a little less miraculous today – the entire consumer electronics industry is looking a bit tragic and battered. Ever since the iPod became a hit, the media has looked to Apple for divine miracles, for revolutionary market-making products that "restore a sense of childlike wonder", as Fake Steve …

  1. Halfmad

    Surprisingly disappointing

    I'm no Apple fanboy, I use Windows 8.1 for my sins on my custom gaming PC at home and have a selection of android tablets that the kids use, but I usually find something during Apple presentations which I find cool. Not this time, seen it all before in one flavour or another by another manufacturer and the Apple Watch looked surprisingly similar to others.

    Trying to figure out why anyone would want to carry another smart device around which has 10% of the functionality of their existing smartphone. To top it off though it's not even as "nice" as many of the existing smart-watches, they didn't so much as drop the ball as flatten it, make it shiny and try to strap it to their wrists.

    1. Omniaural

      Re: Surprisingly disappointing

      If Apple had created a watch where the face was the shape of the apple logo, that would have made me sit up.

      LG have managed a round interface, so it just seems to be a lack of imagination on Apple's part that they failed to revolutionise smart watches in the way that previous products have. The Gear S is going to be out before the Apple Watch and I would be more likely to get that, if I were interested at all.

      A watch is a fashion item, therefore how it looks is more important than what it does. The scattergun designs seem to acknowedge that but without managing any real desirability on its own merits.

    2. Mike Bell

      Re: Surprisingly disappointing

      I was surprisingly disappointed by the live stream of he event, which was a complete dog's dinner. Breaking up all the time, and some Chinese bird overdubbing everything for a good part of it. A complete cock-up, basically.

      As to the product line up, the watch was a pretty big thing. I'll never use one myself, but I can see that a lot of effort has gone into it. You're being a little unfair when you say you've "seen it all before". The fact is, you haven't. You haven't seen a bunch of card providers team up with a mobile manufacturer to conduct payments secured by a fingerprint, to give just one example.

      Apple do this kind of thing a couple or three times a year. 'New' products come along rarely. Software changes rather more often. And product upgrades somewhere in between. That's how they manage things year after year.

    3. Jurassic
      Stop

      Re: Surprisingly disappointing (because of a lack of awareness)

      Some articles just compare the looks of Apple's smartwatch to the looks of other smartwatches (with a few nods to some other aspects) but miss the point of the product.

      Is the Apple Watch imperfect and overpriced? Yes!... but so was the first iPhone in 2007, and in 2007 there were many bloggers that just looked at it superficially and didn't get what was really innovative about it.

      Yes, there are other smartwatches out there. But this one is actually useful. It is also the first smartwatch that doesn't look like you have a huge geeky square or circle that completely overpowers your wrist. But even still, the looks should not be the major focus.

      The Apple Watch’s uniqueness and strength, like other Apple products, is its “usability" and "user experience”. Sadly, these terms are meaningless to people who use products that don’t excel in these areas, and so they have no idea of their importance (and also why people love their Apple products so much).

      The Apple watch has a well developed ecosystem in both current and future apps, as well as in services, sensors and other hardware features that are not available on any other smartwatch.

      Like the first iPhone in 2007, it will take some time for certain people to "get it". Also, like the first iPhone, Apple’s competitors will eventually include some of those features and services into their own smartwatches… Eventually.

      But this is just the first version of the Apple Watch. As has happened with all other Apple products, each year will bring even more refinements and features.

      Most other smartwatches have been unsuccessful in sales because consumers just view them as expensive, nerdy gimmicks. But the Apple watch will sell in the millions in the first year, because it is an actually useful, useable mobile device that is worth its cost.

      1. Greg J Preece

        Re: Surprisingly disappointing (because of a lack of awareness)

        First I raised an eyebrow, then I clicked on Jurassic's name and scrolled through a litany of posts, every single one of which was either praising an Apple product to the eyeballs, or attacking another product for not being as good as an Apple one.

        Well, at least you're consistent.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Surprisingly disappointing (because of a lack of awareness)

        "...it will take some time for certain people to "get it""

        Not to be mean, but I personally feel you're not getting it. The iWatch is 15 years too late.

        People in the late 90's and early 2000's wore a watch for a time keeper, today they just use their mobile phone. People in the late 90's and early 2000's used a iPod like device for music, now they just use their mobile phone. The iPod and iWatch are not the same for their time though, being the iPod really was a upgrade to the Walkman (tape or CD based). So, what is the iWatch an upgrade to? The simple answer is that it's an upgrade to the watch you probably don't wear. If this was 1998, the iWatch would be world changing, but that time has passed.

      3. Vector

        Re: Surprisingly disappointing (because of a lack of awareness)

        "Yes, there are other smartwatches out there. But this one is actually useful."

        Please explain to us how this wrist computer is any more "useful" than the ones from Samsung, Moto, et al? Because from what I've read about it, it can be a timepiece, a fitness tracker and it can display notifications. Oh! and apparently, maps though I question just how useful a map that size would be. Most of this is the same hype I've heard from all the other manufacturers who have failed to gain any traction, IMO because there's little traction to gain.

        Many, if not all, of us grew up with the notion of how cool it would be to have a computer wristwatch (in my case, it was envy of Dick Tracy's wristphone, but I'm old) . Now that they can actually be made, you start to realize just how crappy a device that small is as an interactive device.

        Apple will probably sell a fair number of these things. Not because they're useful, but because they're from Apple. The same reason most of the press was raving that Apple had "made" a new product segment with the introduction of this watch that, as with every other wrist device to come out thus far, has too little functionality for far too high a price.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Surprisingly disappointing (because of a lack of awareness)

        Can you click "My Posts" and copy the text that says something to the tune of:

        "User has received X upvotes and Y downvotes"

        I'm really curious to see the total! No fibbing!

        Asking here because if I don't I'll never get to know, but the reply this that points out he is consistent is totally right.

      5. Cody

        Re: Surprisingly disappointing (because of a lack of awareness)

        The problem is, its useless as a watch, but it is basically a watch.

        I am currently wearing a watch that never needs a battery and keeps perfect time. I don't want a WATCH that has to be charged every night. A phone, or a tablet, or a combination of the two, yes.

        The reply is, its not a watch. And then you hear people explain that it does so much more and so many different things, none of which my perpetual and accurate watch can do. This is true. All my watch can do is tell the time, perfectly and trouble free for decades on end. And rather cheap by the way - about one tenth of what the iWatch costs - and quite good looking.

        As the argument continues you see that the iWatch really isn't a watch at all, its a form of wearable miniature tablet. At this point you have to start comparing it with the nexus 7 and ask why do I want to pay three times as much for something that is far less functional? Just so I can wear it on my wrist? Or three times as much as the nexus 5 if I really find the tablet too large...

        People will buy this, because many in the West will at the moment buy anything Apple puts out. But the problem will come in a month or two when they find they are simply not using it, don't want to put it on, and it will start appearing on Ebay, and not too long after that in charity shops.

        And in the next financial report we will see an item: inventory write downs.

      6. Michael Strorm

        Re: Surprisingly disappointing (because of a lack of awareness)

        @Jurassic. This quote from the article

        "It is also the first smartwatch that doesn't look like you have a huge geeky square or circle that completely overpowers your wrist."

        On the contrary, there's something just a bit naff about it. For one thing, there's something datedly "noughties" about the version watch seen on the right here:-

        http://cdn0.mos.techradar.futurecdn.net//art/Watches/Apple%20Watch/release%20date/apple-watch-compatibility-900-90.jpg

        If anything, some aspects look indefinably *early*-to-mid-noughties, shiny white space-age-revivalism meets early iPod.

        The shiny-shiny-tech-fetishism aesthetic in general is itself is (to me) starting to seem dated and out of place, as if it's the one surviving hangover of the late-noughties "3D glossy graphics" era that's been superseded by a return to flat, squared design and general colour trends towards less saturated colours (i.e. take a bright colour and mix a little white and/or black in with it).

        But the other aspect of it that I felt was a bit tacky was summed up nicely in this quote from the article:- "Apple's new aesthetic struck me as very "Bangkok Tech Mall" (*). It's as if Samsung or an ambitious Chinese manufacturer had been permitted to license iOS and the consulting services of Jonny Ive for a week."

        Bingo. It's like a Chinese company upped its game and made a sort-of-professional looking phone watch that nonetheless didn't make the true aesthetic leap that took it beyond looking like an (older!) iPhone squeezed into a watch form, something whose designers still mentally saw as a "gadget". Thus, it's still sort of clunky and cheesy, it still has a "geek gadget" vibe.

        But maybe it's just- to me- that gadget fetishism is starting to lose its lustre, or rather, lost it long ago (as did the trend of thinking smartphones are the answer to all the world's problems- something else the article got spot on- geeks and boys' toys technology-fetishists rationalising their obsession as something more grown-up and worthy).

        The fact is that Apple, while they never invented the stuff they are often over-credited for, *do* at least deserve credit for transforming (e.g.) the MP3 player and smartphone into a usable and consumer-friendly form. This, on the other hand, looks exactly what someone designing a "smartwatch" in the iPhone era would come up with (e.g. a Chinese OEM). It's an iPhone design and aesthetic obviously squeezed to fit a watch format, and already looks obvious and dated- even if it hasn't actually been done before in this way.

        No doubt, being Apple, it will still be better-designed, less buggy and more pleasurable to use than would something similar from another company that (like many) copies Apple's superficial aesthetics, but doesn't go all the way in terms of usability. Still, there's something about it that smacks of Apple having lost its way after Jobs' death, of being forced to do this because if they don't someone else will, even if there's no obvious reason.

        It's arguable that the iPhone may have fallen into that category- someone *might* have come up with a similar concept (albeit later rather than sooner) and so they launched the iPhone despite it eating their own iPod's lunch, because better to eat your own lunch than have someone else, especially if it takes you even further. (Most companies in that position would short-sightedly have squashed or suppressed the iPhone to protect their current cash cow, so all credit to Appl there). But- whatever one thinks of the original iPhone- it never came across as a desperate measure, nor pointless.

        Which I'm not sure can be said of the iWatch.

        (*) Not sure why Bangkok, surely Shanghai is where the latest Chinese gizmos are more likely to be found? Not a big deal though, I see where you're coming from.

        1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

          Re: Surprisingly disappointing (because of a lack of awareness)

          But maybe it's just- to me- that gadget fetishism is starting to lose its lustre, or rather, lost it long ago (as did the trend of thinking smartphones are the answer to all the world's problems- something else the article got spot on- geeks and boys' toys technology-fetishists rationalising their obsession as something more grown-up and worthy).

          Yes. This hagiography of the smartphone has been prominent for several years in one of my academic fields, digital rhetoric, and has indeed gotten so obnoxious that I started avoiding conference panels where it looked like anyone was going to be talking about the damn things. Disillusionment can't come too soon.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Surprisingly disappointing (because of a lack of awareness)

          Dateline: Bangkok.

          Most visible brand by far, is Apple, and the volume of unlocked PAYG iPhones, iPads etc. both new and pre-owned is astonishing.

          Never been in Shanghai, unfortunately.

      7. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: Surprisingly disappointing (because of a lack of awareness)

        The Apple Watch’s uniqueness and strength, like other Apple products, is its “usability" and "user experience”. Sadly, these terms are meaningless to people who use products that don’t excel in these areas, and so they have no idea of their importance (and also why people love their Apple products so much).

        You can't understand what's so great about my cult until you join my cult!

        Go sit in the corner with the homeopaths and Scientologists, would you?

      8. JEDIDIAH
        Devil

        Re: Surprisingly disappointing (because of a lack of awareness)

        > The Apple Watch’s uniqueness and strength, like other Apple products, is its “usability" and "user experience”. Sadly, these terms are meaningless to people who use products that don’t excel in these areas

        No. They're just meaningless marketspeak. While those terms might have some meaning if you back them up with something, the way that you are employing them makes them meaningless. You just take it as an article of faith that whatever Apple is doing is "better".

    4. Steve Channell
      FAIL

      Re: Surprisingly disappointing.. Jobs would have pulled it!

      The only compelling thing about a watch is that it can use skin contact to do things that a phone can't, and that means health and security.. notifications, apps and colours are a nice if you can budget the battery.

      You don't get Health monitoring if you can't monitor through the night (Apple's doesn't).

      A Watch NFC payment only becomes secure when you can identify someone by their health monitoring (Apple's can't).

      Apple's Watch doesn't have the battery-life to be useful, and its too late to remove the colour screen to save battery: Steve Jobs would have pulled it.

      Wearing a bling-only watch that does payments and advertises an iPhone in your pocket is the most stupid tech idea this century

    5. Mark 65 Silver badge

      Re: Surprisingly disappointing

      Here in Oz the iPhone 6 giant bastard edition is $999 for a 16GB device. Nearly a thousand dollars FFS! What shit are these idiots smoking? I like Apple kit but $999 for the plus and $869 for the normal 6 bottom of the range editions is nuts. It's not like you can stick a microSD card in it and get practically infinite storage. The 128GB 6+ is more expensive than a 13" Macbook Air. A poxy phone costing more than a laptop. If it weren't for the fact I'm not a fan of the Android interface I'd jump on board. Under the current pricing I hope my present phone lasts as long as I do.

  2. Winkypop Silver badge
    Devil

    A watch!

    Imagine that, a watch!

    Set the alarm for when we get flying cars.

    1. Fungus Bob Silver badge

      Re: A watch!

      Flying cars is old news:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gzkugMVUUc4

      Got airborne a few times myself back in my salad days...

  3. ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

    Well there's SOMETHING a gadget could solve for me

    and this thing is secure authentication. Really secure, not the watered-down-to-please-the-morons things that we currently have on gadgets.

    These days I use a combination of PGP (barebones, not in cuddly-feely -and broken- plugins), a unique code generator card reader for my banking, and my FSF smartcard. None of these is really convenient in terms of mobility. I have my PGP keys on a USB dongle but I need a PGP-enabled computer to use them. The FSF smartcard needs a card reader (d'uh). The code-generating cardreader my bank gave me comes close but I seem to keep forgetting it when I most need it. Ideally a phone or watch or shoe or whatev's, on which I could "bonk" a physical token, then enter a passphrase, and that would spit out an unique code for me to type would be good.

    Of course we can't have that because it's all too difficult to use for the morons, so we'll stay stuck with permanently-tied 1-factor wirelessly broadcast shit, wide open to all sorts of mischief.

    Oh well.

  4. DominoT
    Stop

    Yes. Your point was?

    Well, yes. Apple's copy and refine technique is nothing new.

    The Watch is just a new smart watch using better features than the others.

    But so was the iPad. And the iPhone. Wasn't the iPod just a better Diamond Rio? Wasn't the Mac just a cheaper Lisa? Which itself was just a clone of the Xerox Parc source Alto?

    When you have a point, feel free to make it.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Yes. Your point was?

      In fact if anything Apple have been rather quick to jump on the watch bandwagon compared to their other devices. Jobs would probably have had the balls to wait at least another year and convince everyone he was right to wait.

    2. Khaptain Silver badge

      Re: Yes. Your point was?

      Agreed, but Apple have the facetious tendency to market things as though they did actually invent the [item] from scratch.

    3. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Yes. Your point was?

      DominoT,

      There is a difference. The iPhone (even the original that didn't do very much) and the iPad were both nice. The Watch isn't. It's ugly. It's not a very good watch, and it doesn't seem to be pointing the way to a very good wrist computer either. They may as well have not bothered.

      I don't think Steve Jobs would have made it, because I don't think the technology is available to make one that's worth it yet. Not that will sell in its millions at high profit anyway, and that's Apple's market.

      Coming into a market that's maturing, but still imperfect due to technological limitations is what Apple did with the iPhone, iPod and iPad. They also integrated the things you did with your new iShiny into a suite of apps and services. Love 'em or hate 'em, Apple were bloody good at this. It's what makes me think they can get NFC payment to go mainstream, when no-one else has managed it.

  5. Valerion

    Freudian

    >>You can transmit a pre-programmed Watch code that your partner will know means "Fancy a quickie?" But winking remains cheaper.<<

    Totally misread that last sentence the first time.

  6. Forget It

    Let's not compare Apples and Orange

    The latter's Watch is already a Clockword Orange

    Boom boom.

  7. NoneSuch

    Nailed it

    Good article and analysis. Apple is more fashion than function. The Jordache jeans of the tech world where you pay a premium for a name and little else.

    1. Ted Treen

      Re: Nailed it

      It would appear that you consider "good analysis" to be that which agrees with or reinforces your own particular prejudices. Still, I suppose at least 70% of people take that route.

      Me? I think the items might be interesting - we'll see in due course when they're released and can be examined. I still know of many who buy Apple computers not for a fancy logo, but for OSX and a straightforward computing experience. Not everyone wants to wrestle with Windows, or become a Linux geek - in much the same way that many car drivers have no desire to learn how to be a mechanic.

      I say "Good for you" to those who do wish to be Windows-wrestlers, or Linux-geeks, but that doesn't make you a superior being, anymore than slating Apple just because it's fashionable to do so amongst certain geek sectors makes you smart.

      Almost any article on El Reg which concern Apple is little more than troll-bait and is followed by the inevitable troll-fest.

      I read very few of 'em, these days.

      1. handle

        I think your iWatch is running slow...

        "...or become a Linux geek - in much the same way that many car drivers have no desire to learn how to be a mechanic."

        I think it's running slow by about a decade.

        "I read very few of 'em, these days."

        But you read this one...

      2. Greg J Preece

        Re: Nailed it

        It would appear that you consider "good analysis" to be that which agrees with or reinforces your own particular prejudices.

        Followed by...

        Almost any article on El Reg which concern Apple is little more than troll-bait and is followed by the inevitable troll-fest.

        I think you might be the person with the issue you describe...

      3. ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

        Re: Nailed it

        "Not everyone wants to wrestle with Windows, or become a Linux geek - in much the same way that many car drivers have no desire to learn how to be a mechanic."

        In much the same way as you're not required to know what kind of gas goes in your tank, how to change a wheel, a bulb or similarly basic maintenance on your car to drive it. Oh wait, you ARE required by law to know how to do that on your car. Good thing Apple doesn't make cars. Your analogy sux salty balls by the dozen.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Nailed it

          "Oh wait, you ARE required by law to know how to do that on your car."

          As good an idea as that might be, in the UK you are not even required to carry a spare. If you do it must meet standards. Nor is changing a tyre part of the test.

        2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

          Re: you're not required to know what kind of gas goes in your tank

          Um, if you don't want to ruin your diesel engine by pouring in regular gas, or vice-versa, then you pretty damn well need to know what gas to put in your car.

          You need to climb down and take a breather, the air you breath seems pretty thin there.

          1. Persona non grata

            Re: you're not required to know what kind of gas goes in your tank

            "Um, if you don't want to ruin your diesel engine by pouring in regular gas, or vice-versa, then you pretty damn well need to know what gas to put in your car."

            This is obviously an attempt to fool us - you don't put gas in a car, you put a liquid called petrol (or diesel, or the confusingly named CNG or LNG which despite having gas in the name are actually liquids*) in it! (Or electricity if you're a lucky-bastard Tesla owner)

            Bloody merkins ruining the place...

            * added in a vain attempt to satisfy the pedants including myself.

          2. ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

            I'm sorry you ARE required to know your way around basic maintenance

            CU20 Using a vehicle with defective parts or accessories

            CU30 Using a vehicle with defective tyres

            So I should have been more precise: you're not under any bligation to know how to change a bulb: you always have the option of parking your vehicle right away and finishing your journey on foot.

            You may also want to have a look at these:

            https://www.gov.uk/vehicle-maintenance-safety-security

            https://www.gov.uk/rules-drivers-motorcyclists-89-to-102/vehicle-condition-89

            1. LazyLazyman

              Re: I'm sorry you ARE required to know your way around basic maintenance

              The thing is though, getting a Linux machine to play nicely with a wide range of peripherals and software is not the same as putting petrol in your car. Putting the right kind of fuel in your car is more like knowing how to plug in a mouse.

              And no, you are not required to know how to change a wheel or a bulb. Cars in the UK do not have to carry a spare wheel and bulbs on most modern cars are a pain in the rear to change. My headlights require the removal of the wheel and wheel lining, not something you can realistically do without a car lift. Most modern cars do not carry a spare wheel, only a can of tyre weld, which should never be used anyway as it ruins fixable tyres and just goes all over your leg when the hole is to big to fix. You do need to know when there a bulb is blown or a tyre is illegal, but anyone can do that.

              The fact that people don't know these things leads me to think they know nothing about basic car maintenance. Most people don't want to mess about getting a printer to work or knowing what to do when your computer suddenly decides to stop seeing your router. They just want to switch it on and do what they need to do. Apple understand this. Microsoft kind of try to, but also have business needs in mind. Linux still seem to be in the phase where cars were with groups of geeks standing around snorting "Of course people know how to clean and fix a carb. Otherwise they shouldn't have a car!".

      4. Jagged

        Re: Nailed it

        "I still know of many who buy Apple computers not for a fancy logo, but for OSX and a straightforward computing experience. Not everyone wants to wrestle with Windows"

        - My Misses insists on owning a Mac because she says "its user experience is so much better" yet she spends her evenings that she uses the device, swearing and turning the air blue! If my household is anything to go by, "OSX as a better computing experience" is just another Apple marketing myth!

        1. JEDIDIAH
          Alert

          Re: Nailed it

          If you aren't already a member of the cult, you may find MacOS quirky. It may seem to you that it's going out of it's way to be different just enough to be annoying to anyone used to something else.

    2. Hipsterina

      Re: Nailed it

      "Apple is more fashion than function. The Jordache jeans of the tech world where you pay a premium for a name and little else."

      Except...

      You can enjoy Jordache jeans without paying a penny using only your eyes: they're often close to a very attractive arse.

      With Apple:

      (i) you pay through the nose;

      (ii) the proximal arse is rarely attractive, though often smirk-worthy.

  8. JDX Gold badge

    Apple Watch ... a solution looking for a problem

    Couldn't the same be said for the iPad? Many of us thought so.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Apple Watch ... a solution looking for a problem

      Couldn't the same be said for the iPad? Many of us thought so.

      No. The iPad did fulfill a need. One people didn't quite know they had. A desktop PC is stuck in one place. A laptop is awkward to use. A tablet is just right, so long as you don't have to type too much. And of course everyone was now using the internet to read online news, or watch online catchup TV. Smart TVs were horrible to use as well. Still are...

      I knew the iPad would sell, although I didn't expect it to go quite so mainstream. I had an HP laptop with swivelly screen. So a heavy tablet, and burdened by Vista. Which was a bit slow and lumbering, but perfectly usable with a stylus. Fingers could navigate you to use the basic stuff, but there weren't any 12" capacitative screens around, so it was resistive too.

      Nonetheless I loved that tablet. I could sit in a comfy chair and read El Reg. I could write emails with the stylus in that same comfy chair. Faster than any onscreen keyboard or voice activated doohickey I've used up to now.

      Other people were fascinated with it too. Whenever people saw me with it, they'd want a go, and be very impressed. But it wasn't nice looking, or all that easy to use, and it was pretty heavy. You had to be pretty strong to use it one handed, without propping it up on something. The iPad was cheaper, and but for having proper file storage and a stylus, better in every other way.

      1. DougS Silver badge

        Re: Apple Watch ... a solution looking for a problem

        I've never been a fan of the smart watch concept. I could see getting one for fitness tracking when I'm biking, running or lifting, but the idea hasn't excited me enough to actually do so. The Apple Watch presentation didn't change that.

        What I think might is seeing what ideas developers come up with when they can start applying their ideas. Cook also hinted in an interview that there are secrets yet to be revealed about it...I can imagine Apple might hold a few things back to save some surprise for the actual launch.

        1. LazyLazyman

          Re: Apple Watch ... a solution looking for a problem

          For that the pebble is much better, and hopefully will have a price drop now. Once it goes sub £100 I can't see myself being able to justify a cycle computer any longer over a pebble.

    2. Oninoshiko

      Re: Apple Watch ... a solution looking for a problem

      Some of us still think so.

      Only thing mine ever does is watch online videos. It's only worth the price because it was free.

    3. JEDIDIAH
      Linux

      Re: Apple Watch ... a solution looking for a problem

      > Couldn't the same be said for the iPad? Many of us thought so.

      What? That it would turn out to be just a media consumption terminal? Like the Archos 5 or Archos 9 but with a better advertising and marketing budget?

      Although I am still waiting for a tablet that can displace my Archos 5.

  9. Bel Fegore

    The comments industry looks a bit tragic and battered. Ever since knocking Apple became a staple of tech writers, they looked for new products from Apple to restore the sense of superiority that only a good rant could give.

    Unfortunately re-writing the same comment that has been popular ever since the Graphical User Interface, reached near hysteria with the iMac and climbed a rousing crescendo with the iPhone has now finally led to be the refuge of the sad and the desperately unimaginative.

    Since yesterday even the most rampant of commenters must feel a tad sheepish and will find it hard to repeat the same stereotypes again. And again, and again.

    Do you remember when commenters dismissed Apple's late entry into the MP3 market? Who would want to use a 'mouse'? Wasn't the iPad just a huge arsed iPhone? Give the money back to the shareholders!

    Now all the mocking commenters are imitating each other, the sarcastic tweets all retweeting the same three jokes, even the tech reporting elite second guessing their readers prejudices in ever more desperate attempts to creating the required click-bait that keeps the industry alive.

    Meanwhile internet security, congestion, competition – the important matters – none of those things will be fixed with another comment that was already old when the Mac came out.

    1. Financegozu
      Thumb Up

      Check that mandatory reading for bloggers IMHO

      http://thepessimist.com/2013/08/07/how-to-be-outraged-on-the-internet/

      Good stuff!

    2. Paw Bokenfohr
    3. It'sa Mea... Mario

      Bang. On. :)

      Upvoted

    4. thatguycraig

      Fanboi alert.

      I think the problem has always lied, for myself anyway, in the sheer hysteria and "look... i have an iPhone.... and yours is what... a Samsung? and LG? har har...." at least thats always been my experience here in the UK.

      Don't get me wrong, I LOVED the Ipod. Still do. Every morning on my way to work, every evening on my way home and the Journeys in between, my iPod is plugged into my USB port on my Car Stereo, pumping out some quality Country tracks (yes, a 27 year old country fan from the UK, as rare as rocking horse s**t) but before that in my late teens, my previous Ipods were used walking to college playing Greenday and Blink 182. I actually owned one of the first consumer market Mp3 players, which was ok, but swiftly moved to, and stuck to, the iPod.

      That's the first and last apple product I've owned tho. I myself HATE over-hyped "stuff" be it a movie or a piece of tech. Enter EVERYTHING Apple based.

      I think the Apple Watch actually looks pretty neat, and even though I have NEVER seen the point in ANY smart watch ( I just don't get why anyone would need one, sports enthusiast or not ) it has some OK looking functions and features. Would I have one? Well, no. If someone walked up to me in the street and gave me one for free, (apart from the fact I never have and never will own an iPhone) it would probably be a nice 'thing' for a couple days before promptly getting re-boxed and put into a drawer somewhere.

      Apple in my opinion, are the exact things you are trying to defend. A monster of a global marketing Juggernaut that are really only telling fad crazy, fashion conscious Air heads that their device, with its sheer lack of functionality, and its need for a complete re-design of everything the modern man/woman knows, is a 'must' a 'need' and really something they need

      What was my point again? I've lost track.

      Its basically like trying to sell me a Commador 64 as a "new games console"

  10. Drat

    One thing that android wear has that Apple watch doesn't is Google Now notifications. A lot of my phone checking involves flicking through these notifications; travel time to work/home, share prices, latest cricket scores etc. Being able to glance at a watch to flick through these gives me a nice level of convinience. Add to this notifications of emails/messages, walking navgation and music control (which I am sure Apple Watch does too) and I think it just about tips the smart watch from gimic to useful for me.

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Google Notifications?

      Perhaps for some having as little to do with google as possible is regarded as a Bonus?

      my phone is able to make calls and send Text's. That's it so what do I know about anything?

      {Don't answer that!}

      1. Jagged

        Re: Google Notifications?

        "my phone is able to make calls and send Text's. That's it so what do I know about anything?"

        - I bet it tells you the time too ;)

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bling

    "The brand is the key differentiator now, making it very much like the perfume industry."

    Possibly more like the wristwatch industry?

    In the days before quartz regulated watches I bought an expensive self-wind Omega Seamaster Cosmic. The need was for something that would reliably remind me of the day and date when the fog of 24/7 working descended. Good jewellers still sell the same model and year, second-hand, for about £1K.

    Unfortunately it has now become too expensive to have it repaired regularly at over £200 a shot - and is reserved for rare formal "dress" occasions. A plastic electronic watch from the charity shop rummage box cost £2 - and fitting a new battery myself was cheap too.

    If I have a new leather strap fitted then the jeweller sees "Omega" - and charges £25 for exactly the same strap that would be at most £10 for the plastic watch. No doubt it would probably be even cheaper to buy a new complete plastic watch.

    My Omega was never as accurate as I had expected - and my cheap quartz one beats it hands down.

    A firm on the Isle of Man hand-crafts very expensive mechanical wristwatches - at least an order of magnitude more expensive than an Omega. The company owner was interviewed on the radio. He said that good as they were - if you wanted accuracy over a reasonable period then a cheap quartz watch was a better bet.

    1. 404 Silver badge

      Re: Bling

      Seiko 5 Automatic, 21 jewels - bought it seven years ago for $150 online and worn on work days or going out. Stainless Steel even. Good watch.

      I'm a Luddite in some ways, don't use self-serve check outs in walmart either. Don't trust 'em. Yet I set my watch with my Note 3's time lol... just upgraded to a Acer Predator w/i7 found on CL for $600 for dev work (wife reads this sometimes)...

      Nothing like a good watch. Not those things though.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Bling

      I'mm surprised the Omega needs regular "repair". With self winding watches, what causes them to fail is usually not being used, which is why owners who have several often have the unused ones on automatic winders that steadily rotate them to keep them wound.

      Over-servicing can be as bad as under-servicing.

    3. Michael Strorm

      El Reg already got there...

      Like the watch industry? Indeed.

      http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/09/05/jony_ive_iwatch/

      The Register has *already* mocked Ive's supposed claim that the iWatch will decimate the Swiss watch industry (*) by pointing out that Rolexes aren't bought as timepieces (when you could get something that would do *that* job better for under a tenner) but as jewellery whose raison d'etre is to be conspicuously expensive.

      (*) I'm inclined to believe- however- as others have done, that this comment was very tongue in cheek. I don't honestly believe that someone in the design industry wouldn't already know the above about Rolex, nor have failed to realise that if price was the only factor, *all* Swiss watch makers would have been killed off by cheap, quartz-based watches made in the Far East forty years ago.

  12. Rikkeh

    Not for fitness nuts

    As someone with a garmin watch (I bought the forerunner model from 3 years ago, 2 years ago- the price plummets when the new models come out), I imagine that the whole Watch thing is aimed at people like me, or at least at people who will use the Watch in the way that I use the garmin.

    Not gonna happen. That little garmin has been battered, ducked, soaked, been trodden on, landed on (by my not exactly petite frame and by my bike), scraped, covered in mud, etc, etc. It's still going (albeit with a couple of scratches on the bezel).

    Unless Apple have massively amped up the durability for their Watch, it wouldn't last 2 weeks on my arm, let alone 2 months. Even if they have, they've got a mountain to climb to convince me enough for me to risk what I'd have to pay for a replacement before I took it out.

    You can't be a company that washes its hands of water damage (pun unintentional) that at the same time tries to push a device that's designed to be worn without any protective covering on someone doing exercise.

    1. phil dude
      Pint

      Re: Not for fitness nuts

      If they can do away with the heart strap, I might be tempted...

      I am no sure how reliable the "pulse" measurement is compared to the electrical pulse measured by my polar...

      I guess we'll see...

      Beer. Its why I run...

      P.

      1. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

        Re: Not for fitness nuts

        If they can do away with the heart strap, I might be tempted... I am no sure how reliable the "pulse" measurement is compared to the electrical pulse measured by my polar...

        That should be pretty easy using reflected IR and should be just as accurate.

        I was actually thinking about this problem just a couple of days ago, wondering why I needed a heart strap when a finger tip push against an IR sensor works just as well. One only needs a few consecutive pulses to determine BPM and missing pulses can be easily compensated for through software filtering. It should be easy enough to built a wrist mounted pulse reader and I doubt Apple would have gone with that if it didn't work reasonably well.

        Of course, I was wondering how I could build such a device for a few quid; wasn't dreaming of paying Apple prices. Maybe I could use a Raspberry Pi? Lugging a car battery around to power it should also do wonders for my cardio workouts :-)

    2. Vector
      Coat

      Re: Not for fitness nuts

      "You can't be a company that washes its hands of water damage (pun unintentional) that at the same time tries to push a device that's designed to be worn without any protective covering on someone doing exercise."

      So you're saying it's a fitness tracker that's not fit to track?

      1. TwistUrCapBack

        Re: Not for fitness nuts

        you're holding it wrong

    3. Persona non grata

      Re: Not for fitness nuts

      Sony Smartwatch 3 looks like the closest to what you want so far. It looks like it's the first of the Wear 2 devices and has GPS built in so you can run without taking your phone along and it keeps working recording your stats. Also IP68 (properly waterproof) and in a robust, sports friendly if not exactly beautiful rubber watch band.

      Unusually utilitarian design from Sony but it's growing on me.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: We all moved to sharepoint.

    With Apple, the first generation if usually just to showcase the idea. It's not until the second or third iteration that they get it up to a point where it comes into it's own, and even then it'll take another year or two. The first iPod was a great idea, but it was heavy and bulky; not until the iPod Mini did they get it right. Same thing goes for the iPad, the first one was way too large and heavy; the second one was much better but only with the Air/Mini did they strike the right balance.

    So with the watch, I am hoping that this will the first model in a line that will span the years. Whether the Reg readers will like it or not, the relationship between people and technology has become closer, and eventually we will carry around a piece of tech all of the time, and let's face it, there is only one part on the human body where that is likely without freaking people out.

    I personally don't see the point of this iteration of Apple's watch, but then I only use about ten apps on my phone. However, as someone else pointed out, the integration of all of Apple's services on all of their devices (hopefully) means that the barriers between them will vanish. Here's hoping Homekit and Healthkit will move that momentum forward.

    1. Darryl

      Re: We all moved to sharepoint.

      Another interesting dichotomy. Apple's first generation is to 'showcase the idea' Anyone else's first generation is to rush out a me too product asap.

  14. Kaltern

    Trouble with gadgets, is they used to be able to solve a problem, or show innovation. These days, they seem to invent problems that don't really need solving, and show a serious lack of innovation.

    Innovation is in many cases a gamble - will the public actually want to try something new? And these days, gambling is something a lot of companies just can't afford, or are unwilling to do - so we just get rehashes of stuff that sheep bought last year, or things that are slightly different to what we have now - and don't offer anything useful or interesting.

    Or, of course, truly world-changing innovation is blocked by mega-corps, afraid that such things would jeopardise their monopoly on the world - look at oil for example - I am convinced we could already have left oil based motor engines behind, but the oil companies can't have that. Cynical? Perhaps, but I know the world we live in.

  15. 0laf Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Eww

    I thought Apple was good at design. That's a nasty looking watch. Like a 1980s Casio, except it is probably still working and useful after 20yr.

  16. Yves Kurisaki

    The current family of smart (phones) devices was built on wave of technological and design improvements, backed up by new services (cloud, etc.). We have reached the peak of that wave now and, after some more digestion, we will start to look at our smart devices as being mostly dumb. A new wave will come, built on connecting services and devices, not on better technology or more specs. The new smart will be in how they all interact. Technically, maybe only battery design will see innovation during that period. Eventually, this wave of new ideas will drive the next wave of technological advance. In my opinion, that's the wave Google is preparing us for, little step by little step.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Apple Watch

    not seen a single hint of battery life on these things. Am I the only sceptic that thinks they've showed it off early to say to everyone 'look we've got a watch if you are interested. Don't switch to Android stick with Apple!' and they'll spend the next five months until release trying to work out how to get a better battery in these things?

    I wanted a moto 360 I thought that looked the part that is how a smartwatch should look for me and was disappointed to read one review where a fully charged battery in the morning died at 16:00. I'm interested in the Apple Watch but the lack of battery details has me wondering

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Apple Watch

      I was amused to see them presenting wireless charging as something innovative... What a sad little, closed little world they live in.

  18. KPz

    "Apple Watch is electronic perfume"

    Have you ever seen the profit margins of perfume?

    I'm buying Apple stock.

    1. AndrewB65

      Re: "Apple Watch is electronic perfume"

      Whale vomit doesn't come cheap, you know.

  19. Scott Broukell

    Apple Watch

    mmmm . . . . so will I be able to hear the pips on my watch? (rather than wait for the wireless to warm up)

  20. msknight Silver badge

    Transfer Wi-Fi cellular

    A corporate solution, certainly, but Unify won awards for their "Call Swipe" function on their OpenScape platform.

  21. Spiracle

    Chromosome problem?

    substitute "rich person" for "rich nerd".

    "Rich male person" perhaps. One of Apple's challenges going forward is going to be persuading women to

    a) Strap a huge lump of tech to their wrists at all, and

    b) Keep it there long for enough to harvest enough data to satisfy their (at the moment nascent) profiling apps.

    1. dogged

      Re: Chromosome problem?

      women love Apple. I predict that the largest demographic to buy iWatches will be women in their 30s.

  22. FIA

    Warmed over apple pie

    It isn't just Apple that looks a little less miraculous today – the entire consumer electronics industry looks a bit tragic and battered

    Isn't it more an issue of tech journalism, or at least the expectations of tech enthusiasts? We've been involved in an industry that has traditionally seen a frenetic pace of development. (especially if you're old enough to remember the early days of computing). And the fact is that this simply isn't the case any more, the tech industry is for the most part mature. I watched the iPhone presentation and was generally happy, but then again I expected incremental improvements to what came before, and that's largely what I got. (Although I do think the UI for apple pay seems quite well thought out, will be interesting to see it in action, and I thought the watch UI again was fairly well considered, although I'm not that interested in this segment, so can't really compare it to the competition with any authority).

    The fact is desktop and laptop computers have been pretty much stagnant for about 10 years now feature wise (sure they're a bit faster and a bit thinner, but nothing really amazing), however this has been somewhat masked by the rise of the mobile platforms, but that too has now reached a point where improvements are incremental rather than revolutionary. This isn't anything to worry about, it's just a side effect of the transition from a developing industry to a largely developed one. (You don't see the motoring industry disappointed that each new car comes with the same old steering wheel and pedal arrangement for example).

    Maybe as geeks we've been spoilt for too long, and just have to accept that the era of startling new tech innovation is largely over?

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Remember your colleague Bill Ray, Andrew? You are sounding a lot like him...

    (for the those that don't, Google "Why the Apple phone will fail, and fail badly")

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    industry subpar knock-offs

    I guess it's OK for Apple to imitate the competition - everyone does it at some point or another.

    What I don't quite understand is why the Apple Hype Factor still seems to work.

    The iPhones announced yesterday are, to be quite blunt, subpar to the competition. A factory-unlocked no-contract Android with a 20MP camera, full 1080x1920 display, 4G/LTE, NFC, etc, etc, etc can be bought from at least two US online retailers right now for less than half the price of an iPhone 6. I am talking about the "small" model. For the "large" model, it's the same: a competitor's Android Phablet with a 12MP camera, full 1080x1920 HD, 4G/LTE, NFC, etc, etc, etc can be bought for less than half the "big" iPhone's price.

    And the Android models I'm describing here are last year's.

    So what is Apple's 100% price premium for? Consumers don't care if it runs on a 64-bit A8 and I have yet to think of a use case where 64-bit computing is truly a must-have for a smartphone. Is anyone seriously considering running Oracle 11g on their iPhone 6?

    I don't want to sound like an Android fanboi - I'll be first to admit that Android phones have their set of problems. I'm only wondering from a strictly business point of view: if you are one year late and twice as expensive compared to the competition, isn't that a sign that you're now a me-too trying to keep up?

    As for the iWatch - it's been done before. Samsung, Sony and Nike tried it, and it went nowhere.

    1. joeldillon

      Re: industry subpar knock-offs

      You need a 64-bit CPU to access more than 3 gigabytes of RAM, though (same as with a PC), and modern smartphones are right up around that mark.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: industry subpar knock-offs

        > You need a 64-bit CPU to access more than 3 gigabytes of RAM

        No. The limit you're thinking of is 4GB. Because 2^32 == 4294967295U, which is 4GB.

        Why would a cell phone need to access more than 4GB RAM?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: industry subpar knock-offs

          He's thinking of Windows XP. Now that would be interesting on a watch.

      2. Mike Dimmick

        Re: industry subpar knock-offs

        You need a 64-bit CPU to access more than 3 gigabytes of RAM, though (same as with a PC), and modern smartphones are right up around that mark.

        You need a 64-bit CPU to provide more than 2 gigabytes of virtual memory to applications (anywhere between 2 and 4GB, depends on the operating system and its configuration, but 2GB is typical because it's trivial to separate user and system space).

        ARM's ARMv7A architecture supports Large Physical Address Extensions, which permit a 32-bit processor to manage a 40-bit address space - up to 1TB of RAM. ARM first implemented this in the Cortex-A15 core. It's up to the OS to map the app's virtual memory to whatever regions of physical memory are required.

        All current phone/tablet operating systems restrict the amount of memory that an app is permitted to use. iOS does not have published limits but reportedly the iPhone 5 will close your app if you allocate more than 645MB of its 1GB RAM. Android has an OEM-configurable maximum heap size - you can request a 'large heap' which gives a higher limit to your app, but this is still dependent on the OEM and is well short of the total memory available. Windows Phone 8.1 allows apps designed for 8.1 up to 185 MB for phones with less than 1GB of RAM, 390 MB for 1GB devices and 825 MB for 2GB devices. I believe these limits are relatively low so that several apps can remain in memory at once.

      3. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

        Re: industry subpar knock-offs

        You need a 64-bit CPU to access more than 3 gigabytes of RAM, though (same as with a PC)

        You seem to be confusing address bus width with data bus width, though the definition of "N-bit CPU" does seem to have changed over the years. You can connect a humble 8-bitter to any amount of memory you want if your fancy takes you, though it's often sensible to have register and data bus width the same size as address bus width for efficiency.

        1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

          Re: Re: industry subpar knock-offs

          Yup, there are 32-bit ARM and x86 CPUs with 40 or 48-bit address buses to physical memory.

          (As an aside, 64-bit virtual address space gives you a bit more headroom for applications. Whether or not that's really useful in a handheld device is another thing for debate.)

          C.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: industry subpar knock-offs

      "As for the iWatch - it's been done before. Samsung, Sony and Nike tried it, and it went nowhere."

      Microsoft introduced a tablet about 10 years ago - but it didn't make any impact.

      ICL introduced the One Per Desk (OPD) personal integrated workstation for the office desk.

      ICL started a video on demand service.

      The history of many products is that an innovation often fails to make an impact. Then the concept resurfaces a few years later, possibly aided by other advances, and is also then in tune with the market.

  25. Brian Miller

    Watch idea is valid, still bad implementation

    I wear a wristwatch, and I keep the mobile phone stowed away. Honestly, I think that the watch is still a great idea, but they keep implementing it wrong.

    A watch isn't supposed to be its own input device, it's supposed to be an output device, and it's supposed to be convenient. For a while, Epson produced a watch with pager functionality. Instead of a bulky pager, you had the convenience on your wrist. These new "smart" watches are trying to do too much, and thus essentially fail at everything.

    Really, what do you want on your wrist? #1, the time. #2, who's calling you. #3, a small notification that maybe you'd like to look at your phone. That's it, and little more than that. Small, thin, light, and keeps running for a very long time.

    Does the watch need to transmit data back to the phone? No. Does the watch need an amazing color display? No. Does the watch need to keep running? Yes, preferably at least a year between battery changes.

    Let the smartphones be the little computers they are, and leave the watch with simple functionality.

    1. Kunari

      Re: Watch idea is valid, still bad implementation

      Mostly agree, I wouldn't mind some feedback to the phone. Example: Incoming call alert to my watch, with a way to reject the call.

      If they could make a good HRM into a watch I'd love to get rid of the chest strap. Similar, a Lap option for the stop watch function --which I suppose is a bit less needed these days with GPS apps monitoring the laps.

    2. TheOtherHobbes

      Re: Watch idea is valid, still bad implementation

      >Really, what do you want on your wrist?

      The FAIL here isn't the actual product, but the fact that what is really a wrist-based data processor has been billed as a watch, when it should have been sold as something that happens to be wearable and watch-shaped but is *not* just an eWatch.

      It even has a stupid, obvious name - Apple WATCH.

      When Jobs sold the iPod he didn't called it Apple MUSIC. He gave it a weird name to distinguish it from the other MP3 players and to underline the fact that it was part of an ecosystem.

      Then he bundled it into a package that gave users access to a completely new mini-industry called podcasting. And, incidentally, also tied it to iTunes and a music market.

      So the iPod wasn't just an MP3 player. It gave you access to a huge music store *and* you could also promote yourself and your interests by pushing your own content to the device for other users to listen to/view.

      Not so WATCH, which has been marketed as a fashion accessory with cut-down features and a hint of bling to a market that doesn't care about fashion.

      Most people are thinking of it as a small iPhone for your wrist that tells the time - which IMO is totally not how Jobs would have sold it. What's missing is that community of interest that can add value.

      Devs will be able to do things with WatchKit, but for users there's no element greater and more interesting than the object itself. And that may turn out to be fatal mistake.

  26. Chas
    WTF?

    Here we go again...

    I love the way that the commentards leap all over Apple every time they bring out a new iShiny. It's not even been 24 hours and already people are kvetching about how it's too big/too small/ugly/pointless/expensive etc etc yada yada yada.

    How about waiting until it's been actually released, developers have had a chance to see play with WatchKit and see what they come up with, and how actual users get to grips with it? All this pointless pontificating, vacuous verbiage and sneering sarcasm, told by an idiot, full of sound and fury and signifying absolutely sweet fsck all just smacks of the mewlings of the playground bully.

    You don't like Apple—OK, we get it. Guess what?—I don't care! My computing choice is predicated on 44 years of using the bastard things, of all shapes, sizes and types. I use my Apple gear for both work and play because it works for me exceptionality well. YMMV.

    =:~)

  27. Alex Walsh

    Never mind the gadget crash...

    ...think about the havoc it will wreak on tech sites. Looking at half a dozen sites last night/this morning (Pocketlint, Trusted Reviews, Engadget, Tech Radar, Gizmondo etc), you can see that between the iPhone 6's and the Apple watch, they've got about 40 articles in total on Apples press conference. The iPhone 6 has a news story, a first impression story and several articles comparing it to existing phones, and then one about the bigger version. The iWatch has one about the press conference, a first impressions and then maybe a comparison with the Moto 360. Half of these are on multiple pages as well because it's all about the clicks for audience and ad revenue.

    Imagine a world where every Apple launch can't generate your site half a dozen articles and thousands of clicks. Half of them will go out of business...

  28. Omniaural

    If Apple had created a watch where the face was the shape of the apple logo, that would have made me sit up.

    LG have managed a round interface, so it just seems to be a lack of imagination on Apple's part that they failed to revolutionise smart watches in the way that previous products have. The Gear S is going to be out before the Apple Watch and I would be more likely to get that, if I were interested at all.

    A watch is a fashion item, therefore how it looks is more important than what it does. The scattergun designs seem to acknowedge that but without managing any real desirability on its own merits.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "A watch is a fashion item, [...]"

      Rummaging through the analogue wristwatches in the shops showed that most of them were designed for style over form or function. Basically the vast majority of dial/finger shape and colour combinations were unreadable.

      It's getting so that it is difficult to find a watch that has a dial where it is possible to see the time accurately and quickly in most lighting conditions. Some of us still wear a wristwatch only for that purpose.

    2. whatevs...

      Sorry, I missed the "all watches must be round..." edict. SOme of the finest watches created aren't round; have a look at the (TAG) Heuer Monaco (http://calibre11.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/TAG-Heuer-Monaco-Twenty-Four04.jpg)l.

      1. Tom 35 Silver badge

        "SOme of the finest watches created aren't round; "

        My eyes!

        It seems some of the most god awful watches also aren't round. (notice the actual moment is round)

        One way to make the apple watch look good I guess.

        1. Oz
          WTF?

          Agreed. Mechanically it may be a fine timepiece but, damn, it's fugly!

  29. Tom 35 Silver badge

    So that's it for Apple eh?

    Everyone go out and buy a Windows Phone.

  30. Yugguy

    I'm a bit MEH

    With the whole smartwatch thing.

    I have a Garmin GPS watch for running but for every other time (pun intended) my Seiko Kinetic is all I need.

    I certainly wouldn't buy one on the say-so of that &!** Bono.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Innovation

    "It isn't just Apple that looks a little less miraculous today – the entire consumer electronics industry looks a bit tragic and battered"

    Dear Andrew, you are plainly and utterly wrong, as for the other makers that is, but trully right about Apple.

    Examples? http://motorolaara.com/ and do you remember this video that people mocked at? The Samsung Youm? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l7vZtZw-JxM

    Samsung will make bendable displays, be assured of that. And if Google kick their buts off, they will revamp their software, there are so many ways to do it...

  32. Caaaptaaaain kick arse

    Shirley...

    the money is in payments now.

  33. Speltier

    Smartwatch

    If you want big sales, you need to either have a fad, or solve a problem. Smartphones fill in wasted time (of course, many people just waste still more time playing mind numbing games, but other read news or whatever) and reduce the clutter of things one has to carry about.

    The smart watch needs to help solve the really nasty problem of credit/debit card security. Type price in watch, card to watch, card to POS terminal (one hopes eventually to go watch to POS terminal, but this then limits the card vendors you can use reliably), POS terminal verifies a secure transfer and price. If the watch is removed, then the passphrase has to be entered again to use the watch thus reducing the chances of simultaneous random theft of both authenticating objects.

    Now those slimy bustard Russky crackers will have a harder time of it, stealing a one time payment record won't put food on the table.

    Oh, you mean Tommy iCook's iWatch can't do this secure thing? Hmm. Thought he was up on what consumers needed... security Tommy. Not gimcrackery fad objects.

  34. itzman

    Excuse me, but what is a 'watch'?

    ..and why would I need one?

  35. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    But based on its latest devices, the prime reason to buy an Apple product is to tell the world that you own an Apple product.

    Hasn't that been the case since the I-Phone 4?

    I won't be buying them but I don't see any reason why they won't continue to sell I-Phones and I-Pads in droves. And, if the watch doesn't sell, then it'll be buried quickly and quietly like other failures. If it succeeds, a year from now we'll be falling over ourselves to point it out why it's so much better.

    But, Apple is no longer leading but following. It wouldn't surprise me to see it the victim of some of the patent trolling it practised itself.

  36. DaneB
    Mushroom

    Poor Apple

    Maybe the R&D department needs to work on cloning Jobs' DNA... he left it frozen, right?

  37. Cynicalmark
    Stop

    Moan moan moan...give it a rest

    I buy things because they pique my engineering curiosity. Having grown up with an appreciation of the work that goes into these gadgets I honestly think Apple haven't done a bad job at all. Pebble have a nice watch that people slate and I love for its simplicity. I can't wait to get my iWatch and hope it doesn't try to be too many things and this looks like I will be pleased.

    Why so much bitterness over the Apple ethos of style? I own a multitude of devices running many OS's and they all have limits and 'features' that may annoy so just spare a thought for these developers - the people who come up with an original idea that doesn't appear daft in todays choked market are worth the money.

    Stop whingeing about how crap something is and remember - some of us grew up without this tech or mobiles - fgs i still pressed button B in my local callbox! I had to build my first PC as it was a kit and thats all you could get in the latter 70's - oh and yes I have worked with computers from punched tape and card; disk stacks the size of a car wheel and huge tapes as seen in the Italian Job - all the way to todays offerings and appreciate all of them for being the best at the time.

    Enough tubthumping. I like the new offerings and view them as a means to an end - and they will fit my home entertainment ecosystem without any compatibility issues and will, as usual be intuitive to use.

  38. ecofeco Silver badge

    Gadget mania is not over

    Gadget mania is not over. Just OVERPRICED gadgets mania is.

    I will NEVER pay more than $100 for a smartphone. I will never pay over $100 for a watch. I never want a car with a touchscreeen.

    I'm a tech guy and while I think all things are cool, they are also WAY overpriced compared to any utility they have for me.

    But that's just me. The reality is the market for people with money to burn is quite finite.

  39. Kleykenb

    Rich nerd?

    There may have been a time when Apple attracted nerds but that time has long passed.

  40. Hipsterina

    It's an iWatch, not an Apple Watch, whatever the label says

    If 'Apple Watch' is really the best hipster name that fruity firm can come up with these days it's slipped way down into middle-aged bean-countery corporatehood.

    Bor-ing.

    Maybe someone here could have helped choose a name?

    iPod Nano Strappy?

  41. User McUser
    Unhappy

    I disagree

    The biggest [problem] is that you repeatedly smash your fragile £500 watch or smartphone against a PoS terminal, and hope it works. Sometimes it does. If you're lucky, you won't have broken your smartphone.

    The plastic Point of Sale terminal is far more likely to be damaged by the metal and glass smartphone or watch than the other way around.

  42. rtb61

    Hey, if you are going to start measuring the technical qualities of the A8 chip, what the hell has that to do with Apple, some one else ,manufactures the chips, and some one else, sticks them in a bit of plastic and the design is derivative of someone else's engineering.

  43. Sander van der Wal
    Facepalm

    This is pathetic. I know TV is now so bad that everything else is more enjoyable, but watching Apple product announcements for entertainment value is worse than a reality show addiction.

    Why don't you people pick up a nice hobby? Something with tools that haven't changed for hunderds of years? Woodworking, something like that.

  44. Wilson! Wilson!

    Smartwatch a niche device?

    I mostly agree with the article, but I think smartwatches can be the right tool for specific circumstances.

    I've read today that BlackBerry was doing research on wearables (glasses, watches); it's not clear if they plan to develop apps that run on all smartwatches or if they are going to build their own devices, but we can safely assume whatever they do it will focus on the needs of Enterprise users. You can't always be holding a tablet or a phone when you're working and it's time consuming to drop everything (assuming you're not working sitting down at a desk) to look at a notification or read a message. Wearables could be useful in the Medical or construction industry for example, or the military, or in industrial environments... assuming you can use voice commands to interact with the watch, the possibilities are endless.

  45. kurian<>yogi

    Fellowship of the Ring

    One ring to bind them, one ring to command them....or something like that. It may sound dark but it was quite the tune for apple customers who sang it with quite a gusto. We must remember that beginning of apple can be traced back to hippy era of the 1980s and was brought about when one individual who saw computer(which back then was basically a collection of transistors) into a personal appliance that people instantly connect with. May be one of these days we will see this vision renewed in someone but by all stretch of my imagination id doesn't seem to be from apple

  46. Jack's_Rage

    Lower armband may haps?

    Get some of that fancy flex tech for screens toss it on an lower arm band water proof it as much as you can turn that into your smart phone. At least that have a use all the power of a smart phone or tablet with more show off of then a digital watch. Put gold on it and it will be big in Dubai and coffee bars. Personally I want mine in gun metal grey with a blow torch and stun darts.

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They never used to do vapourware either, but the Watch ships in January.

    The point of Apple's sudden releases with immediate availability was to get people to impulse buy and not spend time checking out the competition.

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