I think you, and several other commentators of an Android persuasion, are missing the point. This expensive thing is not especially about functionality (except for those who are worried about their health or obsessed with their fitness). It's about ergonomics.
I think the intention is that you can keep up with your online life by glancing at it, rather than having to fish around in your pocket and then authenticate on a phone to see what's coming in.
Typical El Reg commentators often focus on the hardware or back-end twiddling which they can't do. Apple has always been about the interface and convenience of use for ordinary people of their equipment.