One More Thing, Once More
As the whole world tuned in to Apple’s September 9th event as it always does, it was all but confirmed that we were getting a watch from our demigods in Cupertino. If you were able to get past the catastrophic live stream without having a coronary or do the reliable thing and switch to one of the many quality live blogs out there, you were in for a very one-directional keynote.
Apple CEO Tim Cook did the unprecedented and dispensed with the self-congratulatory stat slides and proclaimed “there’s too much to talk about” with giddy delight. What followed was a breakneck paced presentation of what’s been the darling Apple product since 2007: the iPhone. You could tell, Tim and crew wanted to show off their new baby and they were impatient to do so even at the expense of this year’s next big money maker. The spectacle was poised to funnel the viewer to the return of “one more thing.”
What We Saw
By now, you’ve probably seen the pictures and made and your own personal judgements. For some reason new Apple products are polarizing and if you’re someone who forms an opinion about these things, chances are you’ve told the internet about it. The internet has had a bounty of straight-to-internet, unfiltered thought commentary since the event.
There was of course a Reddit meltdown, per annual tradition:
Twitter reactions ranged from the usual upturned nose:
The Apple Watch is an imperfect vanity gadget for insecure status-seekers. It will be an enormous hit.
— Kevin Roose (@kevinroose) September 9, 2014
To the level headed:
Can't wait to read a million trolly Android Wear vs Apple Watch articles from a bunch of people who haven't used one.
— Andrew Cunningham (@AndrewWrites) September 10, 2014
To the overused literal sight gags, retweeted over and over again:
早速Apple Watchを入手してしまいました！ウェブサイトのビジュアルや説明文も凝っていて素敵です！すっごく気に入ってしまい、すぐに完食してしまいました！ pic.twitter.com/EVXqDbwARL
— しのもりつかさ (@sinomoritsukasa) September 10, 2014
Ok this one’s actually funny:
Apple Watch. Able to monitor any activity. pic.twitter.com/zZKm7WpQDY
— Duncan Jones (@ManMadeMoon) September 9, 2014
Oh, what a bold proclamation, Kai:
I'm just gonna say it. I don't think the Apple watch is all that.
— Kai Ryssdal (@kairyssdal) September 9, 2014
Even J.J. Abrams chimed in:
— Bad Robot (@bad_robot) September 9, 2014
We’ve now had over a week or so to let the Apple Watch soak into the internet. While it’s very clear that these Apple events hold high expectations for the public, it’s also clear that Apple can never seem to reach the bar that spectators keep pulling higher at the last minute. While we were all distracted by lazy memes and letting other people make us feel let down, there were some real concerns about the announcement.
What We Didn’t See
Several things give me pause about this uncharted territory for Apple. This time battery life, the usual gripe d’jour for detractors, actually concerned me. Tim and company made no mention of the purported battery life capabilities of the Apple Watch. Granted, we’re months away from actually strapping these things on our wrists, but typically if Apple is proud of something they sure as hell tell us about it. So that leads me to believe the Apple Watch’s battery life won’t be a wonder worth beholding. Several outlets have already heard speculations of lackluster performance.
Press at the event also didn’t get to use an actual working unit. The term “hands on” requires sufficient use of quotation marks at this point as the watches in press demos were set to a playback demonstration mode. Any actual interaction with a working device happened by watching a carefully trained Apple representative work the magic on their own wrists. Any actual review of the lauded intuitive user interface will have to wait.
My gravitation toward early adoption is usually a no-brainer. I was up at 2:00 am Central to get the iPhone 6 with the rest of them. However, there’s something about a watch that’s completely different from a phone. Apple realizes this too. That’s why there are 6 different case colors, 18 bands and 2 different sizes. The Apple Watch is every bit a wardrobe choice as it is a gadget. This is what makes me hesitate to set my alarm for 1:45 am on day one. All we’ve seen are computer animated drawings, and I need to be able to hold one, latch one, shake one. I’m sure there are others that feel the same way. Hopefully Apple will showcase a few real models in stores before the actual launch. Or else the otherwise faithful fanboys may hesitate, albeit not for long.
Why It Doesn’t Matter
We already know how the Apple Watch will sell. Is it a sexy, new thing with an Apple logo on it? Yes? Then it will sell. The nay-saying is nothing new. All who have doubts may only look back to the knee jerk reactions to the 2001 iPod announcement. Seems silly now, doesn’t it? Don’t worry, this happened for every single new Apple product line since then as well. And guess what. They couldn’t fill orders fast enough. So come early next year, don’t be surprised to see Apple Watches weighing down wrists that belong to those very fingers that typed all those snap judgements last week. Call it selective amnesia. Apple calls it profit. As much as I hate to say it, Kevin Roose is right.
Still doesn’t hurt to have a laugh in the meantime: