Share good ideas and conversation.   Login or Take a Tour!
comment by veen
veen  ·  1868 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Watches, Wearables & You (and me)

So - here's my opinion as someone who is really damned close to buying a Moto 360, and a not-so-old fart. The major selling points for me at least, are twofold:

1. Fashion statement. Even though I have a smartphone right in my pocket, I still have this Fossil hanging around my wrist often. It looks cool and fits my style, so I wear it. Same with the Moto360, or the iWatch (even though I think the latter is inferior). It also speaks to the geek inside me - isn't it cool to have a watch that can do all sorts of stuff?

2. Information at a glance. Not just the time. With the Moto 360, it uses Google Now and Android notifications - the two reasons I open my phone the most. Most of the screen time on my phone is doing those simple tasks of checking to see if I have mail, or a message, or ask something to Google, or play / pause / forward my music. If I can do most of the simple phone-related stuff on my wrist, it'll be less of a hassle. The time to get to the info I want is always less if you can just twist your wrist than if you have to get your (large) phone out of your pocket.

That being said, the iWatch is shit as a sportswatch, has that weird knob that I don't like and it seems like it's been given all the apps Apple could think of because Apple doesn't really know how to justify the $350 price otherwise.

No, it's not revolutionary and it doesn't solve big problems. There's no killer app you're missing. It seems to me more a result of Apple desperately trying to innovate and entice consumers in a market (the screens-in-your-face-market) that appears to be on a plateau. Or they're making it because everyone else is making one, and they don't want to miss the Next Big Sale Goldmine.

Also, anything to make people forget this horrendous ad:

kleinbl00  ·  1868 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Oh my god. dat ad.

Let's talk about Point (1), because I think it's a really important point:

    It looks cool and fits my style, so I wear it.

So I live in the iDevice Capital of the World. Growing up I used to wonder why every computer you've ever seen in a movie or TV show is a Mac; I could count on one hand the number of people out in the world I knew with Macs. Here? I can count on one hand the number of people with PCs. Apple is probably 99% of the marketshare within Hollywood. As a consequence, every phone is an iPhone, or at least it used to be. There are a few Androids leaking in, but they're the "geek" phones. Most everybody else is using an iPhone of some sort, and the only personalization is in the case, and most people forego the case because they're bulky. So what you're left with is almost a uniform: are you

A) a shattered-screen hipster

B) an Otterbox/Lifeproof faux-adventurer

C) a cosmetic-cased wannabe

D) an Android nerd?

Those are your choices. There's no real personalization beyond that. Not surprising. There's some work that goes into creating a phone and nowadays, the ecosystem around it. So you go to a Sprint store or an AT&T store or whatever and you'll probably have 30 choices of all phones.

Now go to a Jeweler. Now go to a Sunglass Hut. Now go to anywhere watches are sold. They'll have more choices in one counter than you can buy in the entire Samsung arsenal. Movado has more collections than Apple has ever had phones, and Movado is a Mall brand. Some of the Tokyoflash brands are hand-made; Arbor used to sell watches but then they burned through their run of 50 (at $100 ea) and stopped.

A watch is an intensely personal choice. It's jewelry. It's unique(ish). and an iWatch or a Moto360 is a mass-produced device with some customization tweaks. It's just another part of the uniform.

Which doesn't invalidate Point (2). However, it does yank any smartwatch out of the realm of "jewelry" and into the realm of "utility" and I'm not sure the utility is there.

Funny thing - my dad had a "smart watch" in 1992. It was a Timex Datalink. it'd transfer his calendar and appointments via IR. It was not particularly useful and, without a cell phone to tie it to, was severely underutilized as far as what was possible. But Timex has been making Datalinks for over 20 years now and I'll bet this is the first you've heard of it.

And maybe that's part of it. Maybe another part of my reluctance is I'd rather give Seiko $1500 for an Astron than Apple $350 for an iWatch. The Seiko is something I want. The Apple? Is something Apple wants of me.

veen  ·  1868 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I'm still not recovered from that ad.

    A watch is an intensely personal choice. It's jewelry. It's unique(ish). and an iWatch or a Moto360 is a mass-produced device with some customization tweaks. It's just another part of the uniform.

I agree - the iWatch is not very unique. Consider the following though: lots of people don't care that it's not that unique. Just like there are still people buying Beats by Dre for their image, there will be people who will buy the iWatch for the image. People who don't buy expensive watches, but might buy this iWatch, just like the people who'd never buy an Audio-Technica but who will get Beats.

Your idea of what a watch means is one I agree with - it's supposed to reflect a very personal choice, and thus be unique. But consider the fact that it's your idea of a watch, not necessarily the same as the masses.

A while ago there was this trend of changeable watches - I forgot the name, but the idea is that you could change the strap and the backdrop of the watch easily, and they sold more than 30 of each. So you could customize them and create a "personalized" watch. That shit sold like crazy. Point is, for a lot of people some customization is enough to make it personal.

On top of that you live in the Apple Area of Doom, which is highly likely to adopt the watch. So no, the iWatch will probably never be unique enough - for you.

For me though, I know that if I'd get a 360 that it'll be a year or so before I see another one. It's the advantage of living in non-hip areas. And thus it is unique / hipster enough for me.

Edit: also, autch:

kleinbl00  ·  1868 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Very good points. So in other words, the business model of the iWatch is to get those who would contemplate a $40 Fossil to stretch to a $400 iWatch. I can see that. It provides Apple with the advantage of making them buy an iWatch every 2 years or so also, and likely selling them AppleCare while they're at it.

And if you look at it that way, the functionality doesn't even matter. Most people will use 10% of what it can do. I wonder how much of the actual use will be 2nd screen bullshit, kind of how the remote for the WiiU works.

Saw that iPhone snark. It's en pointe. If I wanted a Samsung Galaxy Tab I'da bought a Samsung Galaxy Tab. Me? I'm starting to want a smaller phone, not a bigger one. I'm just not watching Youtube videos on it much, you know?

veen  ·  1868 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    $40 Fossil

Hey, hey, $140 when I bought it, man. I'm no cheapo.

    I'm starting to want a smaller phone, not a bigger one.

Yeah, my Nexus 5 is really pushing it already - the Galaxy Nexus I had before was the perfect size for me. It's the reason I'm so disappointed in the new Moto X, which is even bigger than the Nexus. On the other hand, the iPhone 5 is too small for me. I'm so fond of the 1080p screen - I'm a pixel guy. I just wish they'd remake the Nexus 4 with up-to date specs.