So the Apple Watch is very nearly upon us. Almost literally. That at least has to be the hope of Apple. But how has the world reacted to the idea of having a slab of Apple tech stuck to its wrist, complete with all the technological wonders you’d expect?
The smartwatch collection from Apple will go on sale April 24, ranging in price from $349 to $17,000. This price will depend on the metals they are made from and straps they are bought with. A larger 42mm (1.7in) version will cost around $50 more than the 38mm (1.5in) versions.
Monday’s press event in San Francisco delivered little more except the revelation that the mid-range stainless steel edition would start retailing at $549, rising to $1,099 in the US.
Smartwatches from other manufacturers have enjoyed limited success up until now, but does the world think Apple’s efforts will fair better?
Anna Kendrick thinks not.
We should be thanking Apple for launching the $10,000 “apple watch” as the new gold standard in douchebag detection.
— Anna Kendrick (@AnnaKendrick47) March 9, 2015
But what does she know? A trustworthy man in a suit with the respectable title of Chief Economist appeared to concur.
The Apple watch has the feel of Steve Jobs’ LISA. It’s ill conceived, ill considered & likely to go the way of Google Glass.
— Joseph Brusuelas (@joebrusuelas) March 9, 2015
Reaction continued to be reasonably scathing elsewhere, with Reddit user jdflan commenting.
“It’s not uncommon for watches to be priced from $350 to $10,000. But the Apple Watch is different. It’s not a Rolex. In a year it’s going to be obsolete and in 10 years it won’t even power on because the battery will no longer hold a charge.”
Tech reception of the lower cost Apple Watch has been more welcoming. GigaOm Tech writer Matthew Ingram appeared to find the price-point acceptable.
I know the $17,000 Apple Watch is getting most of the attention because it is extreme, but the $349 one actually seems pretty reasonable
— Mathew Ingram (@mathewi) March 9, 2015
Meanwhile, Nilay Patel writes a review for the Verge about actually getting hands-on with a smartwatch. And from a usability perspective, he doesn’t like everything he sees.
“I’m sure the confusing interface settles down into a familiar pattern after you use it for a while, but I’m still not sure why you’d want to put this thing on your wrist all the time.”
Taking an Apple Watch for a similar spin, Wired concludes.
“I’m cautiously optimistic to give the Watch a longer go, whenever review units become available. It does seem, for now, that it accomplishes a number of traditional smartwatch tasks in a more simple, and certainly more beautiful way. But needing to charge every day, with its 18-hour battery life, is still a bummer, and I wonder about how slowly third party apps will update over Bluetooth and Wi-fi.”
The Apple smartwatch enjoys a range of features through dozens of apps, and has been heavily promoted for its potential impact on a healthy lifestyle, enhancing fitness regimes and diet.
However, the Onion goes a step or two further, claiming the Apple Watch will allow “wearers to start and stop the flow of time.”