I still think the Apple smart watch is a dumb idea

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Gone are the days when good old Stevie, God bless his soul, made sure that Apple was one of the leading innovators in the technology industry. I mean long before Windows became a thing and when most people reading this and I had yet become zygotes it was Apple who led the way with their Apple Lisa computer, the first personal computer to feature a GUI back in 1982.

We all know what happened next. They made the idea of an easy to use personal computer popular at the 1984 Super Bowl (this is like a micro UEFA final for the Americas (sic) except people throw an egg-shaped ball at each other after having pancakes (chimodho) for breakfast and call it football. Ah Americans!). Just to show you how far ahead Apple was, William Gates and his fellows only made and popularized Windows about 10 years later when they made the famous Windows 95 operating system.

You don’t need to tell me how Apple pioneered and gave currency to the idea of a portable music player in a world that was dominated by bulky (tell that to the boombox generation) Discman players. The iPod, a device that could hold a thousand songs versus the poor Discman that could only have about 15 songs (8 if you are into Macheso and his extremely long songs). It was a no-brainer.

I mean we all watched the Jobs movie and we all know, despite his irrational hatred for Android and his stealing ways, how many times he woke up on the future side of the market. The only other place that I saw a tablet before he made it popular was in the hands of Logan Cale/Eyes Only in Dark Angel.

We could talk for days about the revolution that is the iPhone. Even though I hate it myself, I cannot help but admire its beauty and ingenuity even though it now pales in comparison to the Galaxy 6.

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So Big Stevie succumbs to the Big C and what do they do? Well, correct me if I am wrong, but there has not been anything radical from Cupertino for a while now. The heirs to the empire have decided to play it safe with their usual evolutionary new iterations to the iPhone, iPod, iPad and Mac series.

I mean you have to read Tech Blogs and Changelog files to actually know that there is a difference between the iPhone 5 and iPhone 6 besides the price and a couple of millimeters in screen size. I am not going to get started on their maps that made the old Portuguese maps look accurate or how stupid Siri sounds sometimes or so they say.

Then there is the Apple Watch, which I still cannot believe they chose not to name the iWatch which is what everyone, the experts, fan boys, and competitors were expecting. Not only did they launch their own version of the smart watch, they did it well after everyone (the Android group) had launched theirs.

I mean how long has it been since Android smart-watches started popping up around the globe? It is no longer even a thing to wear smart-watches. It’s not even a year and they have joined the junk pile of Google glasses and clothes that wear themselves while we wait for Google’s self-driving cars which have both the technology and engineering world in a frenzy.

In case it’s not clear I do not share my esteemed colleague’s enthusiasm for the Apple Watch. They may call it smart, but I think it is a dumb idea. First it is not an innovation, not even by an inch.

The only differences between the other smart watches and the Apple Watch is notably it costs more as it will retail (that’s right it is not even available for purchase yet, just pre-orders) for between $350 up to $17,000 just so you can have its innards wrapped in a shiny gold case without any real difference in functionality compared to Android watches which start at $159.

Predictably it only works with Apple’s own Operating System which I find especially galling because I hate (cannot afford) an iPhone. While it is understandable that Android watches cannot support iOS devices which are closed source, the only reason for not supporting Android, which is open source, in my opinion, is just arrogance.

just to show how useless the smart watches are: the battery life for some of the models is said to be only 18 hours and take 2.5 hours to charge from 0 to 100%. A watch that will not even last for a day. Even my father’s useless winding clock from the 1960s did a lot better than this. A good wind lasted 3 days and it only took about two minutes to wind! Some innovation.

Among the useful features of the watch allows you to receive calls on your wrist! Basically what this means is that “I am too lazy to reach for the phone in my pocket/purse I will settle for talking to my wrist.”

I do not know how this works exactly, but I hope it will not involve moving away from having the phone on your ear and mouth and using your watch instead. That would just take us back to the days of two-way radio. Why not just buy a Bluetooth headset for God’s sake.

The watch also comes pre-loaded with Apple Apps that let you send and receive texts ( maybe they meant WhatsApp messages), send and receive emails which you will have to furiously pan through considering the screen real estate, receive Facebook notifications, call up Siri (like that would work so well when using your African Accent) I mean, you must know Siri only works when you speak in a white person’s voice. Try it if you do not believe me).

You can also use the watch’s “Taptic Engine” and receive “haptic” feedback. Don’t ask me what this means. Must be a way to allow you to send and receive telepathic messages to the watch and talk to aliens on other planets. I mean if you are paying $10,000 for the watch that will only be fair.

You can also play games like the tailor made Watch Quest that was just released but unless you have fingers the size of pins I have a feeling you will not be boasting about your high score to anyone.

If you get lost you can always consult the useful map feature which will be brought to your phone courtesy of your mobile network provider at the usual eye-popping data prices. Who knows maybe they will come up with some sort of Smart Watch bundle. That would be sure useful.

Then there is the fact that there is a total of 38 iWatch, I mean Apple Smart Watch models. A fact that is likely going to just confuse the customer and overwhelm them. It is like the brand schizophrenia that plagues Toyota and its many cars: the Yaris, Corolla, and God-knows what else.

This is going to be even more difficult as they make new versions. How are they going to name them? Apple Smart Watch Model 38 version 9 release 24 which only works with the iPhone 5c models (with limited features Siri might not work) and later?

To be fair I hate all smart watches equally, they have so little to recommend them except perhaps their being bling. You call it smart I call it the dumb watch but hey, it’s your money right?

It’s not like my protests and mocking are going to dampen the mood, or stop the gushing and sighing taking place at Apple stores right now as fans go to pay for the privilege of owning a Smart Watch sometime in the near future.

One more thing, I still cannot believe they did not call it the iWatch.



13 Comments

  1. blaz says:

    Apple could and most definitely make 5 billion from its watch per quarter.(http://www.businessinsider.com/apple-quarterly-revenue-from-gold-apple-watch-edition-2015-2). So i think in that case there would rather continue having more “Dumb” ideas.
    You see the reason why Apple is a multi billion dollar corperation is because they dont employ “Smart” guys like you with “Brilliant” ideas. Who always criticize a product without looking at the profit margins and their target market.
    The iphone 6 gold is a flagship status phone some people understand that “status” has value.Its like a LV handbag it made of the same leather like every other bag but cost 100 times more.That called target marketing .
    So just because you dont understand the target market does not make an innovation a dumb idea

    1. Garikai Dzoma says:

      Oh please, the analyst who made up those forecasted is a Quack. It reminds me of the tale of Mhishi the weasel who wanted to be rich. He bought a crate of eggs intending to start a business and decided to take a rest under the shade of a big Msasa tree and started imagining the future. If he sold his eggs he could double his money and buy two crates the following day then he could start a vegitable store the following week, then double them the following month and in a year he could have a retail chain then diversfy into garages, transport and buy an aeroplane the following year excited he jumps up and breaks into a dance and accidentally kicks the crate and breaks the eggs and ruins his life in the process. Morale of the story you cannot just wish the future to be what you want to be.

      Fact the tough world is a hard nut to crack and Apple has really competed with the jewelry makers before. The iPhone was an accessory not part of fashion and so far the interest has been somewhat lukewarm and I don’t expect that to change anywhere.

      The thing about success stories at Apple etc is that people often overlook the failures in the process e.g people like to talk about how Edison invented the light bulb but no one mentions the fact that it took over 4000 failures to achieve that. Apple has failed before, a lot of times and I have a feeling the Apple Watch is one of those times.

      1. Ndini Wenyu says:

        well same as the analyst who forecasted poor sales for iPhone 6… what happened to that?

  2. SoTypMe says:

    That was fun.
    I used to be indifferent to smart watches. Now I hate them

  3. Ndini Wenyu says:

    Good article,
    I am an apple fan, I have always bought apple since the iPhone. I think they are a great bunch and their products well thought and developed. The apple watch is named appropriately there are not 38 models just 38 finishes. Its can’t be one size fits all. Watches are personal things and a status symbol for many. I agree the new samsung S6 Edge is a aesthetically very good, I think this makes the Apple vs Samsung smartphone game a bit like Barca vs Real (If you are a soccer fan, you will get it).

    1. Anonymous says:

      I miss u

    2. Komi says:

      (claps hands)

  4. Garikai Dzoma says:

    Kkkk! I get it two giants leaving the rest in dust. I still cannot believe Ronaldo was able to score 5 goals in a single match poor minnow football teams remind me of companies like Huawei struggling for relevance.

  5. Terry says:

    Like the bulk of traditional news sites that have an “Opinion” section, I think it’s about time Techzim followed that route. This article is clearly opinionated.
    I’m always left a bit perplexed at why people just hate on Apple for no apparent reason. You say there is not much of a difference between the iPhone 5 and 6 besides mainly screen size then go on to say the iPhone pales when compared to the new Samsung Galaxy S6. Now you tell me what different between the S5 and S6 besides adding everything Apple like sim card by the side, speaker at the bottom with charger in between, SamsungPay (ApplePay copy) and no memory card slot but you buy according to different storage size you want.

    I own a mixture of Apple and Android devices and while I like the openness of the Android platform, I appreciate the attention to detail in hardware, software and performance put into assembling my Apple device.

    Yes, I agree with you in saying Apple was late to come to the party in the wearable device section but haven’t they always?? As far as I’m concerned, they were not the first to develop a music player, smartphone or tablet either. Sony Walkman that could take thousands of songs were already around and companies like Microsoft, Nokia, Oracle and Palm had products like tablets and smartphones (phones with screens that did internet, email etc.) in the early to mid-2000’s. (Thought you knew that.) The Apple equivalents were successful largely for one reason, i.e., they made the idea of a portable music player, smartphone and tablet cool and adoptable in everyday life. And as Tim Cook said last year, “To convince someone to wear a piece of technology, it has to be great.” Ever wonder why he said “GREAT” and not “we should always be the first”?? It’s because that’s their strength as Apple, they make great products.

    Reports from the IDC that tracks tech sales and use says that more than 60% of users threw away their smartwatches in the first 3 months. My guess is that it’s because they found them not to be GREAT!! So clearly being first to launch is no guarantee to success. Since you like Shona anecdotes to portray your stories, i think the folktale of the race between the hare and the turtle is most apt here.

    FYI the Apple Watch can do more than just take calls from your wrist and do Siri. Apple Watches can communicate with each other directly, they have Retina display which is amazing to view, allows you to write with your finger not just with a keyboard etc. The Watch already supports more apps than any smartwatch (the lack of which Samsung admitted was hurting Gear sales). Apple Pay is supported meaning you don’t need to always take out your phone to tap-and-pay or print your air ticket when travelling as your boarding pass will be on the Watch. Emirates. By the way, how many smartwatches on the market can do that?? The pay and boarding pass thingie?? Apple spent a great deal to integrate Passbook into Apple Watch so that even loyalty cards, coupons and movie tickets can be supported on Watch. Instead of alerting companies like Redan and Sakunda of the opportunity that lies here. Imagine getting fuel coupons onto Watch and when you get to garage no hassle pulling out paper coupons that can get lost or hiding them under your pillow in case your naughty son steals them. Instead you buy your coupons, keep them on Watch and just tap a terminal at Sakunda or Redan to pay. Or buy movie tickets for Fast 7 online and get your tickets on Watch electronically from the comfort of your office. Then when you roll-up with your chick by Eastgate cinema, you just tap and you are in bra. No hassle. That is the opportunity that Watch brings. So the Apple may be last to the party, but they are clearly more than just a heart-rate tracker or number of steps counter. Apple Watch is wearable innovation.
    I do agree with you on the battery life. 18 hours is really messed up. And just like how the iPhone 5C came in about 5 colours (not sure how many really) didn’t mean 5 different versions, the 38 finishes are not versions but the options for bands and finishes etc.

    In parting, check out the great apps airlines have developed for the Watch.. Isnt this GREAT!! http://www.macrumors.com/2015/03/19/airlines-upcoming-apple-watch-apps/

  6. mwanamwana says:

    Well i dont blame you for thinking that Gari, but that song has been sung before when the iphone came and when the ipad came out. And yes apple has failed at a lot of things but those things they fail have become less and less since they started, but then again none of us have apple stock, well maybe you do, so i wont fight you in changing your opinion coz that is all it is an opinion on a blog site and the watch being successful does not mean you will change your mind either.

  7. REWMO says:

    @Terry, pls stop with the copying bulls#t already. this site is calles techzim(pls take note of the word tech) the apple watch is just a fashion statement like those gold chains worn by hip hop artists, it doesn’t bring anything new or interesting to the tech world. people like you should be reading fashion magazines instead. here we expect reveals about specs and functionality, there’s nothing interesting about gold chains and watches. and yes it may sell many products because most people just buy products that they wont use just because they think its cool.

  8. Komi says:

    Clearly you do not like Apple products. So what you are saying is that Apple should not have made a smartwatch at all? They may not have made one but they did not need to, they already made the iPod nano 6 Generation which by the way is greatly considered to be a smartwatch which by the way came out in 2010. Samsung only began making smartwatches in 2013, Sony in 2012, LG in 2015, Motorola in 2014, HTC and Nokia have not made one up until now even. What are the differences between a galaxy S5 and S6? That is basically what you are saying when you say Apple only changed screen size with the iPhone 5 and 6. Googles self driving cars would not be a hit. Mercedes, Audi, Tesla, BMW and many more other car companies i could mention if you want already have cars with Autopilot features. Smart glasses are ridiculous and look like only idiots or tech geeks would wear them, fact is if Apple was to decide to make smart glasses they would be the first to make a design that blends in with normal glasses and doesn’t look like you are trying to attach a desktop to normal glasses.Please remind me which smartwatches these are that are $160? Motorola 360 is $320, lg R is $350, Samsung gear is $300 ON CONTRACT! $500 off contract! Apple and android are competitors, how could you expect competitors to make their products compatible? How long does the charge for the phone you use right now last? If it is a smartphone with 4G chances are less than two days, my mums old Nokia 3210 could last over two weeks on a single charge. Look at all the applications running on the smartwatches, the size of the battery, what connectivity software is being used before complaining. What did you want Apple to call it then? Give us three different options?

    1. Rusapean says:

      Finally there is someone normall????????????yesss

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