The Apple Watch seems to be the most fashion-forward product Apple has put out, yet despite boasting many fancy features, is it just an extension of the iPhone?
The Apple Watch is aiming to satisfy its variety of loyal customers by giving them the choice to customize their own watch. Starting at $349, Apple has developed the introductory Apple Watch, the Apple Watch Sport, and the (pricier) Gold Apple Watch. Apple CEO Tim Cook stated that the watch’s battery life is designed to last all day and it can be charged wirelessly. There are several different watch bands to choose from, and they can be worn interchangeably. Additionally, you can customize your own display screen and along with showing the most accurate time, it can display the sunset/sunrise, weather, and stocks.
Despite the interesting concept behind the watch, as Design Engine has seen with other first generation products, this watch is sure to need improvements. The biggest plus of the Apple Watch is that it isn’t designed just for the “tech-nerds” and has features that can be applicable to everyone. It’s clear that Apple is trying to dip its toes into the fashion market. With Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts at the head of the retail team for the Apple Watch and Apple’s clever use of product placement, the watch isn’t just another smart watch- it’s a fashion accessory. Along with the watch being seen in New York fashion week, supermodel Candice Swanepoel (named one of Forbes top-earning models) is featured wearing the Apple Watch in the March issue of Self magazine– a publication that focuses on fitness and health. This may garner attention for the specific health features of the watch, but also, if one of the most fashion-forward women is wearing it, it’s sure to gain more popularity.
Originally, the Apple Watch was touted to be the ultimate health-monitoring device, but it will not, as proposed, measure stress levels or monitor blood pressure. You will still be able to track steps and measure your heart rate, but this barely makes it the “ultimate health tool”. Perhaps the best features are the communication capabilities that allow users to make phone calls, send and receive text messages, send their location, and send emails – all from the convenience of their wrist. But remember the watch needs to be close to your iPhone for use, so for some, the convenience of wrist communication might not be worth the hefty price tag. Since the watch is linked to your iPhone, you have the choice to start texts or emails on the watch and finish them on your phone. These communication features give the Apple Watch its edge, but they can all still be done using the iPhone. The “fancier” and more exclusive communication offerings of the watch include being able to send your heartbeat and tap patterns made with your finger to other watch users, which they will feel on his/her own watch.
As with most Apple products, the brand loyalty of their customers is what will drive its success. There is almost no doubt that it will be a successful item, as all Apple products are, but with the integration of fashion design with technology, it has the potential to reach a much wider audience. Just as the iPhone 6 has come a long way since the very first iPhone, it may take Apple a few more engineering and design modifications until they release a product everyone will want on their wrist.
Article written by Mila Medonaite for Design Engine, February 23, 2015