Apple Watch: First Impressions and Pictures
Apple Watch went on sale Friday morning at midnight Pacific Time. I’ve written previously about Apple Watch at length previously here.
To say its launch was popular would be an understatement: it sold out in 6 hours. I’m hearing ship dates now of June and August. The gold Apple Watch Edition: August.
Early rumored reports: 1 million pre-ordered this weekend in the US alone.
I logged in before midnight and hit the refresh button on 4 browsers across 2 computers but my Apple Store app on my iPhone got me in sooner. It took about 3 minutes to order via Apple Pay after I entered my billing/shipping address I placed my order at 11 minutes after the hour. Shipping lead time: 4-6 weeks.
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APPLE’S NEW ECOSYSTEM: THE IMPLICATIONS OF APPLE PAY
Today, October 20, Apple launched Apple Pay with the release of their iPhone iOS 8.1 version of the device operating system. This new payment system is scheduled to go live with 220,000 merchants today for users with iPhone 6 or 6 Plus. I wrote about these new devices here. When the Apple Watch is released in 2015, which I wrote about here, it will support Apple Pay as well. See the list of merchants at the end of this article. *
While the iPhone and Apple Watches are innovative, I believe the real excitement is in the new ecosystems Apple is creating. Ecosystems are built around devices with software and services. This is one way for customers to enjoy using a number of Apple devices in a more easily integrated environment, encouraging them to buy more Apple products and upgrade to new devices when they come along.
Who is starting with Apple Pay?
The first was the Apple Store itself, where Apple employees were recently trained to help customers use it. The first app I updated after upgrading to iOS 8.1 was the Apple Store app. Soon followed like Panera, OpenTable and Uber. Others are jumping onboard quickly, including McDonald’s. The big questions that consumers will have is: what about security and privacy?
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APPLE WATCH: A NEW CATEGORY FOR APPLE
On initial impression, some might say this seems like less of a watch and more an iPhone nano. While the iPhone 6 is an evolutionary change and larger than before, as I discussed in my last article here, the Apple Watch is a new product category for Apple with new ecosystems to go with it. I talk about the ecosystems here.
This is the dawn of a new platform for Apple, and though it’s clearly a “1.0” product shipping in early 2015, they got a lot right their first time out. Especially in functionality, this has more raw compute power and storage than any “wearable” I’ve seen. The software and controls are astounding. At two different sizes, 35mm and 44mm, there is a tension between too small that you can’t use the face, and too large to fit on the wrist. The Taptic Engine is another feedback and output system: you feel different kinds of vibrations for notifications, left and right directions, etc. Apple provides the buyer a choice. Indeed, lots of choices: two different sizes, three different case materials or “collections” each in two different finishes, and a spectrum of different straps. Think of the permutations! Apple will create product segmentation and customization from the beginning.
Horologically, Apple is returning to a market it previously unintentionally de-popularized: the wristwatch. Wristwatches had replaced the older pocket watches especially during the late 19th century for military applications, but the popularity of the Apple iPhone meant people were checking the time from the device in their pocket.
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