Apple Watch: My In-Store Demo - InformationWeek

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4/25/2015
11:05 AM
Kelly Sheridan
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Apple Watch: My In-Store Demo

The first shipment of Apple Watches reached eager owners on April 24. We stopped at an Apple Store in New York City to test one out.
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It's official: The Apple Watch has made its public debut. Starting today, you'll be seeing its early customers talking to their wrists, sending heartbeats, tapping Watches at checkout, or jogging in style. You'll also see them on display in stores like the one in New York's Grand Central Terminal, where we went to get a sneak peek of the wearable.

The Watch is largely supported by the iPhone, which is required to achieve the full extent of the smartwatch's functionality. Like iPhone, it will support a range of third-party apps designed to boost everyday convenience for consumers and businesses alike.

Reviews for the Apple Watch have been mixed so far. While testers seem to agree that it's the best smartwatch on the market in terms of design and construction, there are quite a few flaws in the first iteration that Apple will hopefully address in future updates. Reviewers speak to buggy apps and less-than-desirable battery life.

[BetterWorks CEO: Treat Feedback Like A Fitbit]

Apple started accepting preorders for the wearable on April 10, and demand was great enough to push back shipping times to July. Analysts estimate that almost one million people have placed orders for the pricey smartwatch.

If you decide that a Watch is on your shopping list -- and you're prepared to wait -- you'll have to hop online. Angela Ahrendts, Apple's retail chief, stated that the company will be exclusively selling Apple Watch online through June. 

While it won't be available for sale in Apple Stores, the smartwatch can be found in boutiques located in major cities around the globe. Paris, London, Tokyo, Berlin, and Los Angeles are among the lucky few; sadly, New York was not.

In typical Apple fashion, the Watch doesn't come cheap. The least expensive version, Watch Sport, costs $349 for a 38mm face and $399 for 42mm. Most people who preordered Apple Watch opted for the Sport; the rest selected Apple Watch, which starts at $549 and runs up to $1,099 for certain models.

After testing it, I can safely say that Apple Watch has a lot of potential. Sure, version 1.0 has room for improvement, but overall I found it to be a comfortable, sleek, and useful device. Click through to "Watch" what happened during my first hands-on experience with Apple's wearable.

Kelly Sheridan is the Staff Editor at Dark Reading, where she focuses on cybersecurity news and analysis. She is a business technology journalist who previously reported for InformationWeek, where she covered Microsoft, and Insurance & Technology, where she covered financial ... View Full Bio

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Joe Stanganelli
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Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Author
5/19/2015 | 6:01:23 PM
Re: "Style is the word
I would tend to think that a later generation of the Apple Watch will work independently of an iPhone.

Of course, I would have tended to think that of the first incarnation......
Joe Stanganelli
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Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Author
5/19/2015 | 5:57:37 PM
Re: Delayed Differentiationt
@Angelfuego: I'm with you.  The only reason I have a newer model phone is because I dropped my iPhone 3GS three stories.  If not for that, I'd probably still be using it.
Kelly22
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Kelly22,
User Rank: Strategist
5/5/2015 | 5:13:00 PM
Re: Delayed Differentiation
Probably not. At least, not now (and not just because my aging iPhone 4 wouldn't be compatible). I think it's impressive and has a lot of potential, but so far Apple hasn't demonstrated a purpose for Watch that isn't already on my iPhone. It's focusing a lot on fitness, but Apple Watch doesn't do anything my Garmin doesn't already do. I'd also like to see a model that doesn't require a nearby iPhone at all times; that might be a game-changer.
Li Tan
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Li Tan,
User Rank: Ninja
5/2/2015 | 12:32:17 AM
Re: "Style is the word
In addition to style, I think Apple is trying to define a new product generation/family - wearables. Remember few years ago when iPhone appears, it's defined as "iPod that can make phone call". Now iPhone is the dominating Apple product while iPod is in decreasing trend. Will the similar thing happen for iWatch and iPhone? It may not happpen so since iWatch cannot fully function without iPhone.
Angelfuego
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Angelfuego,
User Rank: Ninja
5/1/2015 | 5:30:47 AM
Re: Delayed Differentiationt
@ Joe, Yes, I know there isn't any word of a "3S" coming out. It is a hypothetical example, because I pretty certain their will be more generations of this watch to roll out in the future. My point was that I hold off to wait. I am not the type of consumer that buys the first generation of anything, nor do I need to buy every "it" item or every generation of a model. I only ever purchased the iPad2, iTouch 5, and the iPhone 4. So although I am not interested in the Apple watch now, I don't rule out that I will never purchase the watch. One thing is for sure, I won't be purchasing the 1at edition of this watch but perhaps the 3rd, 5th or 6th. Only time will tell. One thing is for sure, I will hold off and wait. Chances are Apple watches down the line will be more appealing than the first, for many different reasons.
Joe Stanganelli
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Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Author
4/30/2015 | 11:53:17 PM
Re: Delayed Differentiation
That reminds me... I have an attorney friend who pre-ordered one.  I should ask her what she thinks of it.
Joe Stanganelli
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Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Author
4/30/2015 | 11:52:36 PM
Re: Delayed Differentiation
To be clear, that "3S" reference was a joke about Apple's product-naming schemes.  ;)
Angelfuego
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Angelfuego,
User Rank: Ninja
4/30/2015 | 7:08:22 PM
Re: Delayed Differentiation
@Thomas, I actually saw a guy wearing an Apple Watch today! I wanted to ask him questions about it, but I didn't. To answer your question, I would say I currently do not have the desire to use an Apple watch. Ask me in a year, and we will see if I still feel the same way. Only time will tell.
Angelfuego
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Angelfuego,
User Rank: Ninja
4/30/2015 | 7:05:04 PM
Re: Delayed Differentiation
@Joe, Plus, I bet the 3S will have better features than the one that just came out. I am one to hold out and not get the 1st edition of tech devices. I feel like it's worth the wait.
Joe Stanganelli
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Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Author
4/29/2015 | 11:39:43 PM
Re: Comfort/wearability
@Sachin: Apple has never been a company for customization.  It's always been sit down, shut up, and trust us that this is the best design (as one might expect from a company founded by Steve Jobs).

Maybe that's a good thing in many cases, but it does alienate some potential customers, to be sure.
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