Apple Watch: 11 Sweet Gadgets To Buy Instead - InformationWeek

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2/9/2015
12:06 PM
Thomas Claburn
Thomas Claburn
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Apple Watch: 11 Sweet Gadgets To Buy Instead

The Apple Watch is coming soon. Lovely though it may be, there are other nifty devices to consider instead.
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(Image source: Apple)

(Image source: Apple)

When Apple Watch arrives in April, it will not be a flop. It won't be as big a hit as the iPhone, but many people will buy one. I won't be among them, but I wish Apple well as it wades into the wearables market.

In November, Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty predicted Apple will sell 30 million of its watches in 2015, an estimate based on the assumption that about 10% of iPhone users will buy one. With the Apple Watch starting at $350, that's potentially more than $10 billion in revenue.

It would be unwise to bet against Apple, a company now at the height of its power, one that has proven naysayers wrong again and again. But I don't see the Apple Watch as an object of desire. It does nothing for me.

First off, I don't wear a watch and don't plan to start. I'm staring at my computer screen most of the day and can read the time in the menu bar just fine. And when not in front of a computer, I can determine the time using my iPhone 6, or the Google Nexus tablet I use as an e-reader. For time-telling and other functions, the Apple Watch is largely redundant.

[ If you do covet a smartwatch, you'll have plenty of options. Read Swatch, Pebble Girding For Apple Watch Fight. ]

More significantly, none of the Apple Watch's applications look compelling. I don't care to share squiggly drawings with people. I don't want yet another channel to receive text messages, email messages, or notifications. And I'm not interested in health data – tracking my activity will not have a meaningful impact on my quality of life.

Also, I have no interest in taking on the burden of charging the device after a few hours of use. By most accounts I've read, battery life will be an issue for Apple Watch wearers.

What's more, the Apple Watch is not inexpensive for a device without a compelling purpose. I've never seen the point in over-spending for the sake of a luxury label, absent some quality or functional differentiation. Then again, compared to a five-figure Rolex, a few hundred dollars represents a bargain. If Apple can convince people to pay many times more than the $350 base price for special editions of its timepiece, it deserves all the revenue it can collect. The notion of a gold-plated iMac sounds absurd to function-oriented tech customers, but watches attract jewelry buyers who accept huge markups.

Ultimately, if the Apple Watch turns out to be life-changing, version 2.0 will be even better. I can wait.

There are, however, a few gadgets I'm keeping an eye on. They may not be as meticulously designed or engineered as the Apple Watch, but I think they're pretty cool. Check them all out on the following pages, and then tell me what you think of my choices in the comments section below.

Thomas Claburn has been writing about business and technology since 1996, for publications such as New Architect, PC Computing, InformationWeek, Salon, Wired, and Ziff Davis Smart Business. Before that, he worked in film and television, having earned a not particularly useful ... View Full Bio

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Kelly22
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Kelly22,
User Rank: Strategist
2/12/2015 | 5:09:27 PM
Re: WAKAWAKA
I'd also buy the WakaWaka power device over Apple Watch in a heartbeat. It's a cool and handy product, and you can use it to help people in need. Still not convinced the Apple Watch will be worth it, but who knows, maybe they'll surprise me.
Ariella
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Ariella,
User Rank: Author
2/10/2015 | 11:26:09 AM
Re: gadgets
@Li you really want a watch to take the place of a phone altogether? I'd think it would be rather difficult to type texts into a watch or to watch videos on such a small screen.
Ariella
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Ariella,
User Rank: Author
2/9/2015 | 6:27:11 PM
Re: gadgets
@Brian that is quite impressive, an economical cost and use of battery.
Ariella
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Ariella,
User Rank: Author
2/9/2015 | 4:39:21 PM
Re: gadgets
@Brian I used to write web content for a company that sold surveying equipment. There were some pretty high tech systems that worked with GPS but didn't require drones. However, I think that drones have been used to survey heavily wooded areas.  
Ariella
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Ariella,
User Rank: Author
2/9/2015 | 2:37:22 PM
gadgets
I like the swarming drone, though it looks more like a toy than anything that has practical use.
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