I Want an Apple Watch, but Not for $10K!

You can get a Fitbit to monitor your health activity and get notifcations from your phone. You can get a Pebble to do many of the same things. Both are reasonably priced. Or you can get an Apple Watch in one of three models that blow every other current smart watch/fitness wrist thing right out of the dang water! One of which, an 18kt-gold version is going to retail for at least $10,000 dollars. What!?

Apple, seemingly so obliterated any other smart watch on the market today with their official announcement that when I thought of crafting this post about a comparison of the current smart watch/wrist things, I became somewhat depressed. First Apple develops a world-shattering smartphone and tablet, and now a watch so well-designed, aesthetically interesting, and richly appointed with app integration, you can't help but feel like anything else on your wrist is going to seem like three-day old leftovers. Hey, Apple, thanks...I do have other normal watches you know!

Just as a time piece, Tim Cook claims that the watch will remain accurate to within 50 ms of Universal Time Clock (UTC), the time clock standard in Grenwich England; presumably through some kind of wireless updates to an exceedingly well-synchronized time service. Fitness aspects and tracking will amount to having a virtual coach on your wrist. It is an impressive gadget and watching the Apple March announcement, I couldn't help worrying about the future of any other cool wrist-hugging tech out there trying to get off the ground. However, that was until Tim Cook came to his final point...price.

The rub is that all this new Apple wrist-wrapped coolness will cost $349–$399, $549$1049, or $10,000-plus smackers (depending on the model) for a watch that offers 18 hours of battery life and requires a special magnetic charger. OK, maybe $349 is not THAT unreasonable, and admittedly most of us lower-end Apple nuts are likely going for that option. Good watches cost a lot of money. Cheap watches are cheap. Cheap tech that doesn't integrate with Siri, and allow you to swipe into your hotel room or pay for a Coke by proximity is also expected to be, well, cheap—but $1049? C'mon, Apple! It's a dang watch!

The Apple Watch impressed, no doubt: Use Passport to scan through airport security, and use Siri to dictate and respond to messages, or even an app to open your garage door—a pretty high wow-factor indeed. On display at today's event was an impressive amount of app integration neatly packaged into the usual Apple-esque understated coolness. Each of the three watch models has been specially processed and manufactured to Apple's exacting specification: Things like anodizing, and cold-forging of materials to make the bezel harder and less prone to being scratched, for example.

The Pebble does maybe 50 percent of what the Apple Watch does, admittedly (and the new Kickstart campaign underway for the Time Steel series looks promising), and works with multiple platforms, but its flagship models come in plastic or steel (not 18kt gold). The Fitbit is also a great wearable (with a range of models) for someone similarly not wanting to spend a load of dough for a fitness-oriented wearable. Both offer models that do some of the functions of the new Apple watch, like control music on your phone, see messages, and fitness tracking. Both will have a much lower need for charging as well to consider. Both are also not likely to include a model that will cost $10K, ever.

There was little room for doubt that the Apple Watch would be what Apple users crave as the ultimate wearable. I'm not saying a market is not left for other wearables. I still wouldn't want to wear my $349–$10,000 dollar Apple Watch to potentially get smashed at the gym, for example. In summary, though I will not be first in line for one, the Apple Watch entry model may be on my wish/gift list this year. Who knows, maybe I'll win one! Either way I will be inclined to wait. The next model may entirely replace the iPhone or have holographic projection or something! The price may have come down on this year's model by then too.

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Nate Adcock's picture

Author Details

Nate Adcock

Nate Adcock is a system and integration engineer with experience managing and administering a variety of computing environments. He has worked extensively with mobile gadgets of all shapes and sizes for many years. He is also a former military weather forecaster. Nate is a regular contributor for the iphonelife.com and smartphonemag.com blogs and helps manage both websites. Read more from Nate at natestera.tumblr.com or e-mail him at nate@iphonelife.com.