Apple Watch and iPhone are different products but there are similarities that can be favorably compared, even though Watch remains mostly an iPhone accessory. The original iPhone, circa 2007, was a wonderful device roundly criticized by the tech industry and then-smartphone users as under powered, slow, expensive, missing the all-important hardware keyboard, and stuck in the slow lane of 2G internet access. And it took a couple of years for decent, non-Apple apps to hit the platform.
Fast forward to 2015 when Apple released the original version of Watch (Watch Series 0?). Like the iPhone before it, Watch was a wonderful device roundly criticized by the tech industry as under powered, slow, expensive, missing the all-important GPS functionality, and stuck in the slow lane always tethered to the iPhone. And, it took more than a year for Apple to upgrade watchOS to a workable, usable level, and for app developers to figure out how to create useful applications.
The similarities between Watch and iPhone are striking.
Back in 2007 few realized what would happen to the new iPhone over the next few years, assuming that Apple would fail, drop the product, and slink back to Cupertino as Apple Computer, Inc. Few realized what Apple had done and would do. Google’s Android engineers, which had worked for years to create a Palm-like, BlackBerry-esque smartphone, recognized iPhone’s advantage immediately and devoted tremendous resources to copy Apple’s iconic design and carve out a new niche in the industry, which itself had collectively laughed at the original iPhone, somehow being in the technology industry and not realizing that technology changes and improves and that Apple’s newly minted device would grow, mature, improve, and take the path of thinner, lighter, faster, more powerful, and with the iTunes App Store and the iOS platform, grow the customer base.
See the similarities with Apple Watch?
I’m not saying that Watch will ever outsell the iPhone, but back in 2007 who would have thought or predicted that iPhone would destroy major smartphone players like Microsoft, Motorola, HTC, BlackBerry, and Nokia. It did.
Watch is not iPhone. But Watch is a product with many similarities, a device with tremendous potential, and a few restrictions in the technology. First, it’s still tethered to the iPhone as a fashionable, useful, functional accessory. For now. Watch already has a rapidly growing applications base. The latest model is water resistant, comes with GPS, and with watchOS 3.x, a much improved interface.
For those tech critics who derided Apple’s smartwatch effort I ask them to, 1) pay attention to what Apple did with iPhone, 2) view the future through the eyes of change, 3) stop criticizing and predicting how an Apple product will do in the marketplace because you’re not very good at it.
Watch has improved faster than the iPhone did in the first few years. I skipped the first iPhone version knowing that the next few years would bring about massive improvements. It did. Just as Watch was widely panned in its first year, nearly 10 years after the original iPhone debuted, critics panned iPhone 7 even before it was announced and launched.
The more things change, the more thing stay the same.
iPhone 7 is a big hit, and a massive improvement over iPhone 6s. Watch Series 2 and Series 1 are steady improvements over Watch Series 0, and likewise, watchOS 3.x may be the version that tells John Q Public that smartphones have arrived.
Yet, critics pounced and called Watch a failure all the while ignoring the past and the future. Failure? In merely 18-months of sales in 2015 Apple became the second largest watch maker on planet earth, falling slightly behind industry giant Rolex. What does that say about Apple’s initial foray into a mature industry.
Watch is far more like iPhone than critics have considered. iPhone 7 is the 10th iteration of the device. Watch Series 2 is the second iteration. What will Watch look like at version 10?