In less than 24 hours. Apple is expected to unveil a wearable device at their annual company event, alongside the hotly anticipated iPhone 6.
Reports say it’s unlikely the device will be named the ‘iWatch,’ but with so many different reports on what exactly the iWatch will be, it’s hard to know if it will have enough functionality to replace the iPhone, let's discuss what we do know about the iWatch:
Reports say it will be more of a fitness tracking, heart rate sensing, notification delivering smartwatch and activity tracker combo, rather than having the full capabilities of an iPhone on a wrist watch, useable with features like HomeKit and Health/HealthKit as Apple takes a dig at getting into the health tracker space along side Nike Fuelband and Fitbit.
But the iPhone already has thousands of health tracking apps that use the iPhone’s camera and accelerometer to measure heartbeat, activity and even weight. Unless the iWatch can measure stats of a more in-depth nature like food consumption, hydration or blood work it won’t be an iPhone killer.
It’ll be able to do a lot wirelessly, including pay for things
Other early reports indicate that it could feature NFC and figure prominently in Apple’s mobile payment plans.
NFC is a type of short-range, wireless communication that can let a device do a whole host of things. And, most importantly, it’s able to communicate fairly securely because of how short its communication range is.
There’s also news that Apple have teamed up with Mastercard to bring you mobile payments online and instore, so a swipe of the wrist could mean settling the tap in the future.
Google Wallet, Square and Stripe all currently work on iPhone but none currently via NFC so In the case of payments the iWatch with it’s swipe to pay action would win this round.
It will be a good looking fashion accessory
Reuters is reporting Apple has invited fashion insiders to the event Tuesday which suggests the device will be a good looking slick smartwatch more like the Samsung Gear S than just a health tracker.
Another feature that might woo the fashion world is that It’s going to be covered in sapphire crystal. Apple just opened a big manufacturing plant in Arizona specifically for the purpose of manufacturing this. The screen won’t look any different because of it, but it should be more scratch resistant than most glass if it’s a wearable that’s being used every day.
The sleek design of the iPhone has become a fashion accessory of Gen-Y, many of whom prefer to use it without a cover to show off the design, if the iWatch is anything like the IPhone in terms of design it will be a huge hit, strapped to the wrists of fashionistas worldwide.
It’ll be an extension of your iPhone
Although the iWatch will most likely run iOS and apps, it will have to be paired with your iPhone to make calls and send messages. But one advantage to this is keeping the price plan down and also mean you won’t have to buy a separate data plan for the watch.
In this case it definitely won’t replace the iPhone because you’ll have to use the iPhone with the watch to send messages and texts via the smart watch defeating the point of solely using a smart watch to communicate.
The iWatch Shape
Will it be have a circular face or a square one? Speculation is rife that the iWach will be square with slightly rounded edges to mimic the shape of an iPhone.
Multiple Price Options
According to Re/Code the iWatch will have multiple price points around $400 which is an indicator that it will definitely work alongside your smartphone instead of be a standalone product.
At a price point similar to a new iPhone it’s unlikely customers who already have an iPhone will also buy an iWatch.
It’ll come in two sizes
Apple’s apparently ready to give buyers some amount of choice there. According to The Verge, it’s been reported that the two sizes options could be anywhere from as small as 1.3-inches (which would be a touch smaller than the average Android Wear smartwatch) to as large as 2.5-inches (which would be larger than even Samsung’s Gear S). A number of reports have honed in on a 1.5-inchdisplayoption, though, and that sounds like a fairly reasonable bet.
Even though we’ve discussed above the iWatch is unlikely to have full iPhone capabilities, lets hypothetically wonder it had full iPhone functionality- do you think it would replace your iPhone?
iWatch limited on picture/video capabilities.
Most of my friends are early adopters and no one I know wears a smartwatch, reports say that the Samsung Gear S only sold 50,000 units labeling it a ‘disaster’.
And there’s a reason smart watches haven’t taken off because mobile phones have changed the fundamentals of our behavior when it comes to wearing technology;
The shackles or wearing time on our wrists have been replaced by smartphones which brought us photo and video recording capabilities which in turn have become the center of our web browsing and uploading antics.
Facebook’s 1.15 billion users uploads an estimated 350 million new photos each day and at the moment no smartwatch has picture taking abilities that match the iPhone.
A smart watch cannot take outwardly facing photos because it is strapped to our wrist so already smart watches are at a disadvantage to the one thing we use our smart phone mostly for.
Health Trackers already built into iPhone
And the only benefit to a watch is that vital health stats can be measured like heart rate and activity trackers, but now app developers have already built these capabilities into the iPhone. Take the Instant Heart Rate app for example, it uses the iPhone camera to measure your heart rate and many other fitness apps use the accelerometer to measure activity.
Even if Apple unveil a smart watch tomorrow I’m unconvinced it will make a dent in the smartphone market as capabilities in our smartphones continue to grow and outweigh the capabilities that could ever be built in a smart watch.
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