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Is the Apple Watch a waste of money?



Next week is the big Apple Watch launch event. The watch, as you now know, is Apple’s biggest product launch since the iPad. It’s projected to sell between 30-40 million units in its first year and that may be a “conservative estimate,” according to some analysts.

It’s a very, very big deal in the tech industry. Like most, I haven’t seen it or tested it. But I’ve watched the videos, gazed at the photos and read close to a million words about it. And I’m not going to buy one. Not only that, but I don’t think as many as projected will either. Sure, it’s cool. It’s fun. It’s Apple. But sorry, it just isn’t worth the money. Why? Here are four reasons.

The Apple Watch doesn’t replace anything. I want less gadgets, not more. But after shelling out between $200 and $400 for the Apple Watch I would still be stuck with all of my current Apple hardware. I will continue to need my iPhone to make phone calls, listen to music and conduct messaging on a screen big enough that won’t cause future blindness.

I will need my iPad to read, watch TV shows and movies, FaceTime with my kids and browse the web. I will still need something to take good photos and videos and get driving directions and tweet and Instagram and Snapchat and do every other ridiculous thing I find myself doing on these devices during my ridiculous day. I can’t do many of these things on the Apple Watch. And, at least for now, I can’t do any of them better than on my iPhone or iPad.

Not only that, but I will still need my MacBook to write and do work. None of these devices go away. And by the way…they all have clocks on them.

Now we’ve just got another blinking device to make our lives more complex. Another device to constantly keep charged and worry that it will run out of power in a day. Another device to constantly keep updated, synched and replaced every year when the next fantastic version comes out because you know that Apple’s crack marketing team will make us feel like complete, out-of-touch losers unless we get the latest and greatest Apple Watch. It’s just another headache in my life, and I’ve already got three kids and two pets.

The Apple Watch won’t make me more productive. Smartphones and tablets existed before the iPhone and iPad but those devices and the App Store literally changed millions of lives. They introduced a generation of productivity applications that have enabled us to communicate with others, find things, go places, buy stuff and give and get information faster than ever before and fast means productivity.

The Apple Watch, at least for now, does very little of this – or at least nothing different than my iPhone or iPad except being smaller and harder to read. In the end, it’s just telling us the time.

The Apple Watch won’t make me healthier. Can we all admit that today’s fitness gadgets, from the FitBit to the FuelBand have really cool brands but are nothing more than goofy fads?

Just because there are fitness apps for the Apple Watch doesn’t mean I’ll suddenly be living longer and healthier. So what if you know your sleep patterns from the night before? Like you can change that? And what exactly are you doing with your hourly heartbeat or daily calorie intake data? Are you running faster or eating differently? You need an app to tell you this?   You need an app to vibrate if you’ve been sitting too long?  Really?

You really needed to spend $150 on a glorified wrist band, or even more on an Apple Watch to tell you all of this?

The people that will buy the Apple Watch when it’s released next month are doing so because a) they’re bored, b) they want to be cool and c) they’ve got $350 lying around and would rather give it to Apple.

But version 1.0 of the Apple Watch is a waste of money. That doesn’t mean that someday it won’t trigger a whole new generation of similar products that actually will make people’s lives less complex, more productive and healthier. And I hope it does. And when it does, that’s when I’ll buy it.

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