As is typical with products from this particular company, we’ve been subjected to hype for months – now the Apple Watch is finally starting to make its way to customers. Pre-order customers, that is; supply on the high streets might be more constrained as Apple rushes to manufacture more units.
Ahead of shipping earlier this week, FBR Capital Markets advised investors that Apple Watch could be a real money maker: “We are raising our Apple Watch shipment estimates for 2015 from 17 million units to 20 million units, as we estimate sales of over two million units during the pre-sales phase alone, and believe watch revenues could contribute as much as 8% of [Apple’s] total revenue in 2017.”
But is it any good?
The most common concern among early reviews is that the Apple Watch isn’t an entirely standalone product as yet; it requires an iPhone to run apps as it lacks the processing power to do so individually. Third-party developers will soon be able to create native apps, but they will still need to be downloaded onto an iPhone before they can be displayed on the wrist. Apple Watch also suffers from limited battery life, barely making it through one day (a frequent Apple bugbear). And software performance errs on the side of the un-sophisticated, for now at least.
This is a first generation product, it is important to remember. Just as the iPhone and iPad have evolved with each year, so too can we expect great things from the Apple Watch. And while functionality is something which can be refined over time, there’s no denying the sleek appeal of Apple Watch’s design – something which has always played in Apple’s favour.
“The world of wearables is a market full of middling products,” CNET senior editor Scott Stein told the BBC. “The Apple Watch debuts as the most polished, high-design smartwatch yet, with an extremely ambitious feature set. But what it does, in many ways, isn’t far off from what other smartwatch platforms like Google’s one-year-old Android Wear or Samsung’s Gear watches have aimed to do. However, an already vast army of app developers ready to create for it could end up being the difference -maker.”