My stance on smartwatches has been clear for a while: There’s no way I’m touching one for at least another couple of years, if then. All the same, I have to give a tip of the cap to Apple for actually making a smartwatch that lots of people are getting excited about, which is something that I had thought completely impossible.
MORE APPLE WATCH: Yes, the Apple Watch is already sold out
Apple has already sold out of all versions of the Apple Watch and if you preorder one right now you’ll have to wait for months at least before Apple ships it to you. Even though Apple has been discouraging people from standing in line at its stores this morning, queues have nonetheless been spotted at several flagship stores… and those are just filled with people who want to try on the watch, not buy it. And of course, celebrities such as Drake and Katy Perry have all been posting their photos of the new device.
At this point, Apple haters will raise three objections. The first one is an allegation that Apple intentionally produced too few Apple Watches just so it could boast of selling out quickly and thus generate more hype for the product. Even if this is true, we’re still talking about selling out of a smartwatch. Let me repeat: A smartwatch. Samsung could have produced a total of 25 first-generation Galaxy Gears and it still wouldn’t have sold out of them in under six hours.
The second point is the idea that the only reason people are buying the device is because Apple’s magical marketing machine tricked them into doing so. Of course, Samsung spent a considerable sum marketing the Galaxy Gear and that didn’t exactly help either. Anyone remember this ad?
The third objection is the one I actually find most compelling: Namely, that Apple fans are only buying this device because Apple is making it. There is undoubtedly a lot of truth to this: If Samsung or LG released a watch that looked exactly like the Apple Watch with the same tech specifications, almost no one would buy it. But because the device has been designed as an add-on to the Apple ecosystem, Apple users are willing to give it a look.
And the real key here will be how much Apple fans use the device after they buy it. If they wear it on their wrists for a couple of weeks before getting bored with it and stashing it in their desk drawer, then Apple has a serious problem. If they really use it as Apple hopes they do, though, then we’ll start to see app developers get more creative and come up with uses for the Apple Watch that no one at Apple had ever thought of.
All the same, just getting the device onto users’ wrists is the most important first step and Apple seems to have succeeded at that to an extent that I didn’t expect. Anyone who’s hoping wearable computers become the “Next Big Thing” should be happy about this even if they aren’t Apple diehards.