If you are into technology, it’s always a pleasure to get a chance to run new high tech products and service in the office or even at home. We heard the announcement for the new Apple Watch earlier this year and saw it come out a few years ago. In Tokyo, we don’t have too many people wearing the watch yet, but it could be a slow start similar to what the iPod experienced as people got to know the product. Or in this case, as people figure out whether or not they need the device.
We picked up the Apple watch here in Tokyo on Friday night, and have reboxed the unit on the following Tuesday at lunch time. As AINEO is a high tech company famous for engineering, software development, and building cloud services in Japan, we’ve had many requests for our thoughts on products in market.
Our conclusion, the Apple watch is an imperfect and incomplete product introduced before it was truly ready. Unless you want an expensive watch that will be nearly worthless in two years with your extra money to burn, we recommend against buying the Apple watch. Why is that? We’ll get to that more shortly. However, from a pricing perspective, an aluminum watch with a rubber band is 52,700, a stainless steel version of the same thing is 77,000 yen, and the gold version of the same thing is about 2m Japanese yen.
Now here are the reasons why we recommend you wait on the Apple watch-
- The battery life is about one day. You will need to carry another proprietary USB cable to charge the device
- Apple Watch’s OS froze up and only told the time. The system had to be completely restarted.
- You can no longer just glance at the time when you are in a meeting as your watch face is usually blank
- Although we thought it would be a big sales point, the speaker phone was only good for outbound calls as it was very slow to connect with picking inbound calls to the iPhone.
- The product is incredibly overpriced.
If you compare the Apple Watch to an Android based watch you are in two different fields. AINEO highly recommends against using an Android device. There are so many versions and so many hardware options, the OS is virtually in securable. A security specialist from British Telecom recently commented, “Android is so insecure, it should be banned”. Therefore, there is no real comparison with Android and Apple’s iOS based devices. However, we did find the new start up company Pebble to have a very attractive offering for a smartwatch. The Pebble watch works with both iOS and Android Smartphones. You can read more about that here.
In conclusion, we found the Apple watch to be a bit of a pain without an always on display. It was not very responsive for picking inbound calls. Also, the battery basically lasts one day. Not exactly something convenient when you are traveling. It’s a beautifully designed product and will definitely develop into something better. However, if you ask these IT managers what we recommend. We’d say buy a Pebble watch. It’s more responsive, has an always on display (to always show the time), and the Pebble battery can last up to 7 days (we normally see about 5 days with regular business activities). If you are really serious about watches, just buy a Rolex. It is one of the few brands that actually is worth hundreds of thousands of yen 10 or 15 years after purchase. As the Apple watch is a device, we would anticipate it having nearly zero value in around 24 months.