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Why I won’t be buying an Apple Watch

The world may be drooling over the latest object of desire to come out of Cupertino but some Apple fans aren’t all that excited.

, ET Bureau|
Updated: Mar 10, 2015, 04.52 PM IST
0Comments
The Apple Watch has come at a bad time. I stopped wearing watches about two years ago, when I realised that mobile phones were good enough to tell the time. What else did one need a watch for, unless it was a Rolex or an Omega?

And now, along comes the much-anticipated Apple Watch. There’s no doubt that the device, like all Apple products, will be of excellent quality, design and engineering and will do more than tell time. But looking only at the cost and utility, it really doesn’t add much value.

For one thing, the device does little on its own. It needs to be paired with an iPhone 5 or later model running iOS 8.2, the latest operating system, for all functions to work.

Secondly, it’s expensive. The Apple Watch starts at $349 (about Rs 22,000) in the US. If you don’t have an iPhone 5, add that cost too.

Thirdly, there’s no need for it. Almost everything an Apple Watch can do, your smartphone already can – tell time, run apps, display photos, play music and track fitness. And if your phone can’t, you can be sure there will soon be an app for it.

Then there’s the battery – it lasts up to 18 hours, so you have to charge it every day. Weren’t watches supposed to be devices that would keep running on their own (remember automatic watches?) or needed a battery change just once a year or so? It could take a while to get used to the idea of unstrapping your Apple Watch to charge it overnight.

The Apple Watch boasts of precise time – within 50 milliseconds of global standard time in conjunction with an iPhone. But really, one doesn’t need such accurate time.

Apple says its watch keeps track of your fitness and provides stats of your workouts. Any wearable fitness device can do the same -- monitor how much you walk or run, how many calories you burn and how well you sleep. Besides, it costs a whole lot less and needs to be charged once in five days. Most activity trackers these days offer a similar range of features, including a clock.

Sure the Apple Watch has plus points – you can customise the face and get alerts about incoming calls, messages and e-mails (handy when you need to be discreet). You can answer calls made to your iPhone. The watch also features a heart-rate sensor and has Apple’s Retina display.

Even so, it would probably make more sense to invest in a good smartphone. An iPhone 5, which is the earliest model that’s compatible with the Apple Watch, would cost just about the same and probably do as much. Except that it won’t be on your wrist.
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