AMITIAE - Monday 2 May 2016
Cassandra: Apple Watch for Android - A Discussion
By Graham K. Rogers
Apple does not reveal the actual sales of the Apple Watch, which has Wall Street in a tizzy. With some, like the Daily Mail (I cannot link to this in Thailand) calling it a flop, while others have a variety of opinions:
Note that neither the Daily Mail nor Henry Blodget's Business Insider are particularly pro-Apple. Blodget's tirades against Apple when he is a guest on TV are as entertaining as they are frustrating. AppleInsider usually tends to be pro-Cupertino. Note also that AppleInsider and Eugene Kim (Business Insider) use the same IDC data but come up with different conclusions.
Unlike the iPhone and other iOS devices, the Apple Watch does not have an overt presence in the streets. By its nature, a watch is a discreet device, sometimes hidden by a well-cut cuff. Nonetheless, I see few of my own students with an Apple Watch, while plenty these days have iOS devices and Macs: much changed from years before.
The perception still is that either not enough Watches have been sold; or that the Apple Watch has not reached its full potential. The net effect is the same.
Apple Watch or Apple Watch Sport - Only one at a Time
Currently, the Apple Watch needs a user to have an iPhone. Indeed, until a short time ago (from iOS 9.3) a user with two watches needed two iPhones. I argued when pushing for this change that some users might have one device for the gym and another for business or evening wear.
This need (then) for a second iPhone was inconvenient, particularly when accessing certain apps on the Watch. Allowing more than one Apple Watch to be paired with a single iPhone was a sensible change.
However, if I want to buy a Watch for a friend or family member I can not unless the friend had an iPhone. Recent information from the Q2 2016 financial reports, suggest that sales of the Watch are considered by Apple to be seasonal: gifts.
Many of those I know here might actually desire an iPhone, but budgetary constraints mean they often buy an Android device. Of course they justify this in any number of ways. Their eyes do not lie though.
Apple already has a number of ways to help Android users including an app to assist when switching to an iPhone and the opening up of Apple Music - a service that currently has some 13m users - with an Apple Music Android app is a sensible step.
Such a move may attract some users first to the Apple Watch and later - as the Apple Music app is intended to do - to the Apple and Mac platforms. The iPhone SE has Apple moving down the price, if not the quality. An Android-capable Apple Watch could increase popularity of the device to a new generation of users.
Graham K. Rogers teaches at the Faculty of Engineering, Mahidol University in Thailand. He wrote in the Bangkok Post, Database supplement on IT subjects. For the last seven years of Database he wrote a column on Apple and Macs. He is now continuing that in the Bangkok Post supplement, Life.
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