Oh sure, all the tech blogs are talking about it and your fangirl friend ordered hers as soon as pre-orders opened, but if you’re vaguely interested in the Apple Watch yet not sure whether it’s the best use of your money, allow us to play devil’s advocate and offer up five great reasons to not buy an iWatch, despite the hype…
You need an iPhone
The biggest bugbear for Android users who might be interested in some of the Apple Watch’s admittedly impressive functions is that to buy it means buying into iOS. As we pointed out at the launch, Apple’s forcing new customers to get an iPhone whereas many other smartwatches are compatible with more than one operating system.
But we probably shouldn’t be surprised: Apple’s always been known for its tech, not its customer service.
And we don’t just mean the18 carat gold Edition model, which starts at £8000. The cheapest model, the 38mm Apple Watch Sport, starts at £299. If you want the 42mm version, it’s £339, and you can expect to pay £559 for a metal strap – all of this before you factor in AppleCare+ (starting at £49), of course. In short, there are a lot of cheaper smartwatches out there. A LOT.
The MyKronoz ZeWatch Bluetooth Smartwatch is only £60 and many of the Android alternatives to the Apple Watch are under £150 – and not tied to a particular handset.
You’ll have to wait
Think you can just walk into an Apple store and walk out with a watch? Think again. Some people who ordered back in April have got theirs now, but many more will have to wait until June. If you join the queue now, you could be twiddling your thumbs for about six weeks. And you can only order online (although you can go and try one on in store – as long as you make an appointment first).
You could try shopping at fancy boutique Dover Street Market, but there’s no guarantee they’ll have the model you like in stock. There should be stock in physical Apple stores in June but until then… you’ll have to wait.
It’s too soon
Sure, being an early adopter gives you cachet, but it can also be a headache. You’re buying something that’s just barely out of prototype stage and bound to underperform. Sure it can do a lot of stuff, but the Apple Watch’s battery is supposed to last ‘up to’ 18 hours, depending on use – far less than many other smartwatches (the Pebble can last a week without charging, and also works with an iPhone). Plus it drains the battery of the iPhone it’s connected to. Another issue is that Apple wants to make sure your health data is secure, which is great, but their encryption tools mean developers can’t make the most of the data, limiting the functionality of third party apps.
More worryingly, on social media, some owners are reporting that the glass face scratches (and even smashes) easily. Maybe these are isolated incidents, but still. Don’t you want to wait for version 2 or 3, when all the rough edges have been smoothed out?
Robert Downey Jr isn’t impressed
Yep, Mr Iron Man himself is unenthusiastic about the device. Asked about the Apple Watch in a recent interview to promote Avengers: Age of Ultron he said, ‘Every time they make one of these announcements, you go “that’s the device that’s going to enslave us.”‘ He went on to say, ‘I don’t need another Apple product.’ And he’s probably right. No one needs the Apple Watch.
What’s that you say, you don’t care what Robert Downey Jr says, you’ll do what you want and right now what you want is an Apple Watch? OK, we get it: it does look really cool. But if you have buyers’ remorse, don’t come crying to us…