Is it time to admit Apple Watch is a success? Apple CEO Tim Cook has stated the last holiday period was the company’s “best quarter ever” for Apple Watch, both in units and revenues, “with holiday demand so strong that we couldn’t make enough.” Yet the tech community seems to think it’s not doing well, or even that it’s a failure.
John Gruber just thinks it should be considered a watch, rather than a ‘smartwatch’. In September last year, Gruber points out, Apple Watch sales were second only to Rolex. Strangely, perhaps, when I tried the first version of the Apple Watch, what put me off was the lag in many operations. Once I had to send a unit back, I found the thing I missed the most was having the time on my wrist at all, so I went out and bought a watch which cost me just NZ$100 (about US$73). Couldn’t be happier.
Of course, I never got to try the second version of the Watch (Series 2), so I never got to compare. Which at least spared me from spending another few hundred dollars on something with an Apple logo on it. What did impress me was superb build quality and very clever design, I loved being able to choose my Watch faces, and I loved the wonderful ease of changing straps – still a finicky mission on a normal watch.
I figured I would have got used to all the great features if it wasn’t for those little lags that, eventually, stopped me even trying to do things, although I understand the latest versions are significantly faster, by up to 50%. But if you’re still not satisfied even after updating to watchOS 3, which also added speed enhancements, it is possible to speed a Watch up via various settings.
Series 2 has its own GPS which means you don’t have to have your iPhone on you to track fitness etc – this never actually bothered me as I cycle and walk with my iPhone in my pocket anyway.
But hey, I’m not wearing an Apple Watch. I’m wearing a Timex Weekender. What about you?
Swatch successfully opposes Apple’s ‘iWatch’ trademark in UK — Siding with Swiss watchmaker Swatch, the UK’s Intellectual Property Office has rejected Apple’s attempt to trademark the term ‘iWatch’ there — long after the electronics giant decided to go with ‘Apple Watch’ instead. [Nice win for you there Swatch, you must be feeling very proud.]
SAN FRANCISCO — 7 September, 2016 — Today, Apple introduced Apple Watch Series 2, the next generation of the world’s most popular smartwatch. Apple Watch Series 2 is packed with incredible fitness and health capabilities including a water resistance 50 metre rating for swimming,* and built-in GPS so users can now run without an iPhone. Apple Watch Series 2 also features a dramatically brighter display and a powerful dual-core processor. Combined with the performance enhancements of watchOS 3, Apple Watch Series 2 makes it even easier to access third-party apps, receive and respond to notifications and conveniently use Apple Pay. Apple Watch Series 2 will be available in more than 25 countries beginning Friday, 16 September.
“We’re thrilled with the response to Apple Watch and how it’s changed people’s lives. We are committed to fitness and health and think our customers will love the new capabilities of Apple Watch Series 2,” said Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer. “With a powerful new dual-core processor, water resistance 50 metres and built-in GPS, Apple Watch Series 2 is packed with features to help our customers live a healthy life.”
Fitness & Health — Apple Watch Series 2 is rated water resistant 50 metres for swimming, surfing or just playing in the pool. For swimmers, Apple developed all-new algorithms after hundreds of hours of research for two new workout options, pool and open water. Apple Watch Series 2 can count laps, track average lap pace and auto-detect stroke type to accurately measure active calorie burn.
With built-in GPS, Apple Watch Series 2 records precise distance, pace and speed for outdoor workouts such as walking, running or cycling, without needing to take an iPhone. Users can begin an outdoor workout immediately as Apple Watch Series 2 uses Wi-Fi, GPS and locally stored satellite data to quickly identify their location. On completion of an outdoor workout, view a route map that shows variations in speed in the Activity app on iPhone. Whether running, going for a swim or walking between meetings, the Activity app on Apple Watch Series 2 counts all daily activity towards the Stand, Move and Exercise rings.
Advanced Technology — Apple pioneered the custom designed System in Package (SiP) for Apple Watch, and continues to develop this breakthrough technology with the second generation S2 chip. With a dual-core processor, the S2 chip takes performance to a new level, making Apple Watch up to 50 percent faster. In addition, a new GPU has been added, which delivers up to two-times-greater graphics performance. Apple Watch Series 2 also features a dramatically brighter display — at 1,000 nits, it’s more than two times brighter— making this the brightest display Apple has ever shipped, so it’s even easier to see important information at a glance when outside on a sunny day.
watchOS 3 — watchOS 3 features significantly improved performance that makes it even simpler to launch favourite apps instantly, either from the watch face or with the new Dock, which displays the latest information already updated in the background. New fitness and health capabilities include the breakthrough Breathe app, designed to encourage users to take a moment in their day to do deep breathing exercises for relaxation and stress reduction. The Activity app now includes the ability to share, compare and compete, keeping friends and family motivated. There is also a customised experience for wheelchair users to close their Activity rings, in addition to dedicated workouts.
Apple Watch is even more personal with new watch faces including Minnie Mouse, Activity and Numerals. Simply swipe edge-to-edge to swap out a new watch face and with the new Face Gallery in the Apple Watch app on iPhone, it’s even easier to customise watch faces and discover third-party apps.
Apple Watch Lineup — Apple Watch Series 2 is available with all the new fitness and health capabilities in lightweight aluminium or stainless steel cases, paired with a wide variety of gorgeous new band colours.
Apple Watch Series 1 is available in lightweight aluminium and combines the new powerful dual-core processor and GPU with all the incredible features of the original Apple Watch, making it up to 50 percent faster and available to even more customers, starting at just RRP NZ$429 inc. GST.
Apple Watch Edition™ now comes in a beautiful ceramic, that embodies craftsmanship with a lustrous white case and all the incredible features of Apple Watch Series 2. Ceramic is one of the hardest materials in the world — more than four times harder than stainless steel — with a beautiful, white, pearl-like finish, making Apple Watch Edition extremely scratch-resistant.
Pricing & Availability — Apple Watch is available in two different case sizes, 38 mm and 42 mm. Apple Watch Series 1 will be available in gold, rose gold, silver or space grey aluminium cases paired with a Sport Band and starts at just RRP NZ$429 inc. GST.
Apple Watch Series 2 will be available in gold, rose gold, silver or space grey aluminium, or silver or space black stainless steel cases paired with a wide variety of bands starting at RRP NZ$599 inc. GST; and the new ceramic Apple Watch Edition starts at RRP NZ$1,999 inc. GST from Apple.com and select Apple Authorised Resellers. For local availability, visit locate.apple.com. Apple Watch Nike+ starts at RRP NZ$599 inc. GST.
• All-new Apple Watch Band Kits in gorgeous new colours are available, beginning today.
• Customers will be able to order Apple Watch Series 1, Apple Watch Series 2 and Apple Watch Edition beginning Friday, 9 September, with availability beginning Friday, 16 September, in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, UAE, the UK and the US.
• Apple Watch Nike+ will be available to order on Apple.com beginning Friday, 9 September, with availability in late October, in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, Costa Rica, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, UAE, the UK and the US.
• Apple Watch Series 2 requires iPhone 5 or later running iOS 10 or later. watchOS 3 and iOS 10 will be available beginning Wednesday, 14 September as a free software update. Some features are not available in all regions or all languages.
• Every customer who buys Apple Watch from Apple will be offered free Personal Setup online,** to help set up and personalise their new Apple Watch with calendars, notifications, apps and more.
*Apple Watch Series 2 has a water resistance rating of 50 metres under ISO standard 22810:2010. This means that it may be used for shallow-water activities like swimming in a pool or ocean. However, Apple Watch Series 2 should not be used for scuba diving, waterskiing or other activities involving high-velocity water or submersion below shallow depth. Stainless steel and leather bands are not water resistant.
New waterproof series 2 Apple Watch — The new model is swim proof and not just splash proof. An internal GPS means Apple Watch is less reliant on your iPhone for tracking your location, and that translates into one less device to carry on your daily runs and hikes. Apple said the GPS connects almost instantly and you can view your routes directly on the watch. Developers can take advantage of the GPS, too, which means we’ll be seeing lots of fitness app updates coming soon.
Apple is adding a new white ceramic watch body to the watch lineup to go along with the aluminium and stainless steel versions.
The new Apple Watch keeps the same form factor as the original, but with a slightly thinner display surface. It’s compatible with current Apple Watch bands, so extra bands you already have will still work.
(Apple’s official press release to follow, with NZ pricing and availability.)
Apple Watch ‘Series 1’ gets updated CPU, price drop — In introducing Apple Watch Series 2 at Wednesday’s special event, Apple expectedly dropped the price of its original Apple Watch to US$269 (NZ price TBA), keeping the Series 1 device in the lineup as an entry-level offering. The Apple Watch Series 1 shares a design borrowed from the original Apple Watch (as does the new Series 2), but includes a new dual-core processor and GPU package that allows for greater app performance. Missing from the Series 1 are the new seals and internal design features that make Apple Watch Series 2 ‘swim-proof.’ The updated original also lacks the new, brighter display that ships with Series 2.