The Apple Watch's Draw to Non-Tech People

Posted by Matt Birchler
β€” 2 min read

I just read this awesome piece from a "watch guy" who has fallen in love with his Apple Watch. I thought it was refreshing to listen to someone gush about the Apple Watch in 2016. I feel like a lot of the storyline in the tech press has revolved around what is wrong with the Apple Watch and what Apple needs to do to "recover" from their misstep. I am not immune to the leanings of my peers, so I include myself in that crowd a well.

But here's the thing: I love my Apple Watch. I'd sooner give up my iPhone than my Watch1, as it has really become a part of me and is essential to how I manage my day. This is why I wrote a piece last week called Those Red, Green, and Blue Rings are Brilliant which delved into one part of the Watch experience I think they absolutely nailed: fitness.

But then another crazy thing happened: my wife started talking about getting her own Apple Watch. Now this is no big deal in a vacuum, but you should know that my wife has always been skeptical of the smartwatch category and was more than a little hesitant about giving me the godhead to get an Apple Watch last April. She had the same worries a lot of people did. I'd get bored with it and leaving it in a drawer... I'd get tired of charging it all the time and go back to my old watch that had multi-year battery life... I'd end up buying tons of bands and accessories for it and blow more money than the up front $399 the watch itself costs... I'd miss my FitBit and want to get a real fitness tracker again... I do admit to buying a couple more bands, but the other three fears proved to be completely untrue.

I asked her why she's thinking of getting one and the reasons were fascinating. Here's a summary:

  1. Fitness tracking that doesn't suck (sorry Jawbone and Fitbit) would be nice to have. The three ring system for tracking your activity appeals to her quite a bit, and sounds more complete than the step-based trackers she's used before.
  2. Notifications on her wrist would be convenient when she's at work. She's a teacher and can't have her phone on her at all times. Her watch can be of course, and being able to see what's going on with a glance of the wrist would be a game changer.
  3. The thing just looks better than any of the fitness tracking alternatives. Fitbit just released a nicer model called the Alta, but even that doesn't draw her in like the rose gold, lavender band combo she can get from the Apple Watch.

I'm sure she'll have a lot more to say about it if she does end up getting one, but in the meantime I just think it's fascinating that someone so against the idea of smart watches 12 months ago has done a near 180. It's just one data point, but I have to think it's something we're going to see more and more over the next couple years. Smart watches are not going to be just a flash in the pan.

  1. You know, assuming it would work just as well with an Android phone.