In my considered view, the only justification for buying a smartwatch, forking out $150 or more for an unseemly gadget on your wrist, is if it gives you a hand job.
So far none of the smartwatches I’ve read about come anywhere close.
Hell, they don’t even give you a tickle down there! 😉
Why then is the technical media getting its panties in a twist about smartwatches from Pebble, Sony, Toshiba and the rumored iWatch from Apple?
Because most journalists are dodos who have a hard time telling their right hand from left!
What is a Smartwatch?
No, a smartwatch is not a smartphone that you can make calls from.
A smartwatch is merely an accompaniment or add-on device to your Android or Apple iPhone!
Without a smartphone, a smartwatch is reduced to being a mere timekeeper, which a $5 Made-in-China device can do equally well.
A smartwatch connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth and will impact its battery life by 10% or more.
Besides displaying time, smartwatches show caller ID, provide notifications on e-mail, SMS, iChat and Facebook and play/skip music tracks.
Developers can write applications for the device to expand its capabilities to display weather, play simple games etc.
Battery life in a smartwatch is likely to be limited to seven days, at which time you must charge it.
But despite all the noise about smartwatches, sales so far have been insignificant in this category.
Pebble at Best Buy
The latest buzz on the smartwatch front is about the Pebble watch making it to the shelves of Best Buy stores.
As if getting on Best Buy shelves is the holy grail for a smartwatch or any electronic gadget!
Pebble’s eponymous smartwatch will reportedly debut in Best Buy on July 7 for $150. It should be available on the retailer’s web site as well soon.
The watch pairs with iOS and Android smartphones via Bluetooth to provide notifications like text messages, e-mails, and incoming calls as well as remote control features for music and other media playing from the phone
Only Jet Black Pebbles will be available initially at Best Buy stores with Cherry Red Pebbles to follow in August. Pebble’s three other colors – Orange, Grey, and Arctic White – are available for pre-order on getpebble.com.
Will Smartwatches Sell?
Unless smartwatches sell in the millions, the category will be dubbed a flop, not attract developer interest and quietly fade away unmourned.
As with most electronic gadgets, the success or failure of smartwatches will be decided in the U.S.
Will Americans who have mostly given up on watches given the ubiquity of time-displaying cell phones embrace a $150 smart watch?
Most likely, no.
When you can get a new iPhone 4 for free (2-year contract plan) or an iPhone 4S for $49 (contract plans), to pay $150 for a smartwatch that does little seems utterly ridiculous.
Also, keep in mind that most smartphone or tablet owners are extremely reluctant to pay even 99-cents for an app at the Apple or Android app stores.
Unless prices of smartwatches come down to $15-$20 levels, I cannot foresee consumers getting excited over these devices notwithstanding the hype.
In my not-so-humble view, smartwatches are fancy gizmos in desperate search of a market.
My feeling is that this is a doomed product and if you wait for a few months you can pick up smartwatches for a song as retailers seek to clear their inventory!