First, a confession. I am not a member of the Cult of Apple.
Yes, I own an iPhone and an iMac and use a MacBook Pro and, occasionally, an iPad. But I own them primarily for practical reasons – I needed a portable device (iPod then iPhone) to listen to my playlists, and my husband insisted we have a home computer (iMac) in addition to our work-issued laptops (MacBook Pro) and tablets (iPad). The fact that each device is beautifully designed simply made it easier to accept the price tag.
So I wasn’t exactly foaming at the mouth to be one of the first Apple Watch owners. Especially since I love the 3 watches I already own.
But, after watching Apple’s Spring Forward Event, I’ve marked April 10 on my calendar so that I can head straight to an Apple store after work and pick out and pre-order my watch.
There a three things that are endlessly annoying about my iPhone and the watch resolves two of them (the other one is that sometimes my iPhone’s screen gets stuck in landscape mode even after I turn it upright).
First, text messages. People know that if they urgently need me, they should text me. But I HATE carrying my phone around when I’m just wandering around the office or the house. In those circumstances, I like to focus on the people that are there right in front of me and enjoy actual face-to-face communication without feeling the need to constantly glance at a screen (an action which unfortunately delivers the message that “you’re important but someone else who is not here is more important” to the actual human being you’re actually talking to). This problem (missing important texts) only happens in very specific circumstances (at work but not in my office, and at home) and happens very rarely so it hasn’t risen to the level of a problem that requires behavior change. Happily, because I always wear a watch, the Apple watch solves this problem in all circumstances with the added benefit of fitting into an existing habit.
Second, travel. I travel a lot for work and, as a result, have developed very specific habits, especially related to air travel. Check-in happens 24 hours in advance, digital boarding passes are downloaded to Passbook, boarding passes are accessed by swiping my home screen when I reach security and the gate, Uber is called from the plane, and the car is tracked as I walk through the airport. Except for checking-in and downloading the boarding pass, all of these other actions occur at the airport and in circumstances when I am carrying a purse, a suitcase and (more often than not) a coat, cup of tea/bottle of water, and bag of food. The last thing I want is to have to also carry a phone (or worse, fish it out of my purse) which can easily be dropped and broken, taking away all the info that runs my life as it dies. But a watch is strapped securely to my wrist and my wrist is always accessible because its attached to my hand which is holding (or pulling) any number of items. Again, the Apple watch solves my problems in very specific circumstances and saves all my life running data.
Now, the moment of truth – even though is resolves my frustrations in these two frequently encountered circumstances, is the Apple watch really worth the $350 – $10,000+ it will sell for when it begins shipping on April 24? For me, the answer is Yes. A quick look at Fitbit’s product line-up shows that its Surge device has most of the same activity level, continuous heart beat, and text message notification functionality of the Apple watch for only $250. So I just need $100 in extra utility. Given the amount of money I have spent on spilled tea (and dry cleaning the things that it was spilled on), I can easily get at least halfway there. As for justifying the remaining $50 premium, well, I’ll just chalk that up to the price of fulfilling some of my emotional and social jobs-to-be-done.
Social Jobs which may even include “Look like I’m a member of the Cult of Apple.”