Apple Watch: An overpriced, out-of-date status symbol

From outrageous pricing to a closed ecosystem that locks its users in, here are the many reasons not to buy the Apple Watch.

apple watch tim cook
Credit: Susie Ochs

Yesterday I was subjected to all 95 minutes, 14 seconds of the Apple Watch announcement "keynote" video stream, and I am left with one clear notion:

The Apple Watch is the stupidest piece of gadgetry I have seen in a long, long time.

(I should note that I am not entirely unbiased here. I am a Linux user and an Open Source advocate. And, perhaps most importantly, I like freedom. Apple and I don't tend to see eye-to-eye on that front. But that doesn't make the Apple Watch any less pointless.)

Let's start with the elephant in the room – the price.

The cheap, low-end version of the Apple Watch (the "Sport" model) will set you back a minimum of $350, or $100 more than the Android-powered Moto 360 watch (which Android users have been able to buy and use for a year).

The non-Sport models of the Apple Watch start at $550. I repeat: Five-hundred and fifty dollars. And it goes up from there. FAST. Hitting as high as $1,100 if you want the "black" colored model. That's enough to buy an Android-powered LG G Watch R ($300), an Nvidia Shield Tablet ($300), and then take a stack of 500 one dollar bills and light them on fire. Just to see them burn.

Oh. Did I mention there is a $10,000 model of the Apple Watch? It has 18-karat gold plating on it, which means that you could buy one of the already ridiculously overpriced non-Gold Apple Watches…and have enough money leftover to buy a half-pound gold brick.

First of all, you need an (overpriced) iPhone (a current model) in order to actually use your watch. Have an Android phone, or (like me) have no phone at all? Too bad, so sad. No Apple Watch for you.

Hypothetically, assume you have an iPhone. Then you buy an Apple Watch. Then your iPhone gets dropped down some stairs (hey, it happens). Now you need a new phone. Well, you better go plop down the (nearly) thousand dollars on a new iPhone… otherwise your exorbitantly priced watch just became a useless brick attached to your arm.

So what? It's psychotically expensive. And, yeah, it forces you to use only specific pieces of technology for the indefinite future – effectively locking you out of any other technological advancements that happen outside of the Apple Watch/iPhone world. That doesn't inherently make this a bad watch… does it?

Yes. Yes, it absolutely does. Add to this the fact that the Apple Watch hit the market a year later than the Android-powered smartwatches (which have more flexibility and more power than Apple's gadget), and the Apple Watch instantly becomes a status symbol that declares to the world, "I have too much money, I want to be locked into a hardware ecosystem, and I like my technology to be out of date before I buy it."

But take heart, Apple Watch owners! The guts of that watch you just bought were made by Samsung. So. You know. It's got that going for it.

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