This week’s headlines are full of speculation about Apple’s soon-to-debut iPhone X. We’re still a month away from pre-orders, yet iPhone X headlines carry the weight of those for the hurricanes and North Korea.
Images courtesy of www.apple.com
iPhone X’s new/improved features sound impressive: “”It’s all screen”, facial recognition, surgical-grade stainless-steel, water resistance, wireless charging, superior camera functionality, and an “A11 Bionic” smartphone chip capable of 600 billion operations per second. Sounds like a noticeable upgrade from the iPhone 7.
Despite this fanfare, my eye is still drawn to the iPhone’s most basic app: those numbers at the top of the “elegantly-rounded screen” silently telling the time-of-day.
I wear a watch. Always have. I wake up every morning, get dressed, pocket my wallet, handkerchief, and keys, and “wrist” my watch. It’s a habit I’ve had since college days. Granted, my wallet gets slimmer by the year, as the need for cash and physical cards dwindles. My key chain is no longer a chain; not even a set of keys (rather, a small fob controlling my car without ever leaving my pocket). Mercifully, my handkerchief hasn’t changed whatsoever (other than the purchase of a new one every couple of months).
My analog watch – though threatened by technology – remains steadfastly on my wrist. I started wearing watches when I was a kid, and several decades later I still have the first two I ever owned. My Snoopy watch was the wind-up type, telling time with its hours and minutes “paws”. My gold (colored) Pulsar was one of the earliest of its brand, and seemed to say, “time to grow up”.
Several years after my Pulsar I purchased (or received) another wristwatch, followed by another and another and another. At some point in the process my watches became too nice to part with, and “replace” became “collect”. Today, I choose from half a dozen.
Recently, I gave smartwatches a try. I figured, why not get my time and all those other time-saving applications on my wrist? But it just didn’t take. Like digital-display watches, I missed the elegant mechanics of a real analog watch. For a short time, I tried wearing an analog on one wrist and a smartwatch on the other. Also didn’t take (and probably drew a few curious looks in the process).
On yesterday’s commute talk-radio, the discussion was the iPhone X, and the host said, “anyone 40-and-older probably still wears a watch”. That statement applies to me (both age range and habit). I simply cannot forego my wristwatch for a smartphone. No knock to smartphones, mind you. In fact, with its $1,000 price tag, the radio host asked callers to predict whether the iPhone X would sell. All ten callers I heard said people would buy, just as they did at the $500 threshold. To anyone who thinks $1,000 is excessive, consider this: the smartphone has become a cultural necessity; a here-to-stay personal computer appendage (gather dust, ye laptops and desktops). And $1,000 is a reasonable price for a personal computer these days.
Here’s a more concrete argument for the $1,000 price tag. Make a list of the iPhone’s basic apps, and consider the cost of say, five years of physical materials to replace those apps. Note pads, address books, calendars, paper maps, wallets, cameras, telephones, stereos, calculators, newspapers, and postage stamps (a wholly incomplete list). Watches. Well, what do you know; you just spent a lot more than $1,000! Any further arguments?
No arguments from me either: the X will be a good and popular buy. But you’ll still find a watch on my wrist.