Gadgets & Gear

Has Apple Finally Become Too Elitist?

Help me with this folks: I need a reason to buy the Apple Watch.

Try as I might, I find no need, no real purpose, no compelling rationale to justify spending hundreds of dollars for a watch that really doesn’t do much more than look good.

I’m trying very hard here to talk myself into pre-ordering it when Apple starts taking orders on April 10.

But the Apple Watch, near as I can tell, is nothing more than a status symbol for those who think they are trendsetters.

Let’s start with these reasons against buying one.

It is ridiculously expensive. The cheapest model, called the Sport, sells for $349 for a 38mm model for skinny wrists; $399 for a 42mm model for thicker wrists. The stainless steel model is $549 for a 38mm model  and $599 for a 42mm model. Think that’s bad? A 38mm version of the Apple Watch Edition with a rose gold case costs $10,000. Move up to the 38mm 18-karat gold Watch Edition, and you’ll pay $17,000. There are also versions in between that cost $12,000 and $15,000. Seriously. Talk about conspicuous consumption. Talk about snobbery. Talk about greed and elitism and everything about Apple I hate.

People today don’t wear watches, anyway. I stopped wearing one abut two years ago. Don’t need to. My iPhone is always handy. My car has a clock. The office has a clock. I don’t think Millenials – always Apple’s target audience – wear watches, either. Will they buy the Apple Watch? Not in any big numbers, I predict.

One new app will read your pulse through the watch. That’s nice if you work out and want know your pulse while on a run. But my cheap Timex has been doing that for a decade, albeit with a chest band.

The other apps also seem pretty superfluous. Does Apple think we’re really going to draw pictures on our watch? Tap out messages on our watch? Maybe once or twice, as a gimmick. But come on. Yes, you can call an Uber car with the Apple Watch. I live in Detroit. Do we even have Uber here? Does anyone really use it? Do most people even know what Uber is? Maybe in New York and LA they do. But in most places, I think not. Yes, you can open a hotel room lock with the Apple Watch. Locks used by one hotel chain. I’ve never heard a single person say they sure wish they could open a door with their watch. Oh yeah, you can use your Apple Watch for Apple Pay, to buy stuff. Just like you can do with your iPhone, which is probably in your hand or pocket anyway.

Then there’s the battery life. Apple claims it will get 18 hours. Wanna bet? Not with real use.  Not if you’re tweeting and Facebook updating and tapping out messages, reading news and sports scores and working with your watch apps. You are going to have to charge this bugger every single night. Do people really want to have another gizmo that has to be plugged in during off hours? I had the Samsung Gear watch a couple of years ago. It was a clunkier looking version of the Apple Watch. It alerted you to email and tweets and texts and gave your the weather report and stuff like that. I got so sick of charging it every night that I took it off after two weeks and never used it again.

No, friends, I cant find a reason to get an Apple Watch.

I’m still burned after shelling out $1,500 for Google Glass – the stupidest personal tech buying decision I every made.

I’m not going to do the same thing with the Apple Watch.

I bet I am not alone.


Mike is a veteran journalist whose video "PC Mike" reports have been distributed weekly to all 215 NBC-TV stations since 1994, making him one of the most experienced tech reporters in the country. His tech stories and videos have appeared on MSNBC, CNBC, the Today Show, The New York Times, USA Today and in numerous national newspapers and magazines. In addition to the PC Mike tech blog, he also publishes the RV Travel Blog in which he travels North America in an RV reporting about interesting people and places.