Thursday, October 3, 2013

My early iWatch predictions

Apple product speculation has become a constant topic among bloggers and tech news reporter since the late Steve Jobs resurrected Apple from death bed to become the trail blazer in tech. With the release of iPhone 5s/5c just over, speculation of iPhone 6 would be a bit too early, and that for iPad 5/iPad mini 2 becomes boring (gold color, flat back, thinner bezel,  lighter weight, same battery life, A7/M7, 64 bit, retina display, etc), I think speculation of iWatch is more interesting. 

We all know that Apple is making a watch. So far, only very peripheral info has been leaked to the public, 3 dimensions of screen are under testing and bended OLED screen is a possibility, also, it will have many sensors, a more firmly belief based on the implementation of M7 in 5s. Other than the above, all the rest are more about who are hired and a 100 person team was formed for this product. 

Well, with such limited info, that would give me more room to come up with my speculation of this product. These are my thoughts (not in any order):
  1.  It is not gonna be cheap – Apple always put a premium on first generation product. So, Apple wouldn’t care Samsung Galaxy Gear nor Pebbles. It would just ride on its brand and charge 3 to 4x of material cost of the watch.
  2.  Battery will be a key concern – I suspect that Apple will even make its battery if it could for the iWatch. Cuz, daily charging is not acceptable. I don’t care how many functions and how great those functions are if the battery is shitty. Without power, it is just a freaking damn bracelet. So, it may be charged by movement, solar light or whatnot, some kind of hybrid would not be a surprise.
  3.  It’s gonna be metallic look – metal commands premium price. Plastic version will come in future, but not in first generation. But, it will most likely be some kind of light weight, durable, scratch-proof tainted silver color metal that being used to make the belt and the shell for the watch. The challenging part would be to hold the glass screen to make it less likely to be scratched and somehow water proof.
  4.  It is supplementary as well as an independent product – the look would sell the product, but functionalities are as well be important, given it is Apple we are talking about. So, Apple would give a lot of thoughts on what this product means to its customers. Is it gonna a hi-tech watch? Or a supplement for iPhone and iPad? That should also tie to the form factor of the product as well. My thinking is that it is gonna be both, at least for the latest generation of iPhone/iPad. Also, iWatch, besides its form factor, should have one or two selling-points to be attractive enough for buyers who don’t have iPhone or iPad. For example, it make have one or two touch away from making an emergency call or providing some kind of alerts based on its embedded sensors in some occasions.
  5. Simplicity in outlook and UI – I think it is in line with most Apple’s products. It is not how many functions you can cram it in the product, but what functions to be left out in the selection process. Thus, I don’t see it have Facetime or video-recording function on iWatch. In fact, I think even camera will be left out. It will have a home button, an on-off switch, that’s all. May not have a volume button. Just a very simple design, touchscreen for sure. Retina display? Not in first gen.  I think the screen UI should be similar to the 6th gen iPod nano. So, Apple can leverage its App Store and avoid building something completely new. Except that there should be another category of apps that fit the screen size. The most important thing about the screen of the iWatch is not the material it will use to make it, but the screen size and shape. Once Apple sets it, it won’t be changed for years.
  6.  Functionality that tie to iPhone/iPad – the iWatch should have Wifi and Bluetooth. As said before, it can be a supplement to iPhone/iPad. As mentioned by some bloggers, it will have multiple sensors to feed data to iPhone/iPad. I think there are few areas that would the functionalities should cover.
a.       Motion control – movement of iWatch would be gest control to iPhone/iPad (maybe to Apple TV in future, somewhat like Wii control).
b.      Health/Sport monitor – sensing heartbeat/pulse/skin temperature with body movement for monitoring workout and provide alert.
c.       Extension of notification center – rather than pulling out the phone to see what’s going on, it will be shown on the iWatch. But, I doubt it will provide anything too complicate to be operated on the small screen for both functional and battery concern.
7.       The Leftouts – As I mentioned before, there will be functions that I personally doubt they would be included mostly out of battery concern, like camera, Siri, earphone jack, phone function, Facetime, etc.
These are just some preliminary thoughts. Let’s see how it turns out in 2014. I bet it will be out in the fall along with iPhone 6.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Fall 2013 Phone Spec comparison

Here we go again....Thanks for