There were 3 people with Apple Watches in the train carriage this morning

The ready reckoner that I’ve been using for quite a long time — what folk on the trains and the Underground in and around London are doing — is pointing to a slow but increasing trend for Apple Watch adoption. 

I’ve seen various studies around recently indicating that Apple Watch customers are generally highly satisfied with their purchase (good, because it’s an expensive piece of kit, due to be obsolete sometime next year). I recognise this view.

I only managed to use my Apple Watch for about two weeks before I had to lend it to some developers as their need was much greater than mine. However I did enjoy the experience. 

I didn’t like wearing it.

Well, let’s clarify this: I don’t like wearing a watch, generally. I like both wrists to be free of stuff. As an entrepreneur in my earlier years, I celebrated not wearing a watch. Of course it meant I was forever having to look at my phone to check the time!

I appreciated the Apple Watch though. The quid-pro-quo between the desire to be ‘wrist free’ and the value I derived from the watch was enough to keep me wearing it. More than enough.

Bluntly, I liked the little reminders to stand-up. I really liked the fitness aspects — I liked it tracking the amount of time I was standing. 

I found the British Airways integration to be rather swish — being able to check-in right from the Watch is ultra cool. Although I did have to remove it to get it under the scanner… (that’ll need changing shortly BA!)

Notifications were particularly useful, especially the way the Watch surfaces generic notifications — for example the Gett (formerly GetTaxi) notifications were rather handy to tell me when the taxi was arriving. 

I only truly recognised the value of the notification element when I was busy doing things. Like getting out the cab with my bags. A quick look at the Watch told me everything I needed to know, clearly and immediately, without me having to pull out my phone. 

The normobs (“normal mobile phone users”) I’ve spoken to that own a Watch seem to really appreciate it. A lot of them can’t necessarily articulate the value beyond, “Yeah, it’s cool, I like it.” 

I’ve had to really press for specifics with the normobs to try and get them to define what specifically they like. Typically they love the messaging capabilities. Or perhaps, I think they mean the message notifications as I’ve observed a lot of them bringing out their phones after they receive a message that they wish to respond to. 

Observing three different Apple Watches in the same train carriage at the same time is a new one for me though. There are two white straps and one black strap on display. All three appear to be the entry level Apple Watch Sport models.

I wonder how the all important “Holiday Season” will play out for Apple Watch? I do think it’s an ideal Christmas present for a lot of different people. I could, for example, imagine my parents buying one for each other on the basis that they’re both iPhone users, they wouldn’t ‘normally’ bother with an Apple Watch as they definitely don’t ‘need’ one, but hey, they’re treating themselves… 

Are you seeing many Watches around where you are?

By Ewan

Ewan is Founder and Editor of Mobile Industry Review. He writes about a wide variety of industry issues and is usually active on Twitter most days. You can read more about him or reach him with these details.

8 replies on “There were 3 people with Apple Watches in the train carriage this morning”

One of my friends has one. But then, he was a Newton developer back in the day so he’s a bit more all in with Apple than most people (and for a lot, lot longer). I counterbalance him with an Android Wear watch, so it’s a net zero.

I can’t say I’ve seen an Apple Watch, Android Wear, Pebble or anything else “in the wild”.

I travel all around South East Wales & I’ve not seen one smart watch. [Yes I’m the type who has to be able to name the phone that someone is using, wherever it may be. Or guess it by the default SMS/ringtone I hear!] So I’d be the same with watches. I’m tempted by the LG watch Urbane 4G version but can only find the WiFi one. But £260+ could be spend on a Notebook which is something I could really do with! So with the few millions of people with a smartwatch, there’s none in Wales! Ha!

I am not able to give an empirical number but I (living around Londonish) am seeing increasing number of fanboys in the wild wearing them. You can typically spot them because they are looking for external appreciation of their toy.
I don’t doubt that wearables are here to stay. They, as with every other (mobile) tech has to prove their value-add sufficiently to make the mass market change the way they are already doing something with existing tools or bring something so game-changing and new that it massively improves a hitherto repetitive/inefficient process. On top of this the tech has to be affordable.
At the movement I don’t think the entry level price point (plus the need for the iPhone as well) and available apps are game changing enough for the broader market – am I going to pay the best part of a thousand pounds to be able get notifications and boarding passes on my wrist?
That said, Apple rarely strikes gold with their first models and this will stimulate enough momentum for sure. Assuming the adopters of watch 1.0 are fanboys and not normobs then Apple will definitely see this through without too much backlash and we’ll be in for a great ride and bigger sales with latter versions….

I got one as sort of a thank you for my hard work at work. I wore it for about a month because I felt obligated, I didn’t even bother charging it, kept it in my drawer at work. Yes, I did try to use it but the battery life was just to short for me, it also really bothers me that Apple didn’t make it compatible with wireless charging. There are a few cute features but nothing that I couldn’t live without or that wasn’t already on my phone. I’ll wait until their is a mechanical hybrid that lasts at least a week on a single battery charge.

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