Apple hopes the Watch will sell just like the iPod did: Seasonally

The Apple Watch has been available to consumers for just over a year now. With that in mind, Apple CEO Tim Cook offered some thoughts on the devices sales pattern so far.

Cook likened the Watch to that of Apple’s once ruling product line, the iPod.

During the company’s Q2 2016 earnings call, Cook professed that the Apple Watch, which is now available in some 60 countries, would see sales seasonality similar to that of the iPod.

Tim Cook

The iPod, during its heyday most often saw annual product refreshes at a September event, with a fall release schedule, resulting in big holiday season sales.

Apple predicts that some 40% of Watch sales will now occur in the fourth quarter (Q4).

Apple hinting that the Watch will follow a similar pattern to the iPod is most certainly true, but is also no doubt worth mentioning as a way to manage expectations going forward.

Apple did not reveal during their latest earnings call how many Apple Watch devices have sold to date. 

Could your Apple Watch stop you from ‘pulling a sickie’?

The rise of wearable health tech could mean the end of the sickie

by Emmanuel Tsekleves, Lancaster University

Now that the sun is shining and the temperature is rising, it’s officially sickie season: go to work, or get struck down with “flu”, a “24-hour virus”, or that faithful stand-by, the dodgy prawn takeaway.

Figures show that over a third of employees in the UK admit to pulling a sickie at some point or other. But things may be changing soon – wearable tech such as the Apple Watch, Microsoft Band, Fitbit, or Jawbone Up may become mainstream within a few years, bringing health monitoring capabilities that reveal how your body is performing. It’s not inconceivable that in time this same data could be used to prove how well, or unwell, you are – such as when phoning in sick.

Wearable health tech is still in its early days. These devices come with sensors that can record how many steps and how much exercise you’ve taken, how well and long you‘ve slept, stress levels, blood pressure, sun exposure, even what you’ve have eaten. Added together, all this could easily demonstrate that you’re not so sick after all.

Since some wearables are aimed at being fashionable accessories, employers might be minded to tap into the trend. So next time you’re pulling a sickie, you might need the data to back up your story. With GPS-equipped devices there’ll be no opportunity to escape your sickbed to a barbeque or trip to the beach, while ultraviolet sensors will detect the increase in sunshine and motion sensors detect movement not typically associated with bed rest.

Using your data against you

What if employers and health insurance companies move in the direction that the car insurance industry has taken, where every health transgression (a boozy night out, a Christmas feast, or too many lazy days on the sofa) could increase your health premium rates? Such a scenario isn’t so far away, and this should concern us. Apple is clearly making a beeline for the health and fitness industry with Watch and its integrated HealthKit software, now integrated with its iOS mobile operating system, and it is the only firm to do so.

Typically, health insurers use body mass index (a calculation of body fat that takes into account your age, weight and height) to set premiums, and some insurers set rates based on basic data from wearables, such as the number of steps we take link?. Fitbit and Jawbone Up are both already playing a bigger role in how health insurance is calculated, with more employers opting to monitor data generated by such wearable trackers. And here’s the catch: employers are holding their insured staff to account with penalties and rewards as part of an increasing number of so-called “corporate-wellness programmes”.

Is your wearable spying on you? MorePix, CC BY-SA

For example, at BP staff are given Fitbits for free as long as the company has access to their data. The more physically active an employee is (as measured by the device) the more points they’re awarded. Higher points lower the company’s insurance premium. Other companies are adopting similar wellbeing employee health insurance programmes too.

Consent, for now

Wearable tech is still far from perfect, and that means inventive workarounds will be found. A few acquaintances of mine who shall remain nameless have found creative ways of racking up a few more miles, while actually continuing their usual, less-than-active habits. These include holding and shaking the device for a few minutes at a time, or attaching it to their cat or dog, or offering pocket money to other, younger and fitter family members to wear. Obviously insurers and developers are aware of these, so it won’t be long until such loopholes are closed.

For now, we can consent to share our health data from wearables with employers or insurers in exchange or lower premiums or cheaper travel. But how long before the company wearable is a mandatory part of the uniform?

The Conversation

Emmanuel Tsekleves, Senior Lecturer in Design Interactions, Lancaster University

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

New Apple Watch apps must work without an iPhone

The uncoupling of the iPhone and Apple Watch draws ever closer. 

In a recent brief blog post, Apple instructed developers that any Watch apps submitted for App Store approval from Wednesday, June 1st 2016 must be a native app running watchOS 2.

This means all new apps will have to work on the Apple Watch without an iPhone.

It’s hoped this change suggests that at some point in the future the Apple Watch could be sold as a standalone device, as opposed to its current ‘iPhone accessory’ designation.

— Via Engadget

The Apple Watch Outpaced the iPhone in Year One

The good news? Apple has sold more Watches than the iPhone did in its first year back in 2007. The bad news? The future probably isn’t so bright for Apple’s wearable. 

According to the WSJ, Apple has sold twice as many Watches as iPhones in each device’s respective debut years.

Apple is yet to release any official numbers on Watch sales, but this suggestion would place the Watch in excess of 10 million units sold so far.

Apple’s Watch Outpaced the iPhone in First Year (Wall Street Journal)

The Apple Watch isn’t the breakthrough product we were hoping for

Happy birthday to the most over-hyped consumer product in recent history.

One year after the Apple Watch launch, Steve Kovach argues that the gadget isn’t the breakthrough device people expected it to be. Claiming that it hasn’t freed people from their smartphones, and apps for the watch aren’t particularly innovative.

— The Apple Watch isn’t the breakthrough product we were hoping for (Business Insider)

You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone.

Stephen Chukumba chalked up his Apple Watch as just a ‘toy’ — but when he let a friend borrow his watch for a week (to take it for a test drive ) Stephen came to appreciate how the smart watch had improved his life.

I derived significant utility from my watch.

No Apple Watch for Switzerland

The home of luxury watches won’t be seeing the Apple Watch any time soon.

According to a Reuters report Apple won’t be able to launch their upcoming smartwatch due to rights issues — much to the delight of Swiss watchmakers I’m sure.

The U.S. tech giant cannot use the image of an apple nor the word “apple” to launch its watch within Switzerland, the home of luxury watches, because of a patent from 1985, RTS reported, citing a document from the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property.

Apple Watch: The iPhone Killer

David Pierce, formerly of The Verge, now at Wired writes about the ‘secret’ history of the upcoming Apple Watch.

The Apple team landed upon the Watch’s raison d’être. It came down to this: Your phone is ruining your life.

Putting aside the clichéd headline, it’s worth grabbing a coffee and sitting down to read this one.