An Apple Watch 2 no show is a good thing

I'm happy with a small Watch announcement as long as the next one really delivers
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Woven. Nylon. Bands. That was about as good as it got for Apple Watch owners at last night's new iPhone Special Event extravaganza. For those who still haven't felt compelled to buy one, Apple also knocked $50 off the price of the entry Watch Sport model.

Scan the websites of retailers like Best Buy and Target though and it doesn't take long to notice that this price cut has been happening outside the Apple Store for a few months now. Also, it's not really that much of a cut for a far from perfect smartwatch.

Essential reading: Revisiting the Apple Watch

If Apple delivered the same kind of announcements around the Watch for a new iPhone, all hell would break loose on the internet. Once you put the underwhelming bands, price cuts and minor watchOS updates into perspective though, it's actually a good thing that we didn't see Tim Cook raising his wrist up into the air to be papped like a celebrity falling out of a nightclub.

Apple has seemingly bucked a trend it has adopted for its phones, tablets and other annually updated devices. The first Apple Watch was launched in April last year and initial speculation suggested we'd see the Apple Watch 2 around the same time this year. Rumours of new hardware slowly turned into talk of a major watchOS update before dissolving into news of a few new Apple Watch straps.

The non announcement should be a cause for optimism though. It's a sign that Apple recognises that it needs more time to refine arguably its most divisive products in recent years, even if Cook, Ive and co would never admit to it. Even the Wareable team is split over our feelings about the Watch. We could talk about it failing to do the basics, the underwhelming fitness features or simply not addressing the smartwatch problem of why you need one when your phone is well equipped to do the very same things.

Some might question whether the Watch is a big priority for Apple at the moment, judging by how little time was given to wearable tech at the event. That's especially when it had plenty to say on the subject of say, saving the environment. I think it's less that the Watch isn't important to future sales and more an admission that it's got some work to do to convince us all that it was right to make a smartwatch.

An Apple Watch 2 no show is a good thing

That doesn't necessarily mean the Watch is in trouble though. Apple never discloses sales figures but we do know that the Apple Watch has played its part in smartwatch sales surpassing Swiss-made watches for the first time. On the subject of the Swiss, you only have to look at the invasion of smartwatches at Baselworld to see that the traditional watchmakers are growing concerned that Apple is infringing on its territory.

What little time was dedicated to the Apple Watch at the company's Special Event proves that this could end up being a product that will take more than a couple of revisions before it gets to where it needs to be. You could say the same thing about the majority of smartwatches at the moment. But Apple has a reputation and raises expectations. The Watch hasn't really met those expectations - yet.

So it's possibly one of the few moments at an Apple Event where no news is good news. A tweet from @shahidkamal, one of my Twitter followers perhaps summed up the Apple Watch announcements pretty well: "The best thing to come from the Apple press event is the relief I feel that none of my devices have been consigned to the rubbish heap."

The first gen Apple Watch is saved from the company recycling program at least a few more months. That should mean that later this year we'll be casting judgement on more than a few watch straps, a minor price cut and some underwhelming tinkering to the watchOS software.

TAGGED Smartwatches

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Michael Sawh


Michael Sawh has been covering the wearable tech industry since the very first Fitbit landed back in 2011. Previously the resident wearable tech expert at Trusted Reviews, he also marshaled the features section of

He also regularly contributed to T3 magazine when they needed someone to talk about fitness trackers, running watches, headphones, tablets, and phones.

Michael writes for GQ, Wired, Coach Mag, Metro, MSN, BBC Focus, Stuff, TechRadar and has made several appearances on the BBC Travel Show to talk all things tech. 

Michael is a lover of all things sports and fitness-tech related, clocking up over 15 marathons and has put in serious hours in the pool all in the name of testing every fitness wearable going. Expect to see him with a minimum of two wearables at any given time.

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