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Made for the streets, Apple Watch celebrates 5 years 'picking up dust' in quarantine

Apple Watch was introduced as a tech version of a Swiss watch, but ended up becoming a partner for physical activities and health

Apple Watch was introduced as a tech version of a Swiss watch, but ended up becoming a partner for physical activities and health

The Apple Watch, smart watch from Apple, celebrates five years of launch this Friday, 24. Announced in September 2014, the device hit stores and streets in the US on April 24, 2015. an ungrateful birthday, far from worthy as the newly celebrated first decade of iPad. Because of the social isolation caused by the new coronavirus pandemic, my watch, which had always been attached to my wrist, has been in the drawer for more than a month.

It was because of this forced retirement that I noticed how much the Watch, in the wearable device category (the wearables), became a product to be used in public, on the move. Example. On the street, I receive notifications of emails and messages on my wrist, saving me from taking my phone out of my pocket. I can even answer someone while I get on the bus or cross from one sidewalk to another, taking my pulse to my mouth. I can also check the calendar and the weather forecast in a click or two with my finger. practical and simple, as you would expect from a good dress. But it loses meaning if I'm confined at home, with my cell phone at all times.

The reduction of usability in this period of social confinement of the very nature of the category of clothing, of which the Apple Watch (from R $ 1,900), the Huawei Watch GT 2 (from R $ 1.5 thousand) and Samsung Watch Active 2 (R $ 1.8 thousand), among many others. It is not yet clear how much the pandemic has hurt the sale of wearables, but empty stocks of iPads on the Chinese market are an indication of what people look for when they are isolated at home.

OK, fine, I won't exaggerate. I have been using my Apple Watch once a day, in an interval of 30 to 40 minutes, when I do functional training and practice yoga at home. By calculating heart rate in real time and burning calories, the smart watch has become indispensable for physical activities, no matter how small. Still, very little for a device that has become an extension of my body.

Arm drop

Who made a point of investing in this area was Tim Cook, the current president and chosen by founder Steve Jobs to replace him in office in 2011, a month after his early death. But merit only came after a victory in the arm war between Cook and sir Jonathan Ive, Apple designer between 1992 and 2019 and Jobs' main partner in creating such hits as the iPod (2001), iPhone (2007), the Mac line and, of course, the Apple Watch.

The fight was about how and to whom to sell the Watch. Unlike Cook, less precious and more attentive to the wishes of the consumer, Ive devised a watch that unites technology to the world of fashion and luxury, similar to the nostalgic appeal of the bold analogue watches sold by thousands of dollars.

Due to disagreements with Tim Cook, Jony Ive started to visit the Apple office less since 2015

(Important to say: the watch was the company's first launch after the death of Jobs, the man who made Apple Apple. According to market analysts, an eventual failure in sales would mean a not so bright future for the company. It didn't happen, as we already know.)

That was how the Watch was introduced to the world in 2015, even stamping covers of fashion magazines. The campaign was so intense in 2015 that the image in which Beyoncé wears an 18-carat gold Apple Watch Edition, worth US $ 17 thousand dollars (in Brazil, it cost a mere 135 thousand reais). Sales failure, the version was discreetly discontinued the following year.

The focus on physical activities and health has since gained strength as it is more salable. The watch finally lost its 38mm iPhone nickname because it became more independent of the smartphone. Cook launched another year successful sale in wearables, the AirPods, at the same time that the sale of cell phones and services was breaking records, another new focus of his management. And Ive, defeated and with less and less force within the company, announced the departure of Apple in June 2019, which sounded suddenly, but today it seemed inevitable.

If the Apple Watch has survived so far, it has gained market leadership and set trends in the clothing category, it was because of Cook's business vision, and not because of the ode to luxury that Ive nurtured. In addition, the watch has quietly anticipated trends that arrive years later on the iPhones, the apple of the company's eye: wireless charging, OLED screen, night mode, water resistance and no headphone jack. That is no small thing.

These vacation on my Apple Watch is not just because I got tired of using it, quite the contrary. I can no longer imagine myself without a smartwatch, which only proves its merit as a product. The problem is that at home, locked, it is as useful as a wallet to carry documents and cards. But, until the end of the quarantine, stay like my jeans: waiting for the right time to go out on the street.