For all the chatter about Apple’s big day of revelations, there’s conspicuously little news about the Apple Watch.
While rumors about the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus abound, it seems like all that Apple Watch users have to look forward to is a meagre fashion statement — some shiny new bands the company premiered earlier this year — and the prospect of the new watchOS 2 maybe, just maybe, being released.
Is Apple already giving up on its post-Jobs firstborn? Rumors about low sales have been circulating for months, most recently spurred by news from an Apple Watch parts supplier that the company didn’t hit its “break-even volume” of 2 million units per month. Sniffing doubt, Apple CEO Tim Cook said during an earnings call in July that Watch sales did “exceed our expectations” and hinted at the release for watchOS 2, which will supposedly support native apps. Still, the company hasn’t revealed how many Apple Watches it has sold since its debut.
And no doubt, the Watch has its issues. In addition to its ability to confer instant unsexiness to its wearers, the Watch has a criminally puny battery life. Right now all Apple Watch apps — technically, “extensions” — run on the iPhone and operate via Bluetooth, sucking power from both devices. The native apps the watchOS 2 will support won’t gobble quite so much juice, but, as Wired pointed out, combined with the Watch’s sweet little retina touchscreen and “Force Touch” display, new, more responsive apps are just going to lure users into using their Watches more.
It doesn’t look like the Watch will be getting any updates on September 9, but the rumors do suggest that its most successful elements are being salvaged for existing devices. The new iPhone 6S and 6S Plus will supposedly feature the same animated lock screen wallpapers and Force Touch displays that premiered with their Apple Watch counterparts. On top of that, the ultra-light, super-durable 7000 series aluminum alloy used in the Watch will apparently be used to encase the new phones, which will also be rolled out in a new shade of pink — “rose gold” — to go along with the $17,000 corresponding Watch Edition, a wee bit steeper than the basic $350 version.
That’s not to say the Watch is a complete flop. The “State of the Apple Watch” report released (somewhat coincidentally) today by Wristly suggested that Watch satisfaction is at an overwhelming 97 percent — although Forbes does warn that 2,000 users surveyed were probably inherently pro-Apple. Watch wearers pretty much use the device to count calories and — get this — tell what time it is. No need to check your wrists, guys, because the future is NOW.
Is Tim Cook gearing up for a slow fade for his overpriced notification band? It’s hard to say, given how secretive the company has been about Watch stats, but only Wednesday’s news — or lack of — can confirm it.