The much hyped launch of Apple’s iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus nearly overshadowed the birth of Apple Watch 2, but the new wearable tech from Apple shows a lot of promise. New features include GPS capability, faster processing speeds and waterproofing up to 50 meters.
Apple Watch 2 is an iconic product in itself because it is part of a larger family of wearable technology that is rapidly gaining popularity around the world. The fact that people are becoming more health conscious is validated by the fact that millions of them now own some kind of wearable tech.
Case in point is FitBit, which sold nearly 11 million units in 2014 when it went public – more than double the 4.5 million units it sold the year before. But here’s the clincher. In just the second quarter of 2015, they sold 4.5 million – equal to their entire 2013 sales. In the final quarter of 2015 they sold 8.2 million units, and although 2016 hasn’t been very good to them (they sold 5.7 million units in the second quarter of 2016), they’ve only just started their journey into wearable technology.
In Apple’s case, the company did exceedingly well with the launch of the first Apple Watch in early 2015, shipping nearly 3.6 million units in the first month alone. However, in the most recent three-month period that figure has dropped to 1.6 million, a decline of over 55% in a little over a year.
But Apple Watch 2 may well recapture its predecessor’s former glory. The new model comes with GPS functionality, which means it can be used independently of the iPhone for activities such as running and walking.
Apple Watch 2 is no land-lubber, though. With waterproofing up to 50 meters, Apple Chief Operating Officer Jeff Williams says this of the new watch:
“Apple Watch series 2 has been completely re-engineered. Apple Watch series 2 is swim proof, it’ll change how you use the watch. You can wear it whether you’re swimming, surfing or just doing the occasional cannon ball.”
I’m not so sure about cannon-balling with a $369 watch strapped to my wrist so I’ll just have to take his word for it.
Another major issue they’ve tackled is speed. Apple Watch 2 is said to be at least 50% faster than the former iteration and have two times the graphics capability. They’ve also improved the screen, which is now twice as bright as the older model, making it much easier to view outdoors.
The watchOS 3 operating system that powers Apple Watch 2 is probably the best part, and we’ve written about that in some detail in the article linked below:
One disappointing factor is that Apple Watch 2 cannot function fully without being tethered to an iPhone. This requires what is called a GSM Radio which can receive mobile carrier signals. The problem is that these components eat up a lot of battery power, so Apple decided not to put them in the new Apple Watch just yet. But it does work with WiFi hotspots and, of course, Bluetooth tethering to your iPhone.
The watch also comes in a very modernistic-looking ceramic version, as shown below. You can also get them in aluminium and stainless steel.
Both variants – Apple Watch 2 and Apple Watch Nike+ – are available from September 9, and there’s also the older Apple Watch that will get a new, faster processor that will be available from that same date forward.
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