This weekend I bought a new Apple Watch, specifically the Watch Series Two, Nike version. Why Nike? I’m a bit of a runner and can put some distance between me and a potential Brooklyn mugger should I stray to the wrong side of town, but exercise wasn’t the motivation. It was all about inventory.
Few Apple stores had the model I wanted, but they did have the Nike version, and since it was the same price and came with a watchband I didn’t already have, I chose that instead of waiting for a couple of weeks. Oh, and it also has a few extra Nike-inspired Watch faces.
What are the main differences between Watch Series Two and Watch Series Zero, the original? At first glance, it looks exactly the same, but that’s it. Apple’s continual iterative evolution of each product makes this model the one to get. Watch Series Two comes with water resistance and a way to expel water from the mic and speak holes. It also has a much brighter screen, longer battery life, built-in GPS (ostensibly so I can tell the cops where the would-be mugger started chasing me), and a few other goods.
In other words, Apple keeps polishing their products until they glisten with whatever mojo attracts people to buy. And use what they buy.
This past week or two I’ve read a few dozen articles on how the new MacBook Pro was a non-professional level Mac because it did not have user upgradeable RAM to at least 32GB. From what I could see of the initial specifications there are two issues at play here. First, Apple doesn’t want anyone mucking around inside their new products. Second, not many of the so-called professionals doing all the crying have actually tried out one of those new MacBook Pros with the Touch Bar and Touch ID fingerprint security option built in.
Therein lies another something that makes Apple different than other technology gadget makers. Every new product is greeted with howls of public derision, castigating criticism, the obligatory list of Windows or Android whatever products that are better and less expensive, and all the reasons and examples of why Apple is doomed and how Tim Cook is no Steve Jobs.
The problem here is this. That exact same scenario is repeated ad nauseam with every new Apple product, and it’s been that way for the past 20 years or so that I’ve owned Macs, iPods, iPhones, iPads, and now multiple Watch models.
Here’s one more example.
This weekend, after setting up my new Apple Watch Series Two, the Watch app would not take my credit card security number and suggested I call the credit card company. I did, and had a nice conversation with a support representative who specialized in mobile payment issues. Her suggestion to simply delete the credit card from the iPhone and then set it up again, first on iPhone, then on Watch, worked perfectly.
I asked her if the bank’s credit card customers using Google Pay or Samsung Pay or any other mobile payment system had similar glitches, she replied in the affirmative, but said they don’t get as many customers using Android devices, and those that have them don’t use them as much.
What does that say?
Apple’s customers are engaged in using their devices in ways not found in the Google or Windows spheres. Sure, all these gadgets do much the same things– whether Macs, iPhones, or Watch vs. Android or Windows-based devices– but it’s Apple’s customer base that is engaged in using their devices more. As long as that continues then Apple has no worries because that’s just another way Apple is different.