Smartwatches – Smartphones for Your Wrist (Updated with News on the new Swatch Smartwatch)

The Apple Watch

Since the smartwatches began hitting the shelves, the questions on nearly everyone’s lips were “When is Apple getting in the game and what will it come out with?” Answers got closer, when Apple was awarded a patent on a “wrist-worn electronic device and methods therefor;” the device was referred to in the document as “iTime.” (Most rumors at that time had the first Apple smartwatch as being called the “iWatch.”). On September 9, 2014, Apple introduced the Apple watch. Most of the rumors were true, and market experts have already issued statements predicting that the Apple watch will disrupt both the market for mechanical wristwatches and smartwatches. Read our full Apple watch coverage here. Basically, the Apple watch includes watch features, comes with various straps, has cases in two sizes and is equipped with a variety of health, fitness, communication, music and payment options. This is in accordance with an earlier report on, stating that “the Apple smartwatch will not only be able to connect to other portable devices such as iPhones, iPads, and laptop computers, but will also incorporate sensors and other circuitry into the watch’s straps as well as its case.” The intention of the Apple watch is to create a “personal wireless environment” in which the watch can exchange information, either automatically or at the user’s request, from watch to iPhone and vice versa. Phone calls, text messages, and social network feeds would be visible on the display. Additionally, the patent information describes an enhancement that would enable the wearer to use arm and wrist gestures, rather than solely tapping fingers, to control the smartwatch’s functions. Apple has announced that the Apple watch will be available in April 2015, with a retail price starting at $349. Rumors have surfaced that Apple is already working on the second version of the watch and most likely will launch it in late 2015 or early 2016.


Apple smartwatches
The Apple Watch – A new take on the smartwatch


Apple smartwatch - detail
Apple watch detail

Big, expensive, and short battery life – who will buy it?
Lots of users asked this question in relevant Internet forums after the first smartwatches were announced. In spite of all the criticism, it should not be forgotten that these and other smartwatches represent the early generations of a totally new type of device. You just have to think back to the first cell phone, which looked like a brick held up against the user’s ear and did not have anything to offer other than the function of making calls – and compare these devices with a current smartphone. While the initial products have some weaknesses, a key one being battery life, we can say with absolute certainty that this will not be the case forever. The tough competition will ensure that smartwatches that are much more practical will appear on the market soon and that these will be more affordable.

Click here for Watch Insider Alexander Linz’s op-ed on the coming of the smartwatch and what it could mean for the traditional Swiss watch industry, and here to see WatchTime editor-in-chief Joe Thompson discuss the devices on the CNBC program “Closing Bell.”

This article was originally published on September 6, 2013 and has been updated with new information and photos.

No Responses to “Smartwatches – Smartphones for Your Wrist (Updated with News on the new Swatch Smartwatch)”

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  1. Frank Gilbert

    Why do traditional watch enthusiasts feel so threatened by smartwatches? Both types of watch have their place and both will still be around in the future. By the way, although this article has supposedly been updated, the information on Pebble availability is woefully inaccurate.

  2. The smart watch will more than likely replace the smartphone than tradisional watches, think about it our lifes is more and more focused on convenience, what can be more convienent that a watch with voice control and a blue tooth device on your ear doing every thing your phone does? It can notify u through your ear piece of calls , email, texts, social feeds and u can respond with voice comands to every thing, as for battery life? Well if they put a man on the moon I am dead sure they can make the watch solar powered or even perpetual, relegating the need to charge the watch at all, but thats all in the distant future. For now I will stick with my Rolex

  3. christopher

    These new smart watches will last 5 minutes if they are lucky, the research and innovation by the serious watch makers of this world such as the Germans and the Swiss will relegate this new fad to the bin where they belong.

  4. Sometimes i also used to wear my Smart watch but this is not suitable for our day to day need because we often do work in that circumstances where we are afraid of having the damage on the Watch. This results to great loss.
    Sell Patek Philippe Nautilus

  5. Robert Redinger

    Yes, my Rolex on my left wrist and my smart watch/phone on my right. I am wearing a Jawbone now that tracks my movements and my sleep. This is logged on my IPhone and tracked. Love it and so does my Doctor. He checks out the sleep pattern and my excerise. It will get better yet to come. I hope in my lifetime.

  6. Will Ambrose

    I’m tired of reading all the arm chair pundit putdowns of smart watches. There is a good reason to have a phone on my wrist, I’m old, I forget my 5″ cellphone but the watch will be with me no matter where I am.

    At first it looked strange when people first started using a bluetooth headset, as if they were a crazy person talking to the ethers. However, it caught on and is hardly noticed now. I think the same thing will happen with a person talking while their wrist is up to their ear; strange at first, then after a time not even perceived.

    Stand alone stylish voice-controlled smart watches with cameras, gps, ir remote control ability, web browsers, push email and news, fm radio, fall down alert, nfc, are coming. Over time just as the pda transformed into the multi-use smartphones we take for granted now, the smart watch will just be there on your wrist to serve you no matter where you are.

  7. Debashish

    These are smartwatches are nothing but gimmicks! Maybe some kids will buy some of these and when they get bored after sometime, they will just throw these out!

    These gimmicks will neither replace our Rolexes nor our Omegas! As the classical watches will last forever!

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