What the April 24th arrival of the Apple Watch means for Android Wear Smartwatches


apple watch collection

Apple already gave us a peak at their first ever smart watch back in 2014, but we haven’t gotten many hard details until just now. This is the Apple Watch, and even if you don’t plan to buy anything Apple anytime soon there’s good reason to take notice. They’ve finally let loose a release date — April 24th, with pre-sales commencing April 10th — and it’s that very day we’ll see just how big of a market there truly is for smart watches.

With reports that only 700,000 Android Wear devices have been sold there’s no secret it hasn’t quite exploded yet, but many of today’s smart watch manufacturers are facing the typical challenges of an infant market that is only just now starting to find its way. You might hate to admit it, but the Apple Watch has decent enough potential to change that.


We’ve seen Apple do it time and time again. Smartphones of today wouldn’t be the smartphones of today without Apple’s influence. Tablets of today wouldn’t be the tablets of today without Apple’s influence. Google’s early work on wireless payments with Google Wallet was overlooked until — you guessed it — Apple Pay made the world wake up.

It’s an unfortunate trend to see, but it’s a trend that does exist. We suspect it’ll continue in the realm of smart watches. Is that to say the sudden arrival of Apple’s first wearable is going to make the Android Wear space explode overnight?

Not necessarily. There’s still a lot of work to be done such as platform maturation, improvements to low-power technology and battery life and, most importantly, increasing accessibility in areas of usability and price.

android wear collection

LG, ASUS, Motorola and Huawei aren’t going to wake up tomorrow morning and find an extreme uptick in sales because people are suddenly more aware that smart watches are a thing (or else that would have happened the first time Apple showed the Apple Watch). But what this will do is spur the sort of competition that will fuel those companies’ desire to innovate and make a smart watch experience that’s truly irresistible.

There’s also the issue of Apple’s own chance to do well in the space. We tend to assume everything “Apple” will sell well, but what they showed today was actually quite dull and does very little to disrupt the smart watch scene that other OEMs haven’t already tried.

Using your watch to make and receive calls? We’ve seen that in the Samsung Gear S and the upcoming LG Watch Urbane LTE (though both admittedly don’t run Android Wear). Apple Glances that show you stuff like music controls, weather, calendar updates and more information from your most used apps? That’s basically Google Now, the driving platform behind Android Wear’s very existence.

Saying the Apple Watch is basically an iPhone that can be slapped to your wrist isn’t the least accurate description. Apple hasn’t done anything relatively new with the Apple Watch, though we’ll admit it does seem to be the beneficiary of damn good engineering.

That raises a very interesting question, though: if Android Wear hasn’t done enough to capture the interests of the public, what exactly does the Apple Watch do differently? As we always say, it doesn’t matter who does things first, it matters who does them right. The verdict is still out on the Apple Watch and whether it gets everything right.

hugh turvey watch face 2

The initial word around Phandroid’s water cooler is that there really isn’t any one thing that blows the competition out of the water. Its underwhelming 18-hour battery life, a minimum price tag of $350 and a lack of support for standard 22mm watch bands are the biggest knocks. We also imagine consumers won’t be rushing out to buy the versions of these that will cost upwards of $1,000 and $10,000. No, really, Apple has actually lost it:

apple watch ridiculous price

It’s those exact reasons why Android Wear manufacturers — and any company that makes a smart watch, really — can use this as a perfect excuse to do better. Apple may not be changing the game through never-before-seen features and innovation, but their sheer presence and the power of their name alone certainly gives other OEMs a lot more incentive to compete for top honors. Let’s hope that competition will bring a horde of devices worth getting excited for and help the wearables category blossom into a viable, long-term and lucrative area of business for everyone involved.

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. i know this isn’t really related to the article, but holy crap those watches are ugly, especially the one with the green band.

  2. 18 battery life???? um no, that is a horrible looking watch. Might as well call it a iHooker for sucking so bad

    1. #GearSisBoss

      1. And you’re an idiot for using hashtags on a website/service that doesn’t make use of them.

  3. Ugh… Now I am going to get even more iSheep asking if my Galaxy Gear 2 is an iWatch. Was already getting tired of that, now I may have to get the LG Urbane (which I don’t mind)…

    1. I’ve encountered 3 types of people when it comes to my G Watch (which I plan on replacing later this year): 1) Those who are curious what it is. 2) Those who ask if it’s an “iWatch”, and 3) Those who ask if it’s an Apple Watch. Actually, in the 5 months I’ve had it, only a handful or so knew exactly what it was (os and model)

  4. I think this will help pebble as it works with iOS. If you own an iphone you only habe two choices this ugly one or pebble.

    1. good point, agreed. I do not really care for the UI the pebbles have but the price is right for people just getting into the market for a smart watch.

  5. Apple is desperate for these watches to be accepted as a fashionable accessory. Unfortunately you just cannot wear this device with its ridiculous bubblegum dispenser bubbly styling in any kind of formal or even business casual setting. The LG Urbane, the Huawei and certainly the Moto 360 (that I wore to my sister’s wedding with the tux and all – subject to jabs of ‘dude do you have your watch turned to vibrate?’ from the fellow groomsmen) all can be worn in these types of dress codes.

    These things will sell like no other smartwatch with pre-orders maybe already exceeding the total sales of Android Wear devices – but I doubt they’ll be as ubiquitous as the iPhone itself simply because they look completely ridiculous.

  6. I think it will end up being like the original Wii. Everyone will buy one and other OEMs will try to imitate, but ultimately after a month or two the devices will go unused and will just sit on a shelf.

    1. Once you buy the OG Apple Watch, then what will make you buy another one? It’s not like a phone that some people buy every couple years, most people wait even longer. People will buy one and realize it’s just a fad and it will end up collecting dust in their drawers or end up on eBay. eBay will be the used Apple Watch marketplace, mark my words.

  7. I don’t get the buzz, that watch is ugly!

    1. Its made by Apple, they could made a turd and wrap it in something shiny and there will be buzz… Sad but true

  8. have u guys seen the prices on the fugly things, things cost more than ur 1st born, sheesh

  9. Apple hasn’t lost it. Gold is expensive. It’s solid gold.

    A gold Rolex costs $25,000 or more, so I would say that a gold Apple watch is a relative bargain. People are going to take your Apple bashing less and less seriously with each additional nonsensical thing you say.

    1. well the cheapest rolex costs under a grand to manufacture….so yeah, there is that. The $27k watch u refer to still only costs about $6k to manufacture….

      1. And do you know why that watch only costs $27k?



    2. You could buy over 1/2 pound of Gold for $9650 and a Sport version of the Apple Watch. In 2 years you’d be left with Gold which could have more or less value or an obsolete device that needs upgraded every 2 years. A Rolex at least doesn’t need upgraded every two years.

    3. Not solid gold. Just saying.

      1. It’s solid 18K gold. You incapable of watching videos? It’s machined out of a solid ingot. Jeez… at least make an effort will you?

        1. Yeah. So, the expression solid gold typically means 24 karat gold – and it has for a VERY LONG TIME ok.

          Solid 18 karat gold is something that jewelers used to teach customers to mean: sales pitch, not the truth.

          Sorry if I made you mad but it was by watching the videos – and Ive coming out and bragging how the alloy is much harder than others, that I knew what it had.

          I posted his video above, before you commented.

          No need to thank me for the lesson on what the difference is between solid gold and an alloy, you’re welcome in advance! :)

        2. Solid gold is 24k, and too soft.

    4. It’s actually rematerialized gold.

    5. Anyone with half a brain would take a Rolex over an Apple Watch any day of the week. You iSheep really are brainwashed and lost. SMFH.

  10. It seems to me Apple is trying to do too much with this. Zoom on a watch? Clunky interface composed of apps, contacts and more. Android Wear isn’t perfect, but it’s perfectly simple. I love my Gear Live and would love to grab that gold LG Urbane for a more sophisticated look.

  11. For those who want to see the whole range along with the sales pitch –


  12. How funny. Android “smart”watches have basically failed, and yet you guys still defend it. But wait, here comes Apple!! Surely, Apple won’t (again) show Fandroids how to properly do something.

    Once again, you guys do not represent the majority yet narcissism kicks in and you refuse to believe that.

    They will sell more of these in a few months than all the Android watches sold ever. Like everything Apple sells, you will then spin it as the buyers being “sheep”, or “stupid” and not being as “smart” as you guys.

    In the end, the Samsungs of the world will clone it.. and do it badly, and then you’ll flip-flop your criticisms and fall back on the tired “Well.. it was the next logical step.. duh!” remarks.

    There’s a reason why Apple is the most valuable company on the planet right now, and it’s because of everything you have been proven so wrong about. Keep whining kids.

    1. haha well some of us actually think honestly and know Apple does make some cool stuff. I think a quick google search will give you the things that Apple has actually copied tho. Not that any Apple fan would EVER be honest with that….oh no, that will be the day.

      1. Apple ( well all tech in general ) fan here. Yes Apple has borrowed ideas and put their own flair to it in most cases. ( not all I know )

        Touch Id is my main example. Apple wasn’t the first but be damned if they didn’t make it work good.

        There you go. There’s the honesty you seek.

        1. Completely agree. Both have borrowed. It’s the name of the game. I respect your response and honesty.

        2. Well if you buy the only viable option in scanning fingerprints, you’re obviously going to have the best. That’s not innovation, just holding up the market. http://appleinsider.com/articles/15/01/26/fingerprint-sensor-for-googles-nexus-6-was-nixed-after-apple-bought-authentec

          1. That’s Something else these companies like to do. Buy companies and implement their tech into their devices. Google, Apple and Sammy do it all the time. Sometimes it comes off kinda scumbagish too I’ll admit lol.

        3. AuthenTec makes one hell of a good fingerprint scanner which Samsung used to use before Apple gobbled them up. However the new Galaxy S6 scanner works just as well.

    2. You mean apple copied android wear and didn’t add anything innovative to it? I’m laughing so hard lol.

    3. so when you say android smartwatches “failed” you mean like in sales ?? thats one of the #1 stupid ass things I always here apple fans say…Apple sold more then Andriod blah blah blah so that makes it better ?? did you ever think how this can make you look even more stupid and wonder how apple marketing is getting to everyone of you to think you really need this so u must buy?? what im trying to say is just because one product outsales the other does not mean its bettter, unless you have stock in Apple you should not even be worried about who sold more of what….talk to me about features, style and usability of the watch not about how much $$$ apple milked you for …… now tell me how the hell do you see the apple smart watch looking better then the Moto360 or Asus Zen …..unless you are a little girl or boy that likes fisher price ….

    4. The masses have common sense. They aren’t going to pay double what they paid for their phone, for a watch. Again, you are delusional.

    5. At the end of the day, as a true watch enthusiast.. These things are all but ugly and cheap looking.. Android as well.. When the likes of say breitling, iwc, even citizen or seiko step up to this.. If they ever do.. Then just maybe I’ll take a look..

    6. Your 1 Guest up vote on your comments doesn’t fool anyone man… I know it’s you up voting yourself but so you can make it seem like someone is agreeing with you. Just pitiful man.

  13. I was just watching eyewitness news and I literally busted out laughing when one of the news anchors talking about the Apple watch and what it can do said: “So basically everything my Samsung watch can do.” That made my day.

  14. Well, Apple just invented haptic feedback and the long press on a smartwatch…last I checked my moto 360 had that last year. Leave it up to Cuppertino to always be a step ahead of the game!!!

    1. hahahaha

  15. Here’s my opinion and I may be wrong on this but we all know this watch is neither the first, the prettiest, or the most functional. I think the sales of this are all gonna come down to marketing which is one of the strong points of Apple. That $10k version is gonna be worn on fashin runways and by celebutards and probably athletes and 1%ers. This is gonna draw the masses towards the cheaper ones and it’s gonna sell a boat load of units.

    Just my .02

    1. The masses won’t pay more than 200 for a phone. They will not be paying double for the cheapest watch from Apple.

  16. So now the android watch manufacturers can sit back and let Apple pay for their marketing.

  17. Apple will sell their watches because of their existing customer base are status whores and nothing more. That 17k watch will be worn by the elites and I am sure Apple will give them to other “celebs” so that it will create a sense of empowerment to Apples less qualified customers in purchasing a lower end model of the smartwatch. Apple has a great fan base due to this strategy and while its sad, its actually pretty smart for Apple. Just look at their current Q4 profits. To me however that watch looks like a luxurious fisher price watch.

    1. What’s sad is that you WISH Android had that kind of following. So what you end up doing is resorting to insults instead of doing any kind of actual debate.

      There’s a reason Apple’s products are so popular with consumers, and why they are the most valuable company with the best customer service. Proven, factual, and every time shows how wrong you guys are constantly proven.

      But hey, just go ahead and keep calling hundreds of millions of satisfied Apple customers “whores”, because obviously you know what you’re talking about and why no one has snapped you up to become CEO of a multi-billion-dollar company just eludes me.

      1. Naw I really don’t care as long as they continue producing the best software out. Sorry dude.

        1. these guys like to project their own emotional limitations on everyone else

        2. iOS is a mess. It’s been Bug City. Sorry dude.

          1. Ios is also extremely dull and has limited functionality and isn’t even close to being ‘smart’

      2. I’ve said it before, if Apple released a bag of sh*t called the iTurd, the Apple fanboys would run out and spend hundreds of dollars on it.

        That’s not to say that Apple doesn’t make good products, the point is that their fans have become completely blind to what else is out there and to whether or not they really need what Apple is selling.

      3. He’s right though. Majority of apple loyalists are just interested in status. No two ways about it mate.

        1. Yeah, but even some of the die hard iFans I know that have been with Apple since the OG iPhone all the way to the 6/6+ are saying they’re going to pass on this iToy. They just don’t see a practical use for it. The iPhone does everything the Watch does and more. And the cost is just ridiculous. And now you give thugs one more thing to rob off of people. Wait till all the Apple Watch muggings start happening. Hey, it’s easier to steal the Apple Watch than an iPhone in someone’s purse or pocket. Especially the Gold Watches that have some actual value.

          1. People have been getting mugged for valuable things since the dawn of time. It isn’t going to stop people buying things to keep up with the trendy crowd. The apple watch will sell big, regardless of how useful it is or how much of a theft risk it is. Apple stuff sells because it is what people buy to be cool. This is common knowledge.

      4. People in the US scoff at the idea of paying more than 200 for any phone, iPhone included. They don’t even want to pay the insurance deductibles for a replacement. The masses are not going to pay double, at minimum, for an accessory. You are delusional.

        1. Unless they start subsidizing these Fisher Price wannabes or do a BOGO free with an iPhone purchase. You couldn’t pay me to wear one of these toys.

  18. Do they pay you to troll or is a personal thing? :D

  19. i’m so disappointed in apple.

    They used to be interesting.

    Now they just follow other companies with boring, me-too products.

    1. me too? All technology is me too. Everything is copied or improved by competitors. This makes no sense? Yes it’s not the first smart watch. Also won’t be the last.

      1. Most tech is copied, yes, but its not always so far behind the curve, and so dependant on the other players, the innovators.

        The only thing that differentiates the a-watch is apple pay integration and supposedly the details of the dial ui. To me, the a-watch is 99% ‘hey, look at how pretty and expensive our copy of Android Wear is.”

        Apple has supposedly put a huge amount of research talent, money, and effort into this, and I was expecting something better than an Android Wear clone.

        They even backed off of most of the health features which they previously claimed would be included at the last WWDC.

  20. If anybody buys that freakin’ hideous $17,000 watch they should be institutionalized. I find it hard to believe even a billionaire who was somewhat intelligent would buy that, unless they just totally worshiped everything about Apple and plesasure themeselves while thinking about their lack of an app drawer or something. *shrug* Curious if there are any such crazy people in the world.

    Oh wait I bet Kanye has already ordered one.

    1. What does Kanye have to do with this ?

      1. Right lol

      2. Absolutely nothing, ha, at the time I overheard two people discussing him, the disgust took over. ;)

    2. Nahhh, Apple will give these out to the wealthy celebs. The people that can afford these atrocities will get them handed to them for zilch.

    3. Call me a snob, but if you want to spend 17k on a watch, you buy something with heritage and a mechanical movement. A Patek, an Omega, even a Rolex. Not an Apple.

  21. The people that buy the $17,000 watch will be the same kind of people that buy under powered android Vertu mobiles. But because it’s an Apple, now they’re stupid. Most of people that buy this over priced product have so much money they buy this stuff out of boredom. Good for them, I hope to be so bored one day.

  22. Well I’m not an Apple fan, I can’t ignore when Apple does something people pay attention. They have a loyal fan base, who like things that just work. The watch isn’t going to reinvent the wheel but it’s going to turn heads.

    1. Yeah, turn heads in disgust of the look and price

      1. People overpaid for the iPhone. Why all of a sudden are people not go pay that Apple premium for the watch?

        1. Because it’s a freaking watch! Our phones do a lot more than these stupid smartwatches. Only true iSheep will buy these Apple Watches. I heard people saying that they don’t like the Apple Watch and think it’s ugly, but they will buy it just because it’s an Apple Watch. People lose common sense when Apple releases new products. Apple will come out with an iPhone 6s this year that is 3.5-4 inches and everyone will go crazy and buy it. Apple will have tricked their customers once again into buying a smaller screen size phone. And then next year will tell them they need a bigger screen size phone. And then repeat the Apple cycle and keep milking the loyal sheep base.

          1. you dont even believe that, at most they will refresh the 5s and maybe call it the iphone mini, and keep the 6S and 6S Plus. They made too much of a killing upping the size. Now all they need is to get the 5s people to upgrade

            Who does apple trick? the make great products and have crazy marketing skills. Not like the apple owners feel crummy. we actually feel we have the superior product. from macs, to ipads to iphones an soon the watch. kinda like u android heads feel every 6 months there’s a new flagship by a new OEM. lol

        2. Only a few people overpaid for the iPhone. That’s why they had to come off of it’s original ridiculous price.

          1. Only a few? They sold 700 mill. and it hasn’t been a price drop. lol, what are you talking about? only price that changes is the subsidized priced from carriers. from 199 to 99 for the 16gb with a contract. But the phone retails the same price @ apple.

          2. You obviously have no idea what you are talking about. When the original iPhone was released, it was 600 on contract. After several months passed with few sales, they dropped it to 200 and refunded the people that paid the 600.

          3. we really talking about the iphone 1? lol. like really? its 2015. apple stuff is expensive and people pay it.

          4. Yes. The prices of their phones in 2015 are in line with other phones. With their watch, they have gone back to ridiculous overcharging. It will bite them just like it did before.

          5. we will, see. my guess itll sell out like the OG iphone/ipad did. I know im preordering.

          6. The iPhone didn’t sell out when it was ridiculously priced. They had to drop the price to normal levels to get people to buy them. People aren’t going to pay double what they paid for their phone, for an accessory that will drain their already bad iPhone battery even faster. I should have known from your ignorance that you are a sheep trying to troll.

          7. again, 2015. step out of 2007. smh. they same people buying this are same same who dropped 700=1000 for a iphone 6 Plus. im not trolling, u just convinced that ALL of a sudden people gonna wake up and stop over paying for new tech from apple. LOL sales will be fine. thats the least of your concern.

          8. Very few people buy phones at full retail. So if the same ones that paid full retail for an iPhone buy the A watch, then they might sell a few hundred. 99% of people buy on contract, to get the subsidized price. People in 2015 still won’t pay those watch prices, for an iPhone. You are delusional if you think the masses are going to pay double at minimum what they paid for their phone, for an ugly watch that does nothing special, but drain their phone battery faster

          9. True, most dont buy flat out. Most finance and its still paid for in full retail at the end of your payment/plan cycle. carriers will allow u to finance it, just like ipads. Your delusional to assume that this watch wont do NUMBERS. smh. keep hoping it fails. just like the ipad haters. “its just a big, iphone” lol, “my xoom kills this thing!” “500 for that?” years later and its still the best selling tablet on the market. U may call me a sheep, but its real. your a minority sir. cuz for everyone like you who says it wont, its 2 more people who are waiting for it to drop so they can buy it. holla @ me on the 1st day or preorders on 4/10. im sure itll sell out. AND im sure there be article here about it AND IM SURE youll be in it talkin the same BS, and ima quote the hell out of this conversation.

          10. There are key differences between the iPad, and a watch. The iPad is big enough to justify a higher price. Think about the prices of the watch. Is a tiny screen on your wrist really worth as much, and more than the iPhone itself? That’s how the masses will look at it. The next difference is the fact that the iPad was a device in its own right. It did not depend on the iPhone to work. This watch is just a Bluetooth accessory, nothing more. It is not worth the price. For the record, I think all smartwatches are silly. It is just a Bluetooth accessory to drain your battery faster, with no extra functionality. I know that a certain segment of the sheep crowd will buy the watch, but it will not be a hit with the masses. Then, I haven’t even addressed the fact that people stopped wearing watches when smart phones became widespread.

  23. From what I’ve seen all day only the hardcore sheep like it, but even then they’re having trouble defending this thing. Most Apple fans are passing on it for various reasons.

    1. Mostly on price. But it’ll sell regardless. Not just to sheep.

  24. I know its the Wrong place to debate apple products, but the apple watch looks on pace to kill my old 360 i returned when i switched from nexus 5 to iphone 6. Live feeds, app intergration, nice battery life. Haptic feedback, pressure reactive screen calls, texts, connects via wifi not just BT, dedicated apple watch store, list goes on. apple may copy but they do it better. Just sayin. It doesnt feel hacked and rushed. Which was many peoples biggest complaint about my 360 watch. You guys actually sayin hey doing too much?! Android isnt doing enough. Lol. Price? Its typical apple inflation of 100-150 more than the android ones. Itll see just fine. They sold 700 million over priced iphone 6s. Lol.

    1. Good battery life?????!!!!!

      1. Projected 18hrs? 72hr on the power save mode? It’ll last about as long as my phone. Since it’s no good without it thats good to me. My 360 got like 12.

  25. Android Wear sold 700,000 units thus far; I bet Apple bests that in a week or two.

  26. Apple Watch means nothing because it isn’t stand-alone with built in call/data/GPS capability, has inadequate battery life of ~2 hour screen-on time, lacks cross platform support and looks like it came out of a bubble gum machine.

    1. How many smart watcheshave all that packed in it? And if they do they not lasting for days on a charge. Majority have about as much as apples. Plus apples spin on its app interface/integration is better compared to what Ive seen/used in android wear. And Google is already working on making it work with android. So there goes the cross platform.

  27. I just can’t see people buying a 17k watch and in 2 years or so apple will drop support for it and it will disappear from existence.. I mean they look great but not 17k great a rolex will be the way to go. I can see people buying the budget version and putting on the expensive bands to show off that they have bought a 17k watch..

  28. Correct answer to the title of this article. Android wear smartwatches – Run for the HILL.

  29. Go away phakeman, go clone someone else.

  30. Apple will sell more of these than any single maker of Android compatible devices. You can’t make sense out of it because there isn’t any there to be had. Apple isn’t the first or, in a lot but not all cases, the best. They have brand recognition. My flag is planted with Android because of the diversity and competition they have in their products. I don’t have to settle on one style of watch at a high pricepoint. Android is accessible to far more people. You can pick up an LG G watch from Amazon for $145. Is it the best smart watch out there? No, but you gain entry and are able to enjoy the technology at a reasonable price, something Apple won’t provide and I’m ok with that.

  31. Apple will sell more of these than any single maker of Android compatible devices. You can’t make sense out of it because there isn’t any there to be had. Apple isn’t the first or, in a lot but not all cases, the best. They have brand recognition. My flag is planted with Android because of the diversity and competition they have in their products. I don’t have to settle on one style of watch at a high pricepoint. Android is accessible to far more people. You can pick up an LG G watch from Amazon for $145. Is it the best smart watch out there? No, but you gain entry and are able to enjoy the technology at a reasonable price, something Apple won’t provide and I’m ok with that.

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