Apple Watch: Cost isn't my biggest question…

When the iPhone was released in 2007, I had never paid more than $15 for a phone. Whatever phone was free with contract was what I purchased. I simply didn't see the point of spending significant money on a phone. But when the iPhone was announced, I wanted an iPhone. And now, 7 years later, every two years or so, I drop significantly more than $15 on the newest model of iPhone.

I've never paid more than $150 for a watch. I don't wear one every day. I really didn't see the point in investing a significant amount of money on a watch. But now I look at the newly announced Apple Watch.

And I want a watch.

I read John Gruber's thoughts on the new Apple Watch the other day. And what he's thinking is what I was thinking. The Apple Watch Sport will be $349 and the prices will increase significantly from there. Luckily, I like the Sport. But I really like a bunch of the other models as well — especially the stainless steel Apple Watch with Milanese Loop.

Price increases significantly as you move from left to right.

Price increases significantly as you move from left to right.

I have lots of questions about the Apple Watch. But cost really isn't the major concern. I expect a quality device with a premium price tag. But the more expensive the watch, the more these questions impact my decision.

Will the battery charge last for the entire day? For me to buy an Apple Watch, the charge has to last for at least a full day. And then hopefully, I'll remember to charge it every night. (I stink at remembering to charge my devices nightly.)

Will the Genius Bar become a jewelry counter? If I'm going to spend this kind of money, I want to try it on. See how it feels on my wrist. Think about the current Apple Stores. How in the world would they accommodate that type of customer interaction? They are already incredibly crowded. Will other retailers sell the Apple Watch? Can you see Best Buy selling solid gold watches? My guess is that Apple will offer the Sport through various retail channels, but the more expensive models will be sold exclusively through the Apple Store.

What will the upgrade cycle be like? Most of us buy an iPhone every two years. But that's because it's tied into a contract. I update my iPads and my Mac less frequently. How frequently will I upgrade my Apple Watch? For me to invest in a more expensive version, it's going to need to last more than two years.

Can I run with my Apple Watch without my iPhone? If I want to use my watch to workout, I don't also want to have to carry my iPhone. If all the GPS and network connectivity is in the iPhone, won't you need both with you to take advantage of apps like Nike Plus? And who wants to run with a giant iPhone 6 or an enormous iPhone 6 Plus? If I can leave behind my iPhone and run with just my Watch, then I'm interested. Otherwise, I'll leave the watch at home and run with my iPhone like I do now.

As we get closer to the release, we'll discover the answers to some of these questions. I have confidence that Apple will do its best to address these issues.

I intend to buy an Apple Watch. Will I spurge and go with the more expensive option? Probably not initially. I have trouble with the idea of investing in an expensive watch that is obsolete after a few years. But just like how Apple changed my attitude towards buying mobile phones, I think they will radically change my attitude towards buying watches.

Caught in the middle

Last week, Apple reported that they had sold more than a few truckloads of iPads. Of course, some Wall Street types weren't impressed. Which led some tech writers to question the iPad's future, Apple's innovation, Tim Cook's leadership style, Steve Jobs' legacy and Jony Ive's accent. (You can catch up here.)

Which got me thinking about my iPad and the fact that it's the least critical computer I own.

I say this as someone who loves their iPad. I've got a first generation iPad mini. The non-retina one. I use it regularly. But it's one of three machines that I own. I've got a MacBook Pro and an iPhone, too.

My MacBook had a hard drive failure recently. I repaired it within hours. If my iPhone was lost or stolen, I'd be at the Verizon store quickly. And if something happened to my iPad... well... I'd wait to replace it. I would miss it. I prefer the iPad for several daily tasks, but it doesn't serve a critical function for me. I can live without it.

I don't see this as a problem with the iPad, though. It's a testament to how useful the iPhone and MacBook are. I need the MacBook for Creative Cloud and type design software. I need my iPhone for phone calls, messaging and taking pictures. And I use the iPhone as the network connection for my iPad and MacBook when I can't get reliable wifi.

Not too long ago, I had a desktop and a laptop. Laptops were slow and underpowered. The screens were too small. You had a laptop for convenience, but you had a desktop to get things done. Over time, laptops improved. They got faster and had better screens. The prices came down. Battery life improved. I used the laptop more and more. And when it was time to replace my desktop, I didn't. I bought a new laptop. 

So all this chatter about whether the iPad has lost momentum? Give it time. These type of transitions take a long while. 

I believe that the iPad can replace a laptop for many people. Personally, I have specific software that I want to use. It will be a long, long time before an iPad can run the design software that I need. But someday, I could see my kids with with tablets as their primary computers instead of laptops.

I can confidently say that today, my iPad isn't as critical to me as my iPhone and my MacBook. I'm not sure, however, that will be true in 5 to 10 years.