First, Apple ruins the holiday season by announcing that their latest product won’t be out until after the first of the year. Now, it looks like we won’t even see the Apple Watch until after Valentine’s Day. Why is Apple taking so long to get this gadget into stores?
For the last decade or so, Apple has stuck to the same plan. Let the rumors swirl that the company has a ground-breaking new product in the works, introduce the device with great fanfare at a press event, then get the item into stores within weeks so the Apple faithful can camp out overnight in mall parking lots just to be among the first to get their hands on the latest lust-worthy gadget.
But things haven’t been happening that way lately, especially since the untimely death of Apple guru Steve Jobs. Apple hasn’t had an innovative new product to tout since the debut of the iPad in 2010 and the last few media events presented slightly upgraded versions of the same old products. Meanwhile, rivals that had previously been content to let Apple lead while they followed were getting ahead of the game, as competitors like Samsung introduced larger, more feature-filled smartphones that successfully horned in on Apple’s action.
That’s why the introduction of the Apple Watch was supposed to be such a big deal. If this launch had followed the usual pattern, the device would have gone on sale within a couple of weeks after being announced, taking advantage of the media excitement stirred up by the introduction. Instead, potential buyers of the Apple Watch were teased with photos and descriptions but given no definite on-sale date. So what gives?
According to one of those inside sources that the press is so fond of, the launch of the Apple Watch has been beset by software development problems that have postponed the release date from Holiday 2014 until some unnamed time in 2015. The source told The Information that Apple would be “lucky to ship [the Apple Watch] by Valentine’s Day.” This seems a bit odd for Apple, which in the past did not have any qualms about shipping a product that was not quite ready for prime time. Remember the glitch-filled early days of the iPhone 5?
One problem that it rumored to be holding back the release of the Apple Watch is battery life, which is barely one day. This is not impressive compared to the fitness watches now on the market that can go up to a week on one charge. The type of spoiled consumer who purchases Apple products expects perfection and will not be happy at the thought of having to charge up that shiny new smartwatch every 24 hours so it doesn’t go dead.
Hopefully, Apple will have straightened out all of the problems in time to move thousands of watches in 2015—maybe in time for Mother’s Day. Or Father’s Day. Or Halloween.