Apple has reportedly ordered between five to six million Apple Watches from its overseas suppliers in preparation for an April launch. The Cupertino-based company may have a tougher time convincing prospective buyers to shell out hundreds of dollars for the wearable, however, after many of its planned health features have been nixed according to The Wall Street Journal.
People familiar with the matter noted that the five to six million units is a combined figure of all three models with half of that order representing the entry-level $349 sport version. The high-end Apple Watch Edition, which features an 18-karat gold casing, is only being produced in a very limited quantity initially.
During the development process, Apple executives conceived a wristwatch with state-of-the-art health monitoring features including the ability to measure blood pressure, heart activity and even stress levels. But the end result – the first generation Apple Watch – won’t include any of those features.
As the publication notes, some features weren’t reliable. Others were simply too difficult to implement. But perhaps most telling of all is the fact that some would have brought about unwanted regulations from the Food and Drug Administration.
Without these features, Apple executives reportedly struggled to find a purpose for the smartwatch. It’s the same argument I’ve been making for well over a year now with regard to smartwatches.
The first generation Apple Watch will have to find a purpose. It’ll likely rely on a bevy of features found in other devices in addition to leaning heavily on its digital crown method of interaction to come up with new use scenarios.
Will the Apple Watch be a hit? It’s hard to bet against a company with the recent track record that Apple has. I think they've nailed the UI and interaction issue with the aforementioned digital crown but I’m still not convinced that smartwatches solve a problem or fill a need.