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Is Apple Watch the healthy choice?

It is the world’s best-selling watch, and it’s about to get even better…but what makes it so popular?

Apple Watch
image courtesy author

Apparently, it’s great!

Over this past week or so, I have been lucky enough to sit down and record interviews with two amazing guests. In both instances, Apple Watch has come in to the conversation.

The two guests in question were, screen analyst Ross Young and MacRumors journalist Sami Fathi. Both spoke about the watch in a highly positive manner, and it certainly clarified it for me, what I have been missing out on. But, that is not the important point here, the point they both made was, what an important health tool it is to them.

Both have very minor heart issues – irregular or, sometimes, low heartbeats. And, in both instances, the one piece of common medical advice they were both given, was to wear their Apple Watches more. This advice was coming direct from their physicians, so we can assume it is coming from those that know best. The 24/7 insight, it gives to your hearts’ health, is pretty much second to none. It is like an on-the-spot ECG every day of the week. But this really is just the start of where Apple Watch could be going.

Apple Watch – big plans

Last week, in an unprecedented move, the company published a 59-page report, in which it detailed, ever so thoroughly, every health and fitness related feature it’s launched to date for the iPhone and Apple Watch.

For some reason, Apple saw fit (sorry about the awful pun), to shout from the rafters just how determined they are to be major, and leading players in the wearables’ health space. Chief Operating Officer, Jeff Williams, even went as far, as to go on record to state;

“The health innovations we’ve pioneered have aimed to help break down barriers between users and their own everyday health data, between health-care providers and patients, and between researchers and study participants.”

Quite some claim, I am sure you’ll agree – and given the conversations I have had this week, it seems few would disagree. Apple has had criticism levelled at them saying they are not pushing the envelope far enough, fast enough.

But, that has never been their gig, to be fair. Although, innovative, they will only come to market when they are as sure as can be, that all flaws & bugs have been sorted. They would prefer to deliver a polished, finished product, and not just rush to be the first. Novelty is not for Apple.

Yet, whilst both Amazon, and Google have made hasty attempts to steal a march in the heath space, Apple still dominates.

This week, Apple will publish their report on its fiscal third-quarter sales. It’s expected to not be setting the world alight, with flatlines being forecast in many areas. But, their one saving grace, could be Apple Watch and its position within the fitness and health sectors.

Apple Watch to the rescue

Apple, I am certain, will not be afraid to roll-up its corporate sleeves and cement its place still further as a pioneer in health technology. If rough, fiscal waters are indeed ahead, they will use their Apple Watch and Fitness brands to see them through. Whilst everyone has probably now kitted out their home offices with Macs & iPads, the market for Apple Watch, still grows.

Of course, the watch is not where the spend for Apple finishes with Apple Watch. The company, currently, doesn’t charge for its health features…well, not on the face of it, at least. But, with subscription services such as Fitness+, Apple could eventually add even more revenue to the health side of their business.

And, to be sure to future-proof, as much as possible their place in the market, Apple will continually add apps, & capabilities to the Apple Watch Fitness functionality centred around women’s health and body-temperature monitoring. Mark Gurman, has also reported that technologies, such as glucose and blood pressure monitoring, could be coming later as well.

Of course, what Apple really want with Apple Watch, is to bring to market a watch with a body-temperature sensor, glucose monitor and blood-pressure checker. All of which is very complicated technology, even for Apple, so will take time. It’s expected the temperature feature could appear in this year’s models, but the blood-pressure technology will not be with us until 2025 at the earliest, and the glucose feature may not be ready until nearer to the end of the decade.

Watch this space

This year, we are expecting three new models of Apple Watch to be released. At the lower end will be the SE model, which will have the S5 chip replaced with the S8 chip from the latest Apple Watch 8.

Mid-tier will be the new Apple Watch 8. They will add an updated display to the current 41mm and 45mm Series 7 sizes. Then, at the high end, will then be the all-new, Apple Watch Pro or Rugged. Clearly, that is where most interest will lay.

We expect the Pro features will include a larger and more shatter-resistant display, aimed at an extreme athletes lifestyle, a longer battery life and a more robust, rugged case. It’s likely to be made from titanium for durability.

The Pro or Rugged is likely to have a bigger screen, larger battery and metal design that will make it attractive for anyone who simply wants the most premium Apple Watch experience. The screen will be about 7% larger, and, for the first time the since 2018, there will be an evolution of the current rectangular shape, although still no flat sides, – if you were wondering.

In my conversation with Ross, which you can find on YouTube, Apple Podcasts or Spotify, you’ll hear him say that he still uses a Garmin, even though he owns an Apple Watch. Apparently, in his user case, Garmin is much easier to sync & upload his swim metrics to than Apple Watch. Being an Ironman athlete, that’s clearly of importance to him, but he’d love your help if you’ve any advice on that!

What will it all cost?

We anticipate the new Apple Watch SE will probably replace the current model at its $279 price point. The standard Series 8 will start at $399 in its smallest, 41mm size and aluminium configuration.

How much will the new pro Apple Watch cost? If we use the current Apple Watch Edition as a guide, that may point us in the right direction at least. That watch, which is basically an Apple Watch Series 7 in a titanium case, starts at $849. That figure sounds about right to me.

The lull before the storm

This part of the summer is always the quiet time, before the madness of ‘Tech-tober’ in the fall. This year looks likely to be no exception to the ensuing silly season with four iPhone 14 models coming, an updated HomePod, a new Apple TV, the new Mac Pro, updated M2 iPad Pros, an M2 Mac mini, the new AirPod Pros and the M2 MacBook Pros in 14–inch & 16–inch.

Even with all that tech coming our way, I expect Apple Watch to still be some of the favourite from Apple when released. What delays we may see is anyones guess, but one thing is for sure, Apple will not be giving up their spot as the leader in wearable health devices and fitness monitors any time soon.

Will you be tempted to upgrade to Apple Watch 8? What features are you most looking forward to?

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