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Apple Watch: five reasons it’s failed to catch on

Apple Watch Nike

The Apple Watch is in trouble.

While Tim Cook and co will never admit as much, the news that major tech companies are pulling their apps from the wearable is a worrying sign that a device that’s just two years old is in danger of becoming irrelevant.

Apple has never officially said how many watches it’s sold, leaving tech watchers to believe that sales have been poor.

Following its latest appearance in the tech headlines, here are five reasons why it’s failed to catch on.

1 App support is shaky

google maps apple watch

Amazon, eBay and Google Maps’ apps no longer support the Apple Watch. And the same goes for US retail giant Target.

While the lack of Amazon and eBay isn’t overly threatening, the fact that iOS’s best mapping tool doesn’t offer A to B directions on the Apple Watch is a big concern.

Google says it’ll support the watch ‘in the future’. But the lack of specifics points to the Apple Watch being stuck in limbo.

2 An ailing smartwatch market

Samsung Gear 3

Apple may be the most well–known smartwatch. But along with models from Samsung, LG and others, it’s hardly captured the public's imagination.

The whole smartwatch arena is awash with too many devices that don’t solve practical problems for consumers.

Throw in an array of budget-friendly fitness trackers that can do many of the same jobs as the Apple Watch for a third of the price, and it’s no wonder it’s failed to become a bestseller.

3 Hefty price tag

Price is a major issue. The original Apple Watch Series 1 starts at £269.

You can add another £100 for the newer Series 2, which is waterproof, allowing users to take it swimming.

To put that into context, the dedicated Garmin Swim costs £129.99 and can be found for less at discount retailers online.

Then there’s the absurd Apple Watch Hermes, costing up to £1,549. That’s for a watch with the same functionality as the base model.

Not forgetting that unlike traditional watches, these will be obsolete within five years.

Customers are being asked for too much money for a device that offers little more than glorified sports tracking.

4 Not a standalone device...

apple watch iphone

Apple has yet to make the Apple Watch a standalone product. It does not have a cellular chip, so it can’t make calls.

And while its watchOS is less reliant on an iPhone than it used to be, apps can still feel laggy and lack the same snappiness as they do on Apple’s smartphone.

The fact that you need an iPhone for it to work properly shows it’s well behind the curve.

5...Yet still too similar to a smartphone

iphone 7 vs galaxy s7 edge

This is the nub of of the issue. Many of the things you can do on an Apple Watch you can do on an iPhone, whether it’s tracking a run, checking the time or taking a glimpse at Facebook Messenger.

Sure, you don’t always want to pull your phone out of your pocket.

But the simple fact is that the Apple Watch tries to solve problems that just aren’t there.

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