Apple is a company that understands, and values the early adopter. It’s one thing to buy the new iPhone on launch day this year, and quite another to buy their very first iPhone back in 2007. The same goes for buying the first Apple Watch 18 months ago. Buying Apple’s smart watch is really an investment on what you think Apple is capable of for an entirely new product. During the September 7th event, Apple unveiled the Apple Watch Series 2. The more you look at the second generation, the more it seems Apple designed it to appease their early adopters who own the first generation.
First off, Apple waited an extra six months to release a second generation beyond the yearly upgrade cycle. The actual new features are designed to entice those who still haven’t picked up an Apple Watch. Apple didn’t offer big changes to the existing device, and that’s a nice gesture by Apple to their early adopters. The biggest change is the upgrade from water resistant to water proof allowing you to not worry about taking the Apple Watch off for time at the pool or ocean. Some people didn’t get the first edition to wait on water proof, but it’s not a true usability change for first generation owners.
Another new feature for the second generation is a built in GPS chip allowing you to track activity without bringing your iPhone. You still need the iPhone if you want to listen to tunes and get notifications, so that iPhone tether is still essential. The screen is now twice as bright, though I have never had a problem reading the Apple Watch in direct sunlight thanks to light colors on a dark backdrop. In making the screen brighter, Apple made no mention of improved battery life to let the watch last multiple days, which might be the most important upgrade going forward. Then, there’s the new System in Package with twice the processing power. Granted, Apple is launching watchOS 3 with instantaneous app launching, so it’s tough to see how instantaneous can be twice as fast.
The Apple Watch series 2 was partly designed to not make 1st gen owners feel bad over their purchase. The 1st gen owners can be just as happy with the device on their wrist, especially with watchOS 3. The $350 version owners wouldn’t be upset regardless as that’s not a huge investment, but Apple sold a lot more expensive versions. Apple likely decided to hold off on big new features until the third edition this time next year. That gives first get owners 2.5 years until they have an envy to upgrade, and in the quick movement of the technology industry, that’s a nice gift from Apple to their early adopters.