In Autumn 2017 Apple introduced Apple Watch 3. A revolutionary way to receive emails and texts on the move, with a cellular watch on your wrist. Only issue? It never reached Ireland. In fact it has never really expanded outside the original countries announced at the start. It is only available through one carrier in the UK and other countries have not been added in the numbers that we see for the iPhone. Too many gaps for what looked like an exciting product with big potential.
This for me has been one of the major disappointments of the year since WWDC 2017, and I hope that this year’s event, starting on Monday, will see the Apple Watch 4 or watchOS 4 alongside a bevy of new carriers and countries. I’m sure that Apple wanted to roll out the Watch to other regions and have been hampered by carrier resistance or lack of interest due to lower volumes. There may also have been an unwillingness to provide the service at a low fee. Is it worth the effort for Vodafone and Three etc to support the Watch, when the number of buyers seems to be low compared to bigger products like the iPhone and iPad? I can’t help but feel this would be short-sighted as the potential for the Watch and wearable devices is huge. But the main stumbling block may have been price. For an iPhone owner with an existing contract, paying another fee for the Watch, which would use the same contract and allowance as the phone, seems unfair. So Apple had sought low fees- an extra €5 per month seems right to me but you can see €10 being the norm, and it is possible the carriers sought more.
I hope that we see new software for the Watch and a big push to make the cellular version more available and widespread.
But for me personally, it is the health potential which intrigiues me most... The possibility of the Apple Watch being able to read blood glucose would be life changing. I have tweeted about this in the past, but if Apple could turn the Apple Watch into a glucose monitor, this would be life-changing. I am a type-1 diabetic who tests my glucose levels about 10 times per day. This is done with lancets, drops of blood and testing sensors, a painful, messy and cumbersome part of my life. It is also retro-active as I regularly test after I start to feel unwell and play catch up to bring my sugar levels back in line with glucose or with insulin injections.
The possibility that a wrist Watch would inform me as my sugars slide low or high, so I can react earlier, would be life-changing. I’m not sure that Apple can get this into a Watch alone- it may involve agadget on the body which transmits signals to the Watch, but I still live in hope of the simplicity of glucose monitoring on par with the heart rate monitor today.