Ever since my wife and I started wearing our Apple Watches, my 11 year-old son has been stealing one of our watches to wear so he can communicate with the other watch. He loves sending text messages, doodles and his heartbeat from Apple Watch to Apple Watch. After about a week of this, he declared that he wanted his very own Apple Watch. I explained to him that it only works with an iPhone and that without the connectivity of the iPhone, most of the functionality that he enjoys would not be available. (He is one of those increasingly rare, deprived children that lacks a smartphone of his own.)
He was very disappointed by my explanation and asked a question that frankly, I couldn’t answer. That question was “why doesn’t the Apple Watch work with my iPad?” He does own an iPad Air 2 with WiFi connectivity and frankly, most of the Apple Watch functionality would work just fine with his iPad, at least when he has WiFi available. He could send and receive messages, send doodles, use the watch as his remote to listen to music via his iPad and even send and receive calls via Facetime. In fact, much of the Apple Watch’s functionality would work fine even without WiFi connectivity.
So why did Apple make the choice to tie the Apple Watch exclusively to the iPhone? Obviously I can only speculate, but I hope that this was just an MVP (minimum viable product) decision by Apple in order to get the product to market and they will expand the functionality and connectivity of the Apple Watch over time. There is really no reason that the Apple Watch could not be a perfect companion to an iPad, just as it is for the iPhone today. It might even serve to boost sales of the iPad, which have been declining for some time. Let’s hope this is the case. After all, Apple should not deprive 11 year-olds of their very own Apple Watch.