A funny thing happened soon after I received my Apple Watch. My wife started asking me about the functionality of the Apple Watch and started researching the capabilities of the device online. She even began looking at the various band options to see which was “right” for her. This was unprecedented. I am a relatively early adopter of many new technologies. I admit it – I like my gizmos and gadgets. My wife, on the other hand, usually adopts the attitude of the techno-phobe. Her approach is more of a “you need to prove I need you” attitude when it comes to technology. And yet, with the Apple Watch, she seemed to be signalling to me that there was something about the device that made it a “must have” for her, even though it was more of a “cool to have” for me. It wasn’t more than a month after I had received my Apple Watch that I bought her an Apple Watch of her own.
This whole episode made me wonder what is different about the Apple Watch than other technologies such that my wife became an early adopter. I have since figured it out and the explanation is actually relatively simple. The Apple Watch was actually designed for chicks. (Okay, women for the PC crowd.) For me, the killer app for an Apple Watch is its capabilities as an exercise tracker. However, for my wife the killer app of her Apple Watch is its ability to let her leave her iPhone in her purse without the risk of missing any calls or messages, especially from me (or so I would like to think). And I have to admit, that I appreciate this functionality as do others. Historically, the chances that I would reach my wife on her cell phone at any given point in time was no better than 50%. That is because she tended to leave her cell phone in her purse and if she was shopping or in a meeting, she would rarely even know that her phone was ringing. She also wouldn’t see texts until much later. Now, with an Apple Watch on her wrist, things have changed. My success rate in reaching her via call or text is significantly higher – probably approaching 90%. And when I don’t reach her, it is usually because there is a legitimate reason she can’t be interrupted.
The importance of this “leave your phone in your purse” functionality really struck home with me when I was in Washington DC with my extended family. Most days, I left my iPhone in my backpack and relied on my Apple Watch to field the constant stream of messages coming from my family. I used the Apple Watch to read and send texts to the group we had set up and even used it to answer and place calls on occasion. (Yes, I was that Dick Tracy douche that you now occasionally see talking to his wrist.) If I had been required to have my iPhone handy for all of those communications, it would have been significantly more inconvenient. On the other hand, when I am in the office or at home, I tend to have my iPhone conveniently at hand. In those situations, having the Apple Watch available to send and receive calls and texts is significantly less beneficial since my phone is right there. That is when I realized that the Apple Watch is particularly useful for anyone that tends to keep their iPhone in a bag of any sort, whether that be a backpack, a purse or, God forbid, a fanny pack.
Bottom line, the Apple Watch is a killer device for women, because they are the ones most likely to want to keep their iPhone in a place where it is not readily accessible, such as their purse. When my wife adopts a new device as early as she did with the Apple Watch, it is a sure sign that either the apocalypse is coming or that device is a designed for someone like her. Interestingly, most of the interest and adoption information I have seen indicate that more women then men want to buy the Apple Watch. I think this is just due to the fact that more men than women tend to be early technology adopters. Because from what I have experienced, the Apple Watch is actually a device design for chicks.