You won't find the Apple Watch on Maslow's hierarchy of needs.
That doesn't diminish the watch's fundamental utility, though. A funny thing's happened to me a number of times since I started wearing an Apple Watch: I see people staring at my wrist. Inevitably, if I catch their gaze, they'll initiate a conversation with me about it.
There's a lot of interest in the Apple Watch. But people are still trying to get their heads around it.
"How do you like your watch," is how the conversation starts.
Ultimately people want to know how I'm using it: What I'm using it for. Getting important notifications, I tell them. Starbucks transactions and using Apple Pay. Making calls, sending messages, activity tracking. Those are my top uses. Things that make it so I don't have to reach for my iPhone.
Many people are certainly interested in the Apple Watch, but more often than not, they'll shrug and say something like, "Well, it's not for me." Or "It sounds nice to have, but I don't need one."
Well, no kidding. No one needs an Apple Watch.
The Apple Watch is, by design, an accessory for the iPhone — something that improves the experience of using one.
The curiosity people exhibit is telling. This is a nascent technology. People don't fully understand what it is or how it works yet. They're seeing ads for it, reading about it, seeing them on people's wrists. They're interested in the Apple Watch, to be certain. Just not ready to pull the trigger yet.
What I've begun to realize about the Apple Watch is just how well it integrates into the rest of Apple's philosophy: Their desire to make the interface to our devices as invisible and unobtrusive as possible.
The Apple Watch continues this concept by putting what we're doing at the center, not how we're doing it. We can respond with less effort to a message, manage a transaction, track an exercise and activity, or receive notifications from apps we use.
To that end, I'm finding new uses for the Apple Watch every day. And I'm finding that using one works itself almost surreptitiously into my daily life. It's a lot easier to raise my wrist to check an incoming message from my wife and to respond to it than it is to go fishing in my pocket for my phone. I appreciate the periodic taps I get reminding me to take meds and supplements, things that I quite frankly missed or ignored when they were happening on my phone.
Much has been written in just the last couple of weeks about whether the Apple Watch is a success or failure. Rene offered his opinion, and I'd encourage you to read it, if you haven't already. It's an indictment of the media, more than anything.
Bottom line: Apple is the only one that actually knows how many Apple Watches they've sold, and they haven't said. And aren't likely to either.
Knowing how many Apple Watches have been sold isn't a helpful information. Understanding how Apple Watches are actually used give us better insight to the product's ultimate success or failure.
Apple Watch is limited, by design, with watchOS 1.0, and what it can do. To that end, it's not a technology that I recommend to everyone unabashedly. I think there are good reasons to own an Apple Watch, but they have to be reasons that jibe with your use of technology, what you're doing and how you're doing them.
Many of the shackles that constrain what the Apple Watch can do will be removed when watchOS 2.0 appears later this year. But even now, the Apple Watch succeeds in a very important way: By making access to information and the ability to react to it that much more seamless than it was before.
Do I need my Apple Watch? No. Does my Apple Watch make using my iPhone better? Yes.