The Asia Watch

January 26, 2016

Yup, I’m about to generalize half the world, billions of people from diverse cultures.

Today Apple’s earnings come out. In the run up, I’ve seen yet more articles about how the Apple Watch has been a failure, how few are seen on the street, and how iPhone sales have slowed in China in step with its recent economic woes, compounded by a strong American dollar.

Me personally, I was looking forward to the Apple Watch as a health tracker, since it was rumored to have a bunch of biometric sensors and I wanted something that worked well with iOS Health. But when it came out, it had too few sensors for my liking, and I rather wanted something without a screen anyway. I bought something else as a stopgap since I’m sure subsequent Apple Watches will have more sensors.

But when it was announced, I also found that many features seemed targeted towards Asia.

Asians love Disney and Mickey Mouse. One of the Apple Watch has a Mickey Mouse face. Disney even runs or ran a phone company over there, which was much more successful than their attempt at an ESPN phone in the United States.

Asians predominantly use larger phone ‘phablets,’ giving more purpose to a notifications-on-wrist add-on device, so you don’t need to pull your oversized phone out of your purse for every notification.

Asian scripts are denser than Roman scripts, taking up less space on screen, making the experience of reading and writing less awkward on an Apple Watch. Similarly, this is why Weibo is a completely different experience than Twitter.

A common method of text entry in Asia is drawing characters. Drawing on screen is a toy feature of the Apple Watch.

Asian emoticons, ‘stickers’ or whatever, are often exaggerated, like the ones on the Apple Watch.

After release, Apple released a special edition of the Apple Watch in China for Single’s Day.

So given the above, and ignoring that the Apple Watch is both an add-on device and first generation, I’d be more interested in hearing about how it’s doing in Asia than here in the West.