The once legendary news agency Reuters has begun hawking Apple’s up and coming toy watch, which is being delivered two years behind the competition, and without any killer apps.
Reuters ran a story this morning saying that “Apple’s forthcoming smartwatch poses a conundrum for advertisers: How to tap the enticing possibilities of the tiny gadget without overwhelming consumers with messages.”
Is it? Well not really. Some company mobile-marketing firm TapSense plans to release an Apple Watch ad-buying service at CeBit and since there is no way that Reuters can write a positive iWatch story this week it has had to run with this one.
According to Reuters: “The service will provide a first glimpse of how businesses can serve up ads on the watch, even though the gadget will not be available until later this year.”
Surely that is only a problem if the iWatch was “ground-breaking, new technology” which had not already been in the market place for two years and been greeted by a loud sounding yawn by the rest of the world.
But Reuters warns the same qualities that render the watch exciting to Madison Avenue, such as the ability to detect customers approaching a store and to zap an ad directly to their wrists, also risk alienating those customers.
Is it? The iPhone has been around for years and it has never used that sort of technology. Instead what TapSense seem to be selling are interactive wallpapers on the watch dial with brand logos and personalised clock faces.
The watch’s main screen allows the display of several tiny icons, including for email, weather, time, and potentially a few favourite service and retail apps.
The start-up is exploring using Apple Watch’s location-based features to target new customers. Apple has not added global positioning on the Apple Watch, but apps can track location as the device is tethered to a smartphone.
Reuters admits that it is not clear if the iWatch will create a new mass-market category, Venture capitalist Fred Wilson caused a stir last week by predicting the watch “will not be the home run product that iPod, iPhone, and iPad have been”.
But with the mainstream press pushing non-stories to the great unwashed about the vapourware, it does have a chance of selling more than its rivals.