Be glad that the Apple Watch isn’t available in Malaysia (yet)

That just means you’ve got more time to cool down and not buy into the hype, says Tein Hee Seow

Residents in nine countries ecstatically marked 24 April on their calendars when Apple revealed the Apple Watch’s launch details.

Except in Singapore. Instead, a collective sigh was probably heard at 3am, when the country was not listed as the first wave to receive the smartwatch designed in Cupertino.

But honestly, that’s not a bad thing. While a horde of loyal iFans here are preparing their pitchforks and raging at Apple for not prioritising them, another group should be feeling a sense of relief.

If you're one of the rational folks who's sitting on the fence about an Apple, or even an Android Wear smartwatch, you’ve dodged a bullet.

A little perspective is all you need

And perhaps a little bit more time to know if you really need an Apple Watch.

Fact is, Apple’s infamous reality distortion field still exists, and I would be lying if I said I wasn’t impressed with the slick presentation. For a moment, I believed in the hype. The promise of paying with a flick of a wrist, of opening garage doors and calling for a cab with the Watch. I was truly intrigued at the various strap designs offered by Apple - a benchmark of what a watch should be, a choice of design to suit your wardrobe.

Except, when you sit back and think really, really hard, you’re not going to get some of these amazing features. At least not till Apple Pay is available here, or some aspiring developers harness the power of Apple’s HomeKit.

Putting a price on time

And that crazy pricing for those straps? Arguably, watch collectors won’t balk at the US$17,000 (~S$23,555) pricing of the most expensive Apple Watch. Heck, some are willing to part with a six-figure sum for a bespoke timepiece.

That makes absolute sense if you’re buying a watch for the craftsmanship. The Apple Watch? I can think of other smartwatches that look like real watches. Think LG’s recently announced Watch Urbane or Huawei’s Watch. Strap it on your wrist and no one will be none the wiser that you’re wearing a smartwatch. On the other hand, put on an Apple Watch, and it just looks out of place with that squarish design.

I'm trying very hard to buy into the case for Apple Watch. Really. But I just can't shake the mental image of it looking like a toy from some 80's cartoon. Let's not even go into the details of its battery life. A day is hardly worth anything in today's context. Don't be surprised if there are third party accessories that add more juice to the already limited capacity of the Apple Watch. Oh wait, there's already one in the works.

You can't stop the craze

Now think back to when the pre-orders for the Watch starts - 10 April.

That gives you around a month since it was announced to decide if you’re jumping on the Apple Watch bandwagon. And by 24 April, the early adopters will receive the long-awaited smartwatch, tapping into the convenience offered by the Watch. And also wearing it like it's ultimate swag.

The latter, unfortunately, will be the only feature worth bragging if you do buy it from scalpers, I mean, importers here. Fact is, there will be folks who can’t wait - if they want it, they will get it. Inflated price be damned, those who buy into the hype are willing parties to an even more exorbitant pricing placed by scalpers.

While there's no stopping these eager beavers, the slightly delayed launch here will give discerning buyers more time to do their research. In the weeks to come, more Android Wear smartwatches will be available. And you don't even have to pay through the nose (think RM700 odd) to have one that might even work with an iOS device.

It's great to be an early adopter. But the smartwatch is still in its nascent stage - a wait and see approach is a wiser move.

Smartwatch - need or want?

If you’re not so blinded by the marketing talk, take a good look at what you get (or actually can’t get) from the Apple Watch.

I can’t say for sure if the Apple Watch will work just as well without the additional features promised for the US market. No Apple Pay means no convenient payment system. Unlocking doors with the Watch? Only if property developers jump on board. There are just too many unknowns for Apple Watch to be 100% functional here. But what i do know is, you’ll have more time to read our detailed hands-on or hear from early adopters about how useful (or crippling) the Apple Watch is.

At the very least, you won't make the hasty and rash decision to adopt an untested product. You might even realise that you won’t need an Apple Watch. Or even a smartwatch.

Should you take the plunge?

This is Apple we are talking about after all. If there’s anyone you should consider taking a plunge with on a new category device, it’s these guys. The ones with the app ecosystem in place, the most clout with manufacturers and the best track record to boot.

Mark my words, the Apple Watch is making big strides into the future, and you should get on it if you don’t want to be left behind.