I’m writing this not to scaremonger or to try and jump onto any potential __gate after a new Apple product is launched. I made the switch from my trusted Pebble to the White Apple Sports Watch and am thoroughly enjoying it. As an early adopter it reminds me of when I got my first iPod back in 2002. It’s not yet perfect but in my opinion it’s worth its weight in gold aluminium. I remember those halcyon days in my late twenties listening to Coldplay on my way back from work on the London Underground with those striking white headphones in my ears and my iPod hidden in my pocket. A year later that innocence came to bite me when I was mugged for my iPod. Admittedly I was an easy target being 158cm, of very slight build and carrying a £400 music player that was being ‘advertised’ by those white headphones.
Once I got over the shock of being mugged it was a hassle getting my insurance to pay out for a replacement but a few weeks later everything was sorted and after putting my music back on the new iPod I was very careful about where and when I used the iPod. If memory serves me right I used a cheap pair of black headphones to disguise the fact I owned an iPod like many others in the years ahead. Bringing this back to my Apple Watch I am beginning to feel scared of people seeing me while I’m out walking. The weather in London is warming up and there are days that it’s even t-shirt weather making my Apple Watch permanently visible. I want to check notifications as well as finding out whether I have hit my activity goal but I feel more of a target now I am wearing this expensive and desirable ‘fashion’ tech accessory. I never had this fear with the Pebble for 2 reasons. I didn’t perceive it as an attractive gadget worth stealing and crucially it didn’t contain any of my data. Is it Apple’s fault that there are unscrupulous people in the world that may target me or anyone for any number of reasons? Of course not. Do Apple have a responsibility to make sure that in the event that my iPhone or Apple Watch gets lost or stolen that my personal data on it is safe? I would argue yes and with Activation Lock Apple pretty much made it pointless in stealing an iPhone which led to a huge reduction in iPhone thefts around the world. I now don’t feel as scared about taking out my iPhone out of my pocket when I am out walking but one of the main selling points of the Apple Watch is to get rid of the friction and annoyance of taking your iPhone out of your pocket to check a non-urgent notification. I read and pondered over John Gruber’s take on Daring Fireball that wearing an Apple Watch it is no different to wearing any other watch. My feeling it is different. If money were no object would I buy or more importantly wear a Rolex watch? I actually wouldn’t for the fear that I would be more vulnerable to being mugged again. I do agree with his reasoning that it is more difficult to figure out a way to implement Activation Lock on an Apple Watch and that Apple are probably working on a way to implement this security measure or something similar. Right now though this doesn’t give me the peace of mind when I am out walking with a product that has garnered so much attention from the media since its huge unveiling last September. I actually feel more vulnerable from being mugged now as when any in demand product is hard to get hold of by nature it is more desirable to thieves and that makes me feel like a walking target. So for the moment I’m just going to wear long sleeves and be discreet when checking my taps.