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Smartwatch Caste System Affects All of Us—Well… Most of Us

- By Keith Lehman (PA) 2/16/17

white apple watch beside a white iPhone

Last year in November I wrote in part 1 of our of our series, Is a Smartwatch Really a Watch?, that the Apple Watch currently had no real competition. I knew it would only be a matter of time before that statement would ring hollow, but I didn’t expect it to happen so quickly.

As the smartwatch market continues to gain momentum, Apple fans’ “smartwatch of choice” is and will be limited to which Apple Watch to choose from. Other brands, such as Fossel and Samsung, do offer limited support for the iPhone, but as updates to software to both iPhones and the watch operating systems progress, cross users are bound to be disappointed.

How could we have known that our choice in smartphones—a decision many of us made nearly a decade ago—would lead to our choice in smartwatches? For younger consumers, the decision of their parents affects their choice in wearable technology. It is almost as if there is a smartwatch caste system. Android users have many more options to choose from, but if they want an Apple Watch, they are left in the cold because watchOS 3 is not compatible with Android Phones.

woman wearing a smart watch adjusting it on her wrist

As usual, it’s important for the consumer to be aware of his or her options. Hugh Langley takes an informative approach to choosing a smartwatch based on what phone the user owns in his article Apple Watch v Android Wear: The Battle for Smartwatch Supremacy on

Online reviews are good ways to know if a particular smartwatch works for you. The Wall Street Journal’s Geoffery Fowler takes a look at some of the latest Android smartwatches in Smartwatches Grow Up. Samsung Gear S3 Frontier - Review | Everything You Need To Know! TeQreation takes a look at the Samsung Gear S3 Frontier which is considered a strong contender of the Apple Watch. Lastly, MW Technology’s review Apple Watch Series 2 vs Samsung Gear S3 takes a side-by-side comparison of the two watches and discusses their pros and cons.

The smartwatch shopper faces many more choices since this article was published in 2017. To help make better sense of the smartwatch landscape of 2020, check out Hemsut Watch Brand's article How to Choose a Smartwatch for You?

In his book The Myth of Freedom and the Way of Meditation Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche takes a brutal look at how rigid mind states limit spiritual progression and how we can escape from them to reach our true potential. Unfortunately, we don’t have that choice with smartwatches short of unbricking our phones.

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