Apple Watch battery life: 'We think you're going to end up charging it daily'

Tim Cook on smartwatches, how Apple Pay activated 1m cards in 72 hours, and why Apple killed the iPod Classic

Apple’s upcoming smartwatch will require a daily battery charge, according to the company’s chief executive, Tim Cook.

The company unveiled Apple Watch in September as its first wearable product, but was careful not to announce any figures for its battery life. Speaking at the WSJD Live conference yesterday, Cook confirmed speculation that the device will need to be plugged in every day.

“We think you’re going to end up charging it daily. Overnight, that’s what we think,” said Cook, according to The Verge. “I think given my own experience, and others around it, that you’re going to wind up charging it every day. Because you’re going to use it so much.”

Battery life has been a talking point for the current generation of smartwatches. When the Guardian reviewed Motorola’s Moto 360 device, for example, getting its battery to last from 7.30am to 11pm required turning its step-counting feature off.

Other smartwatches have fared better on the battery life issue. The Pebble Steel, for example, lasts for more than five days on a single charge.

During his on-stage interview at WSJD Live, Cook also talked about Apple Pay, the company’s new mobile payment technology, claiming that in the first 72 hours after its launch in the US earlier this month, Apple activated more than 1m cards.

Cook said that this gives Apple “more than the total of all the other guys” in the US contactless payments market. “We’ve only been at it a week. I feel fantastic... We’re just getting started, but the early ramp looks fantastic.”

Some US stores aren’t convinced yet, with companies including Walmart and Target refusing to accept Apple Pay at their stores, amid rumours that retailers are throwing their weight behind a rival system called Current C. Cook described the situation as “a skirmish” during his interview.

He also suggested that Apple may consider a partnership with Chinese firm Alibaba, which has its own Alipay payments technology. “We love to partner with people who are wicked smart, with flexible teams, who are product-based, who push us, and we push them,” he said.

During the event, Cook was also asked why Apple recently stopped selling its iPod Classic device, which although overtaken by newer products like the iPod touch and iPhone, remained a symbol of Apple’s comeback as a consumer electronics company.

“We couldn’t get the parts any more. They don’t make them any more,” said Cook, according to Engadget. “We would have to make a whole new product... the engineering work to do that would be massive... The number of people who wanted it is very small.”

Two months with Android Wear: the best smartwatches yet


Stuart Dredge

The GuardianTramp

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