This is going to be a major question for athletes, serious athletes across the globe after next week’s Apple event. Supposedly, and in all probability, they will be introducing an Apple iWatch. This watch will be more than just something else that tells time, we all have plenty of time-tellers around the house, on our bodies, on our person. This iWatch is supposed to do cool health-related stuff. There will be thousands of applications written by programmers to take advantage of the operating system in the new iWatch. Those applications will go way beyond what the Suunto Ambit3 is offering.
The new iWatch will in all likelihood be waterproof, or nearly so. if it isn’t, there will probably be a waterproof version made soon, within a year.
You might laugh at the idea that the Apple iWatch could take over for your Suunto Ambit2 or Ambit3, but the sensors in the new watches coming out from many companies, already have temperature, heart rate, barometer, elevation, accelerometer sensors and more. What is the Suunto Ambit3? Just a rugged collection of these sensors.
The iWatch will do everything, or near everything the Suunto watches are capable of. It will probably be priced similarly. It will probably have a speaker and allow you to listen to audio music. Your Suunto doesn’t do that. It will have a calendar. It will link up to your computer or phone via bluetooth and upload your workouts and all data collected, just like your Ambit. It will have replaceable bands.
It will do much more than the Suunto watches, even allowing you to have a conversation on the phone in your backpack somewhere in the house, by just talking into your iWatch which relays it to your phone. I don’t think the watches will be SIM capable – yet.
I love the Suunto Ambit3. Still, I’m holding off on buying one because I may not want it after the new Apple watch is revealed. The Suunto watches allow some apps to be written, but the number of developers that are working on Apple products is overwhelming. There will be much better apps on the new iWatch.
Vibrational alerts? This is something a good percentage of Suunto users have wanted for years. The new Ambit3 still doesn’t have them. Will the iWatch have a vibrator? I don’t think so. There probably won’t be enough room in the small watch housing for one. Who knows though? Apple is known to do things “right” so we’ll see what they come up with.
Will the iWatch be compatible with heart rate monitor straps through bluetooth? Sure. Will the iWatch let you run competition against your friends, or yourself? Probably as soon as some cool apps are written. Suunto only lets you set a level to compete against – quite boring.
Will the iWatch be as durable as the Suunto watches? Likely not even close. I don’t know how many times you’ll be able to sweat on one before it dies, but I wouldn’t think it would have waterproofing and shockproofing at a level that athletes are going to be happy about. At least for a year. Once the new iWatch is released Apple will start getting feedback on what else could be added / changed to make it awesome, unbeatable. The health market is a big category that it wants to own. It has released ecosystems for data collection, and the iWatch will feed into that. It would be great if the watch could tell me that there isn’t enough salt in my sweat during a long run – and that I should eat something salty. It would be great if it did blood pressure. It would be great if it could test sweat for a lot of electrolytes – wouldn’t it?
September 9, 2014 is when the new iWatch is to be released. I’ll be anxiously awaiting it.
What about YOU?
UPDATE – the new Apple Watch has been released and we compared it with the Suunto Ambit3 here.