When Apple launched its Apple Watch in 2015, it didn’t clearly state who it was meant for. For many consumers, there wasn’t a clear reason to keep wearing the watch after the initial luster had faded – unless they were fitness freaks, or unduly concerned about their heart health. However, a growing number of users have found these phones indispensable.
People from all walks of life, from waiters to airline employees, are sporting Apple watches. You can get the newest Series 3 watch for just $329.
Many service-industry jobs where workers have to be on their feet all day don’t allow their employees to check their cell phones while they’re on the clock. But that rule doesn’t necessarily apply to a harmless watch that happens to allow you to text your friends or check the weather.
Quartz spoke with waiters, bartenders, shop owners, baristas, airline attendants and even TSA employees who all said that the Apple Watch keeps them in touch when they can’t be on their phones at work.
The tech giant has increasingly been pushing the watch as a health device, and appears to have moved away from marketing it as a simple watch. Considering 23% of the US labor force works in wholesale or retail operations, perhaps this is a market Apple should reconsider.
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Andy works at the J. Crew store in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. He told Quartz that he had his Apple Watch before he started working for J. Crew, but has found it extremely useful at work, since the clothing retailer do not want employees to be on their phones while working.
“It’s definitely easier to check your notifications,” he said.
For some folks, a watch can help break up the monotony of a workday shift. Checking notifications on the sly connects you to the outside world, and also can keep you informed in case there’s an emergency at home. Angel works at Adidas’ flagship store in lower Manhattan. He said he isn’t allowed to use his phone while working, but it can’t stop him from checking his watch. He said the Apple Watch lets him stay connected to friends without breaking company policies. “The Apple Watch, it’s just convenient,” he added.
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Others, who didn’t buy their watches for staying online, have also found them inseparable at work. Francisco, who works at a bar in Manhattan, said:
“I just bought it a month ago for running, but I wear it at work to see the time, to track the day, and steps and calories.”
“It keeps me motivated,” he added.
In the near future, when augmented reality takes over all the smart gadgets, people might start taking things even further. You might see your barista watching how-to videos on latte art while making your coffee, or the waiter might show you a 3D image of the meal you just ordered. But for now the Apple Watch is an excellent way to keep up with loved ones.