Apple Event Surprises

Yesterday’s Apple event at the familiar surroundings of Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco offered a number of surprises, including at least one that was surprising because of its lack of surprise. Of course, there were also a lot of things that many people expected, like inspiring a great deal of gear lust towards a new gold device.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

First things first. The real hit of the event? A new PC. For a company that seemed to write off the importance of traditional personal computers a few years back, there was something supremely poetic about the fact that at the first Apple event of 2015, more people walked away talking about wanting a new notebook than they did a new watch. Yes, the new MacBook was the star of the occasion, and even Apple itself seemed to know this based on how much time was spent describing every aspect of it in great detail. I don’t have an official breakdown, but my guess is at least as much time was spent at the event on the MacBook as was on the new Apple Watch—and maybe even more. My how things have changed.

Oh, and the gold device that inspired the most lust at the event? Why, that was the new gold MacBook. Everyone there, it seemed, wanted one. Now, as some have pointed out, Apple’s decision to use Intel’s new Core M in this new 2-pound device will likely lead to performance disappointments versus some existing MacBooks. The super sleek design of Apple’s latest computer, however, clearly showed that there are still innovations to be made in the stodgy old world of PCs. Plus, Apple’s decision to use the new USB-C connector, while frustrating for some, was a pleasant surprise given Apple’s frequent history of disregarding other common PC industry standards.

The device that most people expected to be somewhat of a surprise—at least in terms of new capabilities—was, of course, the Apple Watch. Other than final pricing and availability dates, however, the most surprising aspect of the Apple Watch portion of the event was actually the complete lack of new features. I, like many others, expected Apple to unveil some kind of new details or new types of applications for the Watch. The story Apple told yesterday, however, was almost identical to what they told us back in September. For the record, I don’t think that this consistency was a good thing.

The general consensus after last September’s event was that Apple needed to provide more compelling details and explanations of what the Watch was going to be able to do before we could start getting a sense of it. Well, given that they really didn’t tell us anything new means either there wasn’t anything they could add, or they couldn’t come up with any new ways to tell us. Either way, that was definitely surprising—and disappointing. To me, this speaks clearly to the challenges that smart watches face as a category, and that the Apple Watch will also face.

One big difference between the first unveiling event and this one was that people got to actually try the Watch out. In my case, this didn’t really help, both for expected and surprising reasons. I had feared that the small sized display of the Watch (even the larger 42mm version) would be difficult to view with my aging eyes and, sure enough, I found it difficult to read a good portion of the various screens and apps that I tried. Apple is attempting to squeeze a great deal of information onto this tiny display, and I’m concerned that many in the watch-buying demographic (typically older) will face the same fate.[pullquote]Apple is attempting to squeeze a great deal of information onto the Watch’s tiny display, and I’m concerned that many in the watch-buying demographic (typically older) will find it hard to read.”[/pullquote]

What was particularly surprising, however, was the fact that using the Watch was far from intuitive. I love the fact that Apple Watch has an analog-like control in its digital crown, but knowing when to turn that, or push it or push the other button or swipe or touch the screen was not simple. Let’s put it this way—this is not an iPhone or an iPad from a UI perspective. The WatchOS may be a clever design, but perhaps a bit too clever for its own good. That’s going to make the experience of first trying the watch challenging (and confusing) for many. As a result, it’s going to be a tougher sell.

The process could even get more difficult based on yet another surprise: the high-end Watch pricing. I had actually expected the stainless steel and other mid-range models to be in the range they announced, but I was part of the crowd that audibly gasped when they announced that the gold versions started at $10,000 and went up from there. I understand that Apple is trying to help position itself even more strongly as a luxury brand, but those levels are, frankly, ridiculous for an electronic device that we all know is only version 1 of what will be a line of products—especially given no announced upgrade path. Yes, it’s understandable that the company doesn’t want to talk about upgrades on the launch day of version 1 (and I got the sense that Apple will announce something about this at a later date), but it’s a question that even people who can afford this version of the Watch are going to ask. Unfortunately, I’m afraid all the company has done is created an absolute magnet for thieves who will soon be on the prowl for these gold versions.

The final surprise from yesterday’s event was on the positioning of the Watch. Apple kept emphasizing that the device was a watch, but having thought about all the things they’re trying to do with it, and having had a brief demo of the Watch, it actually seems more like a wrist computer than a watch. Now some people may think that’s a good thing, but a watch is inherently a limited function device. It feels like Apple has fallen into the trap of trying to do a lot of things because it can. Honestly, the device struck me as more of a high-end fitness tracker but of course, if Apple positioned it that way, they could have never offered the more expensive versions (because who’s going to buy a gold one of those?!).

At many levels, it feels like the Apple Watch was designed for relatively well-to-do 20 and 30-year olds—the kind of people you would expect to see working in Silicon Valley. The problem is, very few of that group even wear a watch and I’m not convinced Apple has provided enough compelling reasons to get them to start.

Admittedly, it’s too early to make a definitive call—but I can’t help but get the feeling that the Apple Watch is trying to be too many things to too many people and will end up not really satisfying many of them. And that, was the biggest surprise of all.

Published by

Bob O'Donnell

Bob O’Donnell is the president and chief analyst of TECHnalysis Research, LLC a technology consulting and market research firm that provides strategic consulting and market research services to the technology industry and professional financial community. You can follow him on Twitter @bobodtech.

937 thoughts on “Apple Event Surprises”

  1. Definitively agree! When I first saw the Apple watch and its capabilities I was truly impressed. However, as more demos of these capabilities started to appear I noticed how difficult it was turn understand and follow all the necessary steps to reach and use certain functions. In addition, the prices are ridicules. This is not for me. Probably it won’t be for many.

    1. Only the Apple Watch Edition prices are “ridiculous.” The rest of the models are reasonably priced for the materials and the craftsmanship that you get.

      1. I agree. I can’t understand why people are so obsessed with the price of a watch that only a small percentage of people will buy.

        I fact, I expect somewhere in the dark alleys of a Chinese city, a small company is coming up with ideas on how to stick gold film, or stick fake gems on the standard Apple Watch. They may even be thinking how you could paint it gold.

  2. Blah blah… I am old… Blah blah… Failure of imagination… Blah blah… Cl!ckb@ity negative comment… Blah blah… Don’t understand what gold “watches “cost… Blah blah… I feel cool to be a contrarian (which you’re not because most analysts have similarly misread every Apple release in history)… Blah blah… Willfully ignore what pre release users are saying about the watch in use… Blah blah. Yawn.

    1. Wow….well, as I wrote above, I do know what gold watches cost (and own one), but when you buy something like a Patek Phillipe, Audemars Piguet, Rolex, IWC, or what have you, you pay for the not just the gold and design, but most importantly, the mechanism. In the case of the Apple Watch, the “mechanism” is the same for the $349 version as it is for the $17,000 version–no high-end Swiss watch maker does that–and for good reason. Apple clearly set out to try and please lots of different people with this, but based on my first impressions–and I’ll certainly withhold final judgement until I’ve actually been able to use one for a while–I think they may have ended up compromising on many ends. There’s a difference between failure of imagination and discussion of potential changes.

      1. So I guess the $20000+ difference between the same Rolex in steel and gold is down to the mechanism? And that’s not just down to materials either… watch nerds talk about mechanisms but most actual buyers are making a largely financial statement, wrapped up in some “value” justification. Probably won’t be different with an Apple watch but that is what Apple is going to find out. It is an interesting experiment in extending a brand (hence Apple’s unprecedented courting of magazines you or I will likely never read and people we have no interest in) but no, you just have to roll your eyes at the price.

        “Discussion of potential challenges” is just a polite way of actively choosing to stay negative. No mention of how positive testing users have been, just your personal and unqualified opinion. We all know what opinions are like… blah.

        1. No, obviously the difference is not purely based on the mechanism; it is, as you say, about a “value justification” but I think the mechanism does count for something. Given the widely varying press and “opinions” written over the last two days on the watch and its usage, I think it’s fair to say that not everyone has had a positive experience, but plenty have had a good experience as well. Of course, none of these reports are based on extensive usage–just brief tests. We’ll know much more when the products are out and in many people’s hands, but I can say that, unlike an iPhone or iPad, which even a 2-year old can intuitively use without instruction, my brief few minutes with the Watch were somewhat confusing. As someone who has written about Apple in various formats for about 25 years, that was surprising…hence the column.

          1. Nice two-step… but no dice. I am referring to the reports from some of the people who have had the Apple Watch (or even other smartwatch owners) that have described the dynamics of using it for an extended period. Not the flapping heads who got to try it on yesterday (whose opinion value is minimal). It is so fortunate that the Apple Watch isn’t for 2-year olds but for people already experienced and heavy users of their smartphones. I’m sure there’s a higher learning curve than nothing (we all forget how alien the original touchscreen actions seemed for a little while) but it’s clearly not a general purpose device.
            Your spinning of personal surprise (or not) is the weakness of (poorly qualified) opinion pieces like this and the weakness of Techpinions vs. actual analysis.

            That said, you’ve got lots of clicks and comments so be happy.

          2. Who has had the Apple Watch for an extended period and written about it? I’ve seen none of that and knowing Apple’s policies on this, I highly doubt there is anything but hearsay at this point. Show me a link.

      2. The pricing of the Edition is very interesting. Many analysts/pundits made predictions, and they varied hugely among themselves. Basically it boils down the the fact that Apple was free to price it any way they wanted to, and hence the $17,000 price purely reflects Apple’s stance towards the high-end luxury watch market (which nobody knew of course because it was Apple’s first foray).

        You also make a very important point that the mechanism is exactly the same as the $349 version. I would even add that the craftsmanship and attention to detail also seem to be the same. Consider that the elastomer band is virtually identical (except for a bit of gold) between the $349 and $1000 versions. In luxury brands, especially Swiss Watches, what is often communicated is the craftsmanship that goes into the product. For the Apple Watch, Jony Ive considered the craftsmanship his team put in the $349 watch bands to be even worthy on a $1000 watch.

        For me, the fact that the bands on the $349 and $1000 are virtually identical, is a much more important message than the price tag of the Edition itself.

        My takeaway from this is that the $17,000 watch is only for those snobs who would wince at the idea of wearing a watch for commoners. Compared to a gold Rolex, even $17,000 is cheap. It isn’t really expensive enough to tell the world that you are filthy rich. What it does do is that it simply makes Apple Watch acceptable to the super-rich market.

        If you are thinking of handing down an Edition to your children, you aren’t the target market. The target market would buy enough of these phones for the family.

        So really, in trying to understand how tech will evolve and how wearables will evolve, it’s safe to ignore the Edition. It really doesn’t matter. Consider Christy Burlington Burns who went on stage. According to the blog, she got an Apple Watch (not the Edition) with white and black sport bands, a Milanese loop, and a couple of leather bands. I think that that’s the message.

        And for the $349 Sport and $649 non-elastomer Watch price points, well, they’re squarely in the range of iPads. They are pricy compared to normal watches, but for tech devices, they’re quite affordable.

        I think we’re getting distracted by the Edition pricing. What Apple really has done is they have put the craftsmanship worthy of a luxury phone into a tech product as affordable as an iPad, and established a supply chain that will churn these out by the millions.

        And that is amazing.

  3. Although I may not be a big fan of the watch UI, but I will be willing to buy if only for the straps, they are so beautiful, also the gold version of the Macbook is beautiful I will pay any cost for it had it run Chrome OS.

    while many are complaining about the lack of functionality on the watch, I expected it to be much more simpler than that and stay true to its jewelry’s status or an accessory for the iPhone

    1. Yes, the straps are nice and they, above all else, show how much attention Apple paid to traditional horology and watch industry practices. Still, for non-watch wearers, I’m not sure Apple made a convincing enough case. Of course, the proof will be in what the market decides.

      1. Is there any demographic info re: wearing a watch? Almost every person I know above a certain income level wears a nice watch (women and men, maybe more women actually). But this could simply be an anomaly in my area among the people I know.

        1. I’m sure there is, but tough to track down…. The big concern I point out is that a lot of people in Apple’s key young demographics don’t wear a watch and I think it will be challenging for Apple and any other smart watch vendor to change that.

          1. I should have been more specific about age, above a certain income level at all ages (among adults of course), I see people wearing nice watches. That’s what I’m curious about. Around me it does seem that once a certain income level is reached, people start wearing nice watches. I also notice in lots of TV shows, wealthy characters wear nice watches. Again, this could be just what I’m seeing and it could be just the shows I watch (which is limited, I don’t watch a lot of TV).

  4. Love your pieces Bob. But I think you’re falling into the trap many others covering tech are caught in: fashion. Apple Watch will be successful precisely because it’s a fashion accessory people want to wear, and that it’s the best smart watch on the market. I don’t understand how you seem to write off the Apple Watch as a device that only rich 20 and 30 year olds want. I personally know too many people in their 40s, 50s, and 60s who want one for this to be true. From what I gather from your article, you’re seeing the Apple Watch as a gadget and not nearly enough as a fashion item. I’ll share two pieces I wrote recently. Love to hear what you think:

    The iPod all over again: http://torusoft.com/blog/the-ipod-all-over-again

    The Pendulum Swings Back: http://torusoft.com/blog/the-pendulum-swings-back

    What do you think about my prediction that the Apple Watch will help make people less rude and more polite?

    1. Thanks for the comment. I completely agree that the high-end phones are a fashion device and I have done a fair bit of research into the high-end watch market (and am the proud owner of a multi-thousand dollar Swiss-made watch). I agree that older people buy the fashion watches but those devices are very simple in their functionality. I feel like Apple was trying to turn a watch into a wrist-worn computer (with a tiny screen to boot) and I don’t think older watch buyers will find that very appealing.

      1. I’m not so sure. One of the largest segments of iPad users are senior citizens. Early adopters will surely be younger overall, but between the Apple Watch’s network effects and its next iteration, I think it’s going to be a device with true mass appeal.

        1. Chris, senior citizens are never going to be able to read the screen on the Apple Watch without resorting to good reading glasses and I think that defeats the purpose of a device that’s supposed to be all about quick glances.

      2. Hey Bob, I just turned 78 yesterday. That probably puts me squarely in the “older” watch buyers category in your estimation. I know that Apple, as they created a mobile computer that includes a phone app, they have now created a wearable computer that includes a watch app, and I find that very appealing! I will be up at 3 am eastern on 4/10 to be among the first to order one.

        I may be old but i’m not stupid. The UI has to be different for the different form factor. It looks to be simple, elegant, and intuitive to me.

    2. I’m 52 and I’ll be buying the steel Apple Watch. I wanted the space black with the link bracelet but it is a bit out of the range I am willing to pay for the first generation Apple Watch so I will “settle” for the stainless steel version and probably the milanese loop.

      I don’t know what demographic I fit in though “Apple fan” is probably appropriate. I haven’t worn a watch since 1996.

  5. Bob, I disagree about the high-end Watch. (1) The price is no more ridiculous than the 6-figure price of a Patek Philippe, which is a mechanical watch. I don’t think Apple expects their device to be a high-volume seller and it doesn’t need to be. It seems pretty clear that its purpose is to be an image-generator for Apple. (2) The upgrade path is that Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are included and I’m confident that Apple has designed the Watch so that the software (very possibly including the OS) can be updated wirelessly at any time. (3) The device is no more of a magnet for thieves than (again) a Patek Philippe, which has a much higher worth.

    You need to look at the high-end Watch not from the perspective of a techie but the viewpoint of someone with an income of $1 million per year or more. Such a person may feel that they rightfully earned their income and want to tell the world what they accomplished. But they don’t want to talk numbers, so they wear an expensive mechanical watch – or now, Apple’s beautiful $10,000 gold watch.

    1. I do understand your comment (see my other responses below), but there are some important differences between what Apple’s done and what the high-end watch makers do. Put it this way. Do you think anyone is going to pass down a first-generation Apple Watch to their kids? Not likely…..

      1. The high-end Apple Watch won’t be passed down to kids but it’s priced WAY below a Patek Philippe, so it’s in a different market. I think the high-end Watch will find its place. Not high-volume sales but respectable numbers of them.

        1. It’s like Chrysler building and selling the Viper. An aspirational product that puts a halo over the whole product line.

      2. I think most people who can easily afford 10K plus watches aren’t terribly concerned about passing them down to their kids. Maybe this is a concern for people who have to stretch to afford 10K, but I don’t think this is the segment that will buy the expensive Apple Watch.

        It seems like you’re falling into the trap of thinking 10K and up is expensive. For most people that’s true, but there’s a whole other world where 10K, 20K, 30K, is pocket change. The expensive Apple Watch isn’t for ‘Normals’.

        1. Understood and never claimed it was for Normals. But seems to me Apple isn’t appealing to the traditional wealthy with this watch but rather the nouveau riche and is trying to set itself up as a luxury brand for them.

          1. I don’t think we could make that distinction, old money vs new money. The nature of some of my work brings me into contact with both types of rich folks. As I mentioned already, they almost all wear watches, but the distinction I see is some are interested in tech and have iPhones, and some aren’t interested in tech and own Blackberries. I am surprised how popular the iPhone has become among old rich men, both new money and old money. Does this translate to interest in the watch? Hard to say. And it’s all anecdotal, we need more data.

            But I digress, my point about truly wealthy folks, they could easily buy an Apple Watch with the intention of wearing it very rarely, and not blink an eye. These are people who spend thousands on a night out and it simply doesn’t register. I bet we also see the expensive Apple Watch in upscale swag bags. It’s a different world up there among the truly wealthy.

      3. The watch edition is not supposed to be a heirloom-able piece of jewelry, despite being disguised as one. Instead it should be thought of more like a brand name handbag or pair of shoes – something you buy, use for a while, and then need to get a new one because it’s worn out/broken/no longer the current style.

        If you balk at spending 10k (plus another 7k if you want leather instead of a plastic band) for a disposable fashion accessory, then you aren’t the target market for the edition version of the watch.

      4. There are people who spend $25,000 on a dress that they will wear once, at the annual symphony gala, and then never again.

        Apple hired people from the fashion and luxury goods industry which, for now at least, is not the area of competence of Techpinions writers and its habitual commenters. I would trust that Mr. Deneve, Ms. Ahrendts and other such high-powered hires (who are experts on selling $25K dresses that are worn only once) know what they’re doing and where they’re headed with the $10K gold watches.

  6. “The real hit of the event? A new PC. For a company that seemed to write off the importance of traditional personal computers a few years back, there was something supremely poetic about the fact that at the first Apple event of 2015, more people walked away talking about wanting a new notebook than they did a new watch.” – Bob

    We agree that the new MacBook was a hit, but I’m going to disagree with you that Apple wrote off the PC. On the contrary, during one of his first appearances after the death of Steve Jobs, this is what Tim Cook had to say about the PC:

    “And we haven’t given up on the Mac. A lot of people are throwing in the towel right now on the PC. We’re still spending an enormous amount on really great talent and people on the Macs of the future. And we have some really cool things coming out there. Because we believe as people walk away from the PC, it becomes clear that the Mac is what you want if you want a PC.” ~ Tim Cook

    It’s clear that Apple has put a huge amount of money and human resources into replacing the MacBook Air which was — until yesterday at least — considered to be Apple’s flagship notebook computer. For those of you who are rooting for the PC, you can be comforted by the fact the Apple is clearly committed to “team PC”.

    1. I would imagine that a stolen $10K Apple watch will be utterly useless to the thief and a wonderful beacon to the police.

      Edit: Oops. Sorry, this was supposed to a comment to Mr. O’Donnell.

      1. No worries; I got it. Not sure if it will be much of a beacon, however, because it only has Bluetooth and WiFi, no wide area wireless or GPS. Still, Apple likely to put in some kind of theft protection mechanism, but I think people have to choose to engage it. A good detail to check on…

        1. The watch only “works” when paired with an iOS device. The watch may not be a beacon, but any phone the thief attempts to pair it with would be.

    2. Thanks John, but I feel a bit like you’re trying to rewrite history. When your CEO and enormously well-known company figure head says we’ve entered the Post-PC Era (as Steve Jobs did), it’s hard not to argue that they diminished the importance of PCs a few years back. That was my point.

      1. “When your CEO and enormously well-known company figure head says we’ve entered the Post-PC Era (as Steve Jobs did), it’s hard not to argue that they diminished the importance of PCs a few years back. That was my point.”

        I see it slightly differently, but that’s okay. The point I was trying to make — and the point that Apple has made with the new Mac Pro and now the new MacBook — is that Apple believes in the PC.

        1. Apple believes in the PC, but doesn’t think that personal computing is restricted to desktops and laptops: tablets, phones and watches also make computing personal.

      2. I don’t think there is any doubt that the importance of the PC has diminished. Jobs compared it to a truck–useful and necessary but not for everyone. But that was in comparison to iPhones and iPads not a smart watch. Right now the Apple Watch is a peripheral to the iPhone. It is hard to imagine as more important than notebooks at this point. In the future, that may change.

  7. “I don’t have an official breakdown, but my guess is at least as much time was spent at the event on the MacBook as was on the new Apple Watch—and maybe even more. My how things have changed.”

    Um, Apple spent 23 minutes on the MacBook and 40 minutes on the Apple Watch. So my my things haven’t changed at all. You are wrong.

    Given what you just wrote here, I’d say that after the iPhone intro in Jan or May 2007, someone like you would’ve written “Apple kept emphasizing that the device was a phone with an iPod and Internet browser built-in, but having thought about all the things they’re trying to do with it, and having had a brief demo of the iPhone, it actually seems more like a palm-sized computer than a phone. Now some people may think that’s a good thing, but a phone is inherently a limited function device. It feels like Apple has fallen into the trap of trying to do a lot of things because it can. … Admittedly, it’s too early to make a definitive call—but I can’t help but get the feeling that iPhone is trying to be too many things to too many people and will end up not really satisfying many of them.” That person would’ve doubled down a year later when Apple opened up to way more apps. Now, in hindsight from 2014, that person would’ve been way way wrong.

    On Monday, Apple didn’t keep emphasizing that the device is just a watch, but that it is a watch with communications and health elements built-in. But Apple calls it a watch because it goes where watches go — with you everywhere on your wrist, just like iPhone went where cell phones went — with you almost everywhere in your pocket or purse.

    Apple just copied the iPhone product playbook, with one change – from exactly one iPhone model at one price, to one Watch model with many differently-priced variants due to different casing/band materials (and not due to different functionality). And this change is because Apple saw how people personalized their iPhones, primarily through wallpaper and cases, and realized the truly personal nature of these small carry-everywhere electronics. Will that one change make the Watch less successful than iPhone? I don’t think so.

  8. “What was particularly surprising, however, was the fact that using the Watch was far from intuitive.”

    I hope we all remember what many of the first iPhone ads were — the ones with the hand that showed us how to have iPhone make a call, play a song, use a browser. If iPhone was really that intuitive at the time, why did Apple ever need to run those ads? I think people will quickly learn to use Apple Watch, possibly with a few ads thrown in.

    1. The Apple Watch is going to be very personal. Much more than a computer or phone. I think the wearable aspect is going to mean people will fiddle with it more than even their phones (this will be bad for early reports on battery life.) But I don’t think it will take much more than a day for people to get very comfortable with the UI even if it is a little different from iOS that they are used to. A slightly complex UI might actually be a benefit if it allows for more functionality than people are expecting from such a small interface.

  9. What I loved about the new MacBook is how the design constraint of increase thinness provoked creative redesigns of both the key mechanisms and the trackpad, with the new trackpad mechanics leading to much increase functionality.

  10. “I was part of the crowd that audibly gasped when they announced that the gold versions started at $10,000 and went up from there”

    So you don’t read Daring Fireball I take it. Gruber called it weeks ago–including the gasping part.

    1. I agree that Gruber made one of the best guesses out there, but even he missed Apple Watch Edition with the Classic/Modern Buckle by $7,990. At the same time, he also priced the steel Apple Watch too high.

      Of course, I’m not complaining over guesses. 🙂

    2. I’m with you on this.
      Let’s face it, there are also people who happily buy a $10,000 outdoor barbecue, $10,000 jet ski or $10,000 gewgaw that they will barely use. We should not be shocked to learn that there might be a market for $10,000 Apple Watches. Keep in mind this is not a market for corporate buyers who might focus merely on the technical specs, this is a consumer market in which people derive value from appearances as well.
      In a weird way, the buyer of a $350 model can take a certain pleasure in the fact that they get the exact same functionality as the guy who bought the $10,000 version.
      To understand this market, we really need to get ourselves bigger mental toolbox.

  11. Quite frankly I expected more from Apple than to attempt to bring the failed Caste System the failed iPhone 5c brought in a much milder version of Google’s “Let’s throw everything, but the kitchen sink at this and see what sticks!

    Oh really? Do all you people think that Steve Jobs, who hated both wearing watches and non-functional jewelry almost as bad as large screens. But why did he protest against large screens? Because Steve was always far ahead the game. His mind was already seeing the yo yo effect of smaller to largest and then back again. He knew only too well how to time product launches with the right features, when people would be most ready to buy at the right price. This is Tim Cook’s childhood dream device and not Steve Jobs’s Watch, when he hated wearing them in the first place and in fact told us iPhone would replace our watches!

    Indeed it has…. along with Android’s 85% market share. Steve Jobs… the veteran of the pricing of the Mac with share holders and back stabbing sugared water salesman taught him a great lesson. Get Greedy and you are liable to kill your own quest for riches and fame. Steve Jobs lost his job to the guy hired, telling him basically, that the Mac Team’s suggested lower launch price of $2495 was too much for any volume appeal. You’d think colored water salesman John Sculley could figure out that $1995 w/ profits still being made, would have made a better decision. That’s what happens when you put a CEO in charge who is more interested in keeping share holders happy, instead of listening to genius who was a remarkably advanced visionary with a great eye for timing and pricing.

    Tim Cook is definitely NOT…. Steve Jobs and has gone against everything he stood for with this Apple Watch:
    #1 – A company only needs to sell one great model of anything. Which could be priced appropriately to fit in almost any budget with carrier subsidised contracts, that paid Apple full price Profits on every iPhone sold. It seems to me that with myriad of choices Apple will confound even their most Appleholic fans. It will also build in the same Caste System Steve was against, as proven by Tim’s iPhone 5c loser. Which has everybody who bought one looked down upon by their richer friends. That’s if they will even buy the cheapest one. Let alone the most expensive $20,000 Gold Edition, just so they can be a target for thieves. I’ve seldom worn any of my most expensive jewelry like watches out in public. Simply because a friend got his throat slit, because he refused to give up his Gold Rolex to a thief!
    #2 – Apple has been notoriously going about poaching competitors employees and that has come back on them with Apple watch. This Watch isn’t Joni Ives’s design anyway. Since Nest grabbed several of their major employees working Apple Watch. Which no doubt set them back a over a year or else Apple watch could have launched at a time to beat out the myriad of competitors out there, who got there first. Mainly I’m talking about Samsung Gear wearables by none other than the new genius on the block, Designeer (new term for a new breed of modern Design Engineers)…. Pranav Mistry. Who is from the M.I.T. and Ted Talk fame presentations, with his Sixth Sense Technology.

    Search Samsung #1 smartwatch wearables seller, with Gear models selling more than twice that of cheaper Pebble watches. Now Gear S 3G is selling on subsidized contract by carriers in the US. They are now also selling them on even more subsidised contracts, around the world the last few months. Without a compelling feature above what’s already available from a myriad of competitors like Samsung, LG, Moto, Huwei, Pebble, etc. So I don’t see how Apple Watch stands a chance w/o subsidized carrier contracts helping them get more watches out on users wrists at a lower price w/o creating another iPhone 5c Failed Caste System. That even Steve Jobs would have frowned on, let alone his hating on Watches in the first place!

    Top that off with the fact that this is Tim Dream and he ain’t no Steve Jobs, by any stretch of the imagination. Already going through three failed product releases with iCloud fail and debacle, to go with iTunes Radio bombing out in the same kind of too late to the party against Spotify, Google Play Music, Pandora, etc! …..least we also forget iPhone 5c threatened Steve’s one model for all marketing genius! It’s not always about money only a few have to buy what is essentially a accessory device available only to those with the money in hand! Sorry for the bad news, but I can’t see how Apple watch will even sell half of what they’ve got projected against an extremely fierce collection of competitors in wearables that really haven’t proven themselves just yet. At least Steve would have got that part right. If…. he’d have even wanted to present something he felt was not necessary and really could not replace iPhones!

    1. The upside for you is that Apple will soon be out of business, what with all the useless crap they’re selling and the monumental mistakes they’re making 🙂

      1. Under Steve Jobs…. I wouldn’t be saying this. But Tim Cook is not as smart or crafty as Steve Jobs was. Along with the fact he hated wearing both jewelry and watches, as evidenced in most every WWDC convention he made. Even as far back as him appearing in FDR commercial without wearing a watch. This Greed beyond what even the stupid idiotic brainless John Sculley would have been.

        This is a watch that nobody needs, while the industry tries to figure one out. My Pebble, Gear original and Moto360 now sit in a drawer. Once I found what I really wanted was something to fully replace my smartphone when I needed it. That wearable is Pranav’s gorgeous on the wrist stand alone phone featured Galaxy Gear S 3G.

        Now I can search the web, play YouTube videos on Opera browser, Bid on ebay on the go, jog and exercise without my phone’s GPS and still make a call, even if my phone is half way around the World in another time zone. With Gear sporting a $10 calling plan and it’s own phone number! …..Apple needed to offer something like LG Urbane LTE or Galaxy Gear S 3G!!!

        1. As I said, you can relax now that the Apple Watch will fail miserably under Tim Cook, selling almost none while Samsung and LG take over the wearables market.

          1. Who said it will sell almost none? I am saying that like everything else that’s failed since Steve Jobs died, Apple watch will fail. When? Probably not immediately, but if they just meter out updates, like stand alone calling, over time it will surely fail. Just like the overhyped and hated by all the wantabee Richy Richs… like YOU!!!

            Like the ugly and plastic iPhone 5c, iTunes Radio (which will now be followed their Beats purchase), iCloud and come on… don’t tell me you think iCloud is a success or that all Apple fans have dropped Spotify or Play Music just so they can pay for iTunes Radio? How many cross over customers does did iTunes Radio ever get? ;-P

            And most of all every other smartwatch maker will now be coming out with Watches, that will have a whole lot more compelling reasons to buy them over Apple’s watch. Which is also a lame attempt to name it in such a way that if anyone says the word Watch, they’ll magically think everyone is talking about Apple watch. That’s such an ignorant delusional marketing scheme to go with pretty heart throbbing delusional iDiocy in thinking grown adults are going be scribbling pictures on a tiny screen or sending little pink hearts with Taptic Rip Off of Immersion’s Haptic feedback patents. Immersion is probably planning the timing for an ITC ban to hit just right!!!

            But hey we’ll see who’s right in around 6 months. When Samsung launches their smaller, sleeker thinner… Next Big Thing (co-designed partnership) “MontBlanc Gear Star Watch” with their flexible wristband battery. Because apparently, the only employees Apple poached from Samsung SDI (unlike what Nest got from Apple Watch Project… haha…) were worthless iDiots, Samsung was glad to get rid of! :DDD

          2. It seems obvious you have nothing to worry about, I’m not sure why you keep commenting. Apple Watch will fail, and we only have to wait about six months to find out that you are indeed correct. Then of course it’s only a matter of time before Apple itself goes out of business, I mean come on, how can they continue when they make mistake after mistake, dumb move after dumb move, it will be an epic, nay, a glorious failure.

  12. It is pointless to analyze, in the usual tech marketing context, how one justifies the Edition.

    The $10,000 watch, and pardon me if I sound repetitive, is a peacock’s fantail. All arguments about heirloom value, craftsmanship, etc. are just blah-blah-blahs that people who buy these things tell us (and probably themselves, as well) to put a patina of respectability on the otherwise cruder-sounding real, perhaps unconscious, motivation behind the purchase. It is sex, and the more frequent experiencing of it with the most desirable partner possible.

    Apple’s hires from the fashion and lux goods industry know this but of course they wouldn’t be so vulgar as to explain it to us in plain language.

  13. The Apple Watch pricing just needs a bit of perspective. Let’s say you make $70,000 per year. Half of one percent of your annual income is $350. Now, when you spend $350 on something, surely you think about it a bit, but are you really that worried about the purchase, are you sweating it if it doesn’t work out? Of course not.

    Now let’s say you make a couple million bucks annually. Half of one percent of your income is $10,000. For those making 70K annually that’s a significant chunk of money, you’d probably be saving up that amount of money for a family vacation, a ‘big’ purchase. But to the person making a couple million bucks a year, 10K is on the same level as your $350 purchase.

    Then, let’s consider people outside our first world, to them that $350 purchase looks obscene, just as many in the 70K annual range might consider dropping 10K for a watch to be obscene. It’s all about perspective.

  14. I think Apple is underselling Watch just as they undersold the first iPhone.

    iPhone was a phone, not a pocket computer.

    Watch is a watch, not a wrist computer. It’s easier to sell watches.