Apple Watch Claim Chowder

People really love to hate Apple. It should be considered a disorder at this point. ~ J. Gobert (@MrGobert)

The Apple Watch may or may not fail, but the analysis of the Watch has already failed. People just cannot wait to pronounce judgment. They. Can. Not. Wait. There’s plenty of thoughtful analysis out there, but mostly we’re hearing the same old discredited theories dredged up and reanimated like some horrible army of undead zombies.

About one-fifth of the people are against everything all the time. ~ Robert F. Kennedy

There is something within human nature that immediately has a knee-jerk negative reaction to the new. If we’re not familiar with it; if we cannot understand it, we condemn it. Instead of saying: “I know little or nothing about this, so I’ll learn more and suspend judgement until I do” we instead say: “I know nothing about this…so it must suck.”

People’s reaction to ideas: Bad ideas: “That’ll never work” Good ideas: “That could work” Great ideas: “That’ll never work”

Not only are we terrible at assessing the new, but we seem compelled to share our uninformed opinions with EVERYBODY.

He who knows little quickly tells it. ~ Italian Proverb

Some say it’s wrong to mock those who make obviously stupid statements. There’s no sport in it.

Making fun of Apple’s critics is like hunting dairy cows with a high powered rifle and scope. ~ NOT P. J. O’Rourke

Others focus on more humanitarian arguments:

Do we really need insults at all? Aren’t insults just the precinct of the desperate or powerless, or simply of people too dim-witted to make cogent and logical arguments? Isn’t the whole phenomenon of insults…a sign of the general coarsening of culture? Such concerns are shared by many people, all of them half-witted, imbecilic cretins. ~ Insults Every Man Should Know

Look. These pundits said what they said. If they don’t like it, they can try to explain it away.

The surest way to make a monkey of a man is to quote him. ~ Robert Benchley

But don’t expect me to cut them any breaks. If they didn’t want to come off looking stupid, they shouldn’t have said stupid things.

I don’t suffer fools, and I like to see fools suffer.~ Florence King

images-102Intelligent debate is welcome and there are many questions surrounding Apple’s newly announced Apple Watch. But patently dumb allegations should not be debated — they should be mocked. So here are a couple (hundred) of my most unfavorite quotes, in all their glory, arranged sorta, kinda alphabetically by topic. Let the mocking begin.

Author’s Note: Some of the quoted material contains (R rated) curse words. I decided to use verbatim quotes in order to accurately convey their original tone and meaning.

Premature Punditry

I’ve got to start with this one via the Macalope. Dominic Basulto writes “Why I’d never buy an Apple smartwatch (even if Anna Wintour loves it)“. The beauty of this article is that it was written BEFORE Apple’s September 9th Event.

From all the rumors and leaks, it now appears that Apple is going to unveil the mythical iWatch at its much-hyped product launch event on Sept. 9. While nothing has been definitely confirmed … I still wouldn’t buy it.

As the Macalope says:

It’s always best to make summary judgments on things you know nothing about. That’s just logic.

Sameer Singh suggests a different approach.

Never dismiss a new product outright. Attempt to understand why it’s needed. Draw conclusions later. ~ Sameer Singh (@sameer_singh17)

Nah, that’s never going to happen. From the Claim Chowder archives:

Apple begins selling its revolutionary iPhone this summer and it will mark the end of the string of hits for the company. ~ Todd Sullivan, Seeking Alpha, 15 May 2007

Fools never learn.

Fools rush in where angels fear to tread. ~ Alexander Pope

Against logic there is no armor like ignorance. ~ Dr. Laurence J. Peter

People will always jump to conclusions and judge things that they don’t understand. You have to ignore all of the ignorant people out there. ~ Steve Jobs


Showed my mom a tablet. She instantly got it and bought one. Same with Apple TV. If I showed her this watch…nope. ~ J. Gobert (@MrGobert)

Me: Hi mom, I’m back in town. How are you? Mom: I’m watching the Apple event. Me: Finally! Mom: Again! When can I order a watch? Me: !!! ~ Rene Ritchie (@reneritchie)

You’ve got your anecdotes and I’ve got mine. The important thing to remember is that anecdotal evidences is the BEGINNING of inquiry, never the end. Isolated stories can point us toward the truth, but they are not WHOLE truth. In fact, when taken in isolation, anecdotes are more likely to mislead than to lead.

Men are apt to mistake the strength of their feeling for the strength of their argument. ~ Anonymous

It’s bad to bring in a verdict before all the evidence is in. It’s even worse to bring in a verdict before the trial has even begun.

Battery Life

Apple hasn’t solved the basic smartwatch dilemma, which is that smart watches use up far more energy than dumb watches, and that there’s nowhere to store that much energy in something the size of a watch. Indeed, Apple has made the problem worse, by combining a powerful computer with a very bright, ultra-high-resolution, full-color display. Either of those things would require a lot of energy; both together require a very thick watch and a limited battery life. ~ Felix Salmon

My first knee-jerk reaction to the Apple Event was similar to the above. Apple didn’t announce battery life and I took that as a bad sign. Then I reconsidered. The product doesn’t even exist yet. Apple literally COULD NOT have announced the final battery life figures because they don’t know what they are. So I decided to cool my jets and wait until the numbers are announced. There will be more than plenty of time to criticize the battery life figures once we know what they are. Why start now?

Imaginary obstacles are insurmountable. Real ones aren’t. ~ Barbara Sher

And while we’re waiting for those battery life numbers to appear, let’s chow down on some delicious battery life claim chowder from yesteryear. Yum!

Unless Apple has also developed some new type of power source, such as nuclear cells or magical hamsters on tiny spinning wheels for the iPad, don’t expect the claims about battery life to hold true. ~ John Breeden II, Government Computer News, 28 January 2010

We hate the very idea that our own ideas may be mistaken, so we cling dogmatically to our conjectures. ~ Karl Popper

Charging Cable


Ugh, not another charging cable! ~ Joanna Stern (@JoannaStern)

Having to charge yet another device every day will be a bridge too far for many. ~ Forrester CEO, George Colony

(T)he user will have to take off the device for 1/3 of his life as well as carry an extra cable around with him. ~ Radio Free Mobile

Oh NO! We won’t have our device available to us for a full one-third of our life!

Admittedly, we’ll be asleep during that time, and dead to the world…

But still! One third of our life! And! And! And! And we’ll have to carry an extra cable! Oh, the horror! Oh, the HUMANITY!


Sheesh. I swear, if Apple made a time machine, we’d all be complaining about it having a proprietary power cable. Sigh.

People thought it was scandalous that the iPhone needed to be charged nightly. Not a deal breaker if worth it. ~ Ben Thompson (@monkbent)

Buck up, people. We may not be the Greatest Generation, but I think we can tough it out and suffer through yet another charging cable.

Make it your habit not to be critical about small things. ~ Edward Everett Hale

They that are serious in ridiculous things will be ridiculous in serious affairs. ~ Cato the Elder


A watch playing Coldplay is a bug, not a feature. ~ John Collison (@collision)

Okay, I’ll concede that one.


Wearing a radio directly on the body spooks many people who rationally or irrationally fear the health risks of close electromagnetic radiation. ~ Forrester CEO, George Colony

Oh, for the love of G….

Look, what are you trying to say here? That I’d be more fearful of having all of those “irrationally-perceived-as-dangerous” radio waves at the end of my wrist rather than in my pants pocket right next to my jumbly-wumblies?

Are you freaking kidding me?

Never miss a good chance to shut up. ~ Cowboy wisdom


AppleWatch may have a heart rate monitor but so does every serious athlete already. ~ Eric Perlberg (@eric_perlberg)

We never seem to get this right. It’s not the eggs that make the soufflé, it’s the Chef. Saying “every one already has” a feature is like saying that “every restaurant already has” eggs, therefore, every restaurant is of equal quality. Apple is the Master Chef of ecosystems. Others are more akin to the Dirty Spoon.



(A)t $349 [Apple Watch] is significantly more expensive than its better looking competitors (Moto360 $249, LG G Watch R $230). ~ Radio Free Mobile


It’s expensive — and not covered by carrier subsidies. It’s $600 for the whole package of a subsidized $200 iPhone and the $400 Watch. ~ Forrester CEO, George Colony

Apple clearly believes that the Apple Watch’s advances in size, speed, function and elegance are worth the $150 price premium, but not everyone feels that way. In an informal poll at the Web site, 40 percent of Mac fans indicated that they would not be buying an Apple Watch, and every single one cited the price.

Oh wait! Did I say “Apple Watch”? That last paragraph was actually a 2001 quote from Macworld concerning the original iPod, not the Apple Watch. Note how the nature of the products change, but the nature of the criticism remains exactly the same.

Presuming all decisions are based on price is the easiest way to mispredict the future. ~ Ben Thompson (@monkbent)

Every time Apple brings out a product, critics cite price as its fatal flaw, even when such criticism makes little or no sense.

“iPads are too expensive which is why most of the buyers are new to iPad” Wait, what? ~ Ben Thompson (@monkbent) 7/24/14

Many of Apple’s critics have never understood the difference between price and value. As we move toward wearable computers, the disconnect is only going to grow greater.

The more personal the computer the more value we will place upon it. ~ Horace Dediu (@asymco)

The most expensive Apple Watch will cost more than the most expensive iPhone which will cost more than most PCs. ~ Horace Dediu (@asymco)

And now that Apple is going high fashion? Look out. Most of us are going to lose our grip on pricing entirely.

(There’s going to be a) nerd meltdown when we all learn what “fashion” items cost. ~ Cabel Sasser (@cabel)

When the prices of the steel and (especially) gold Apple Watches are announced, I expect the tech press to have the biggest collective shit-fit in the history of Apple-versus-the-standard-tech-industry shit-fits. ~ John Gruber

Normally, as the price of an item goes down, demand goes up. However, as Ben Thompson likes to point out, with Veblen goods (named after economist Thorstein Veblen, who popularized understanding of the effect) as the price of the product goes up, the demand rises too. This is because the “job” a Veblen good is “hired to do” is not utility alone — it’s added prestige. Veblen goods are counterintuitive and full of surprises for the unwary.

Asia is by far the biggest market for Swiss watch exports accounting for 55 percent July shipments.” ~ CNBC

What folks don’t understand about Asian luxury market in particular is people buy BECAUSE it’s expensive. ~ Ben Thompson (@monkbent)

If you don’t have a background in engineering, you shouldn’t be commenting on how to construct the space station. And if you don’t have a background in economics, you shouldn’t be commenting on pricing, either.

The Prophets of the Church of Marketshare never understood Apple’s premium business model to begin with, even though there is a premium provider for almost every good and service known to man. Woman too. And now that Apple is moving toward fashion pricing, the explosive growth in the number of tech bloggers who will think they are qualified to comment on economic theory is simply going to boggle the mind.

Tech bears the same relationship to fashion as a multiple-choice test does to an essay exam.


I have no doubts [Apple Watch] will sell. If I had money to blow I’d buy one out of curiosity. But that’s not a product. It’s a fad. ~ J. Gobert (@MrGobert)

The iPhone was a fad too.

The iPhone is a commodity. That’s really all Apple’s iStuff is — an enormous and very profitable fad. It’s the Pet Rock of the new millennium. ~ Anders Bylund, Motley Fool, 6 Mar 2012

Data Processing was a fad too.

I have traveled the length and breadth of this country and talked with the best people, and I can assure you that data processing is a fad that won’t last out the year. ~ editor of business books, Prentice Hall publishers, 1957

Movies were a fad too.

Movies are a fad. Audiences really want to see live actors on a stage. ~ Charlie Chaplin

Be awfully careful before you summarily label — and then dismiss — something as a “fad”. It’s lazy and, even worse, misleading analysis.

Who is there who can make muddy waters clear? But if allowed to remain still, it will gradually clear itself. ~ Lao-tsu



(A)t today’s Cupertino, California, event, we — the press, the world at large — were treated to a beautifully designed smartwatch (e.g., those interchangeable straps) laden with an embarrassing slew of useless gimmicks. … Cheap tricks that consumers will tire of after a few weeks. ~ Joseph Volpe

Heres an idea Apple – rather than enter the world of gimmicks and toys, why don’t you spend a little more time sorting out your pathetically expensive line up? Or are you really aiming to become a glorified consumer gimmicks firm?

Oops! So sorry. That last quote was taken from the forums at Macrumors and refers to the introduction of the original iPod in 2001, not the Apple Watch in 2014. My bad.

Hubris is one of the great renewable resources. ~ P. J. O’Rourke

The line between gimmicks and genius is thin, as both Jan Dawson and Benedict Evans remind us:

This stuff Apple is demoing now is classic Apple. Thin line between Samsung’s gimmicks and Apple’s delighters, but fairly clear here. ~ Jan Dawson (@jandawson)

There’s an interesting line between products everyone thinks are crap and products everyone thinks are stupid. The latter change the world. ~ Benedict Evans (@BenedictEvans)

Since the line between gimmick and genius is so thin — and since the consequences of getting it wrong are so great — we should think long and hard before we summarily dismiss something as a mere gimmick. Gimmicks, like art forgeries, abound and they need to be identified and discarded. But let’s not allow our analytical brushes to paint too quickly or with too broad a stroke, lest we conceal the subtle masterpiece.

Some things have to be believed to be seen. ~ Ralph Hodgson

I Don’t Get It

I don’t get it. … Apple did not save wearables, as many thought it would. … Apple unveiled something, at best, lukewarm. At most, it’s prettier than the smartwatches that’ve come before, and that’s likely its greatest innovation. ~ Joseph Volpe, Endgadget

I don’t see it. Exquisite but no values behind it (except for design values). ~ Sean Egan (@Sean_Egn)

Here’s an idea. If you don’t understand something — REMAIN SILENT.

Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt. ~ Abraham Lincoln

Good advice, seldom taken.

Worth remembering: the industry thought the iPod was stupid when it first came out. Even as recently as the iPad, people missed the point. ~ Jared Cocken (@engers)

We’ll see. It’s worth remembering that the iPod, iPhone and iPad, in turn, were greeted with initial skepticism. Apple Watch seeks to be the next in that lineage, routing the skeptics and delivering a massive payoff for Apple. ~ Steve Lohr, The New York Times

It’s okay not to get something. But it’s not at all okay for us to take that one step further and assume that because we don’t get it, it can’t be got. It’s like we’re blind, so we assume that everyone else must be blind too. It just ain’t so. If we don’t “get something”, that’s a sure sign that we should be shutting our mouths and opening our minds.

Half of being smart is knowing what you’re dumb at. ~ Solomon Short quotes

I Don’t Wear A Watch

The Apple Watch seems lovely. The problem is I don’t wear a watch, and 75% our office does not wear one either. ~ ariel seidman (@aseidman)

Most people don’t wear watches anymore. ~ J. Gobert (@MrGobert)

Jan Dawson explains this kind of thinking in a wholly unrelated article entitled: “NO-ONE I KNOW VOTED FOR NIXON” IN TECH“.

There’s a famous quote attributed to Pauline Kael, the movie critic, which is usually paraphrased as “How did Nixon win? I don’t know anyone who voted for him….”

The point was, Nixon had just won the US presidential election — in a landslide — and yet Pauline Kael lived in a world where almost no-one had voted for him.

I fear that the people who spend all day thinking and writing about technology often suffer from the same myopia about the behavior and mentality of the vast majority of everyday users of technology. We are nothing like them in many respects…. ~ Jan Dawson

When I was growing up, everybody wore a watch. Everybody. It’s only been a decade or so since some people stopped wearing watches and they did so because they were carrying mobile phones that also told time. In other words, the behavior of not wearing a watch 1) is recent; 2) is of relatively short duration; and 3) was caused by a shift in technology.

Source: XKCD

To suggest that no one will buy a wearable because you don’t wear a watch and no one you know wears a watch is the height of myopia — you’re living in a self-centric world where no one voted for Nixon.

The difficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas as in escaping from old ones. ~ John Maynard Keynes

Think about it. Did you carry a phone in your pocket prior to 2007? If you did, you were in the 1%. Now half the U.S. (and growing) carries their phone with them everywhere. Why the change in behavior? Change in technology.

imgresDid you take pictures at public events using a ginormous tablet? Of course not. Who would do that? Well, turns out, lots and lots of people. (And it’s usually the ones seated just in front of you.) Why the change in behavior? Change in technology.

Stop saying you don’t wear a watch. You don’t wear a watch…yet. Tech changes. Behavior changes. Tech changes behavior. If wearing watches went out of style because of changes in technology, then wearing a watch can come back in style because of changes in technology too.

Wisdom consists of the anticipation of consequences. ~ Norman Cousins

Our inability to even contemplate — more less fathom — the possibility that tomorrow may be different from today reminds me of this joke:

One caterpillar to another, as they watch a butterfly: “You’ll never get me up in one of those things.”

I Only Need The Time

The things I miss most about wearing a watch would be fulfilled by wearing a watch and I can do that for $50. ~ The LeeBase (@TheLeeBase)

We used to only need to make phone calls too. And we could do that for $50. Then the iPhone came out in 2007. And now, we need more.


Our vision is more obstructed by what we think we know than by our lack of knowledge. ~ Kristen Stendahl

There is nothing more reactionary than the general public. For most of us, our vision of the near future is actually our recollection of the recent past.

A leader is one who sees more than others see, who sees farther than others see, and who sees before others see. ~ Leroy Eims


Trip Chowdhry, Global Equities: Apple Watch is ground breaking – Innovation is back at Apple after a 3 year pause. ~ The Apple Watch: What the analysts are saying by Philip Elmer-DeWitt

A three year “pause,” ay?

Here’s the thing, Trip. It takes years to make an “overnight” success. The folks at Apple haven’t been sitting around on their barcaloungers sipping champagne and eating chocolate bonbons. They didn’t wake up on Monday, September 8th, and say: “Hey, everybody. Let’s innovate!” Then — bada bing, bada boom — out popped the Apple Watch just in time for the September 9th Event.

Hey! Wait just a darn tooting minute. Aren’t you the same Trip Chowdhry who said this:

[Apple has] only have 60 days left to either come up with something or they will disappear. ~ Trip Chowdhry (March 2014)

March, April, May….

Hmm. Maybe I should change the title of this article from “Claim Chowder” to “Claim Chowdhry”.

Never put both feet in your mouth at the same time, because then you won’t have a leg to stand on.


I guess left-handed folk are supposed to switch wrists. ~ Patrick Igoe (@PatrickIgoe) [9/9/14, 2:07 PM]

I guess some left-handed people have the patience of a gnat.

For you lefties: The Apple Watch crown works OK when the watch is on your right hand. But there’s a southpaw mode which flips the UI around. ~ Harry McCracken (@harrymccracken) [9/9/14, 5:17 PM]

Apple Watch can be inverted for left handers. Hurrah. ~ Matt Warman (@mattwarman) [9/9/14, 6:26 PM]

For you lefties: …there’s a southpaw mode which flips the UI around. ~ Peter Hilleren (@Peter000) [9/9/14, 6:38 PM]

Left-handers: You can just turn Apple Watch upside down (and swap straps around) and it’ll just work. ~ John Gruber (@gruber) [9/9/14, 9:49 PM]

I have more sources, if that’s not enough.

A handful of patience is worth more than a bushel of brains. ~ Dutch proverb

Seriously. Can’t people just ask a question and then wait an hour or two for the answer before they start whining? I mean, honestly. Is it really asking so much?

It is a general rule that when the grain of truth cannot be found, men will swallow great helpings of falsehood. ~ Isaac Bashevis Singer

Look And Feel

It is square and fat. 85% of wristwatches sold in the market are round and in pure looks, I think the Moto 360 and the LG G Watch R are much better. ~ Radio Free Mobile

The form factor has fixed limits — the small screen obviates advertising, electronics fatten the case, big fingers obscure the screen when touching. For many, the form will be seen as simply ugly. ~ Forrester CEO, George Colony

Apple Watch ‘too feminine and looks like it was designed by a student in their first trimester’ (Boss of Tag Heuer, Zenith and Hublot says Apple has made “some fundamental mistakes” with its smart watch) – The Telegraph

It’s not a revolution and it’s not what any of us really expected. It’s lipstick on a smartwatch. It’s an accessory and nothing more. ~ Joseph Volpe, Engadget

All this coming from critics who have never seen nor touched nor worn nor experienced the Apple Watch.


Baffled by strong opinions on the Apple watch hardware from people who’ve not held one. I have held one and am still undecided. ~ Benedict Evans (@BenedictEvans)

With smartwatches, even more than phones, even more than tablets, even more than PCs, any verdict requires actual use in the real world. ~ Harry McCracken (@harrymccracken)

Go back and re-read the above quote by Harry McCracken. Wearables simply cannot be understood until we’ve worn them. And nobody outside of Apple has worn them. Yet.

What you don’t see with your eyes, don’t witness with your mouth. ~ Jewish proverb

Ridicule is the tribute paid to the genius by the mediocrities. ~ Oscar Wilde


The Apple Watch names are strange. Apple Watch, Apple Watch Sport, Apple Watch Edition. Weird that two have third names, and Edition is odd. ~ Farhad Manjoo (@fmanjoo)

I like analyzing product names too, but truth be told, if the product is lousy, the name simply doesn’t matter. And if the product is great, the name simply doesn’t matter either.

Remember how critics mocked the name “iPad”? How’d that turn out?

Talk of product names reminds me of this classic Saturday Night Live skit.

Hmm. Perhaps Apple should name their next product: “Mangled Baby Ducks.”


Beautiful, but a niche product. ~ Forrester CEO, George Colony

The $350 watch market is niche at best. ~ J. Gobert (@MrGobert)

Gee. When have I heard this lament before? Oh yeah. Whenever Apple introduces a new product category. The $350 iPod will be niche, the $600 iPhone will be niche, the $500 iPad will be niche, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. Some Claim Chowder from the archives:


The iPhone is a niche product. ~ Nokia CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo, 17 April 2008

The iconic Apple iPhone will either not exist or occupy a very small niche satisfying the needs of committed Mac fans around five years from now. ~ Eugene Kaspersky, Kaspersky Lab, 27 April 2010


The tablet market has only succeeded as a niche market over the years and it was hoped Apple would dream up some new paradigm to change all that. From what I’ve seen and heard, this won’t be it. ~ John C. Dvorak, MarketWatch, 29 January 2010

For all the hype about an Apple tablet , it is at best a niche product. ~ Joe Wilcox, Betanews, 2 January 2010

The iPad will remain an expensive, niche device compared to all-purpose netbooks…. (N)etbooks sales will still far outstrip those of the iPad. ~ Preston Gralla, PC World, 30 March 2010

Niche, huh? Let’s see how those niche products panned out:

  1. In Q2, Apple made 68% of mobile device OEMs’ profits (65% in q1, 53% in Q2 13). Samsung – 40% (41% q1, 49% q2 13) Source: Canaccord Genuity ~ Daisuke Wakabayashi (@daiwaka) 8/5/14
  2. Quick Apple Q3 numbers for those who like that sort of thing: $37.4 billion; 7.7b profit; 35.2m iPhones; 13.3m iPads; 4.4m Macs; 2.9m iPods. ~ Macworld (@macworld)
  3. Apple’s iPhone sales alone were larger than the revenues at 474 of the companies in the S&P 500 stock index.

Most CEO’s would cut off their right arms to have “niche” products like those.

To be positive is to be mistaken at the top of one’s voice. ~ Ambrose Bierce

Pocket, Purse, Or Wrist?

Apple failed. They did not make the case to compel me to pay $350+ to reduce the pain of pulling my iPhone out of my pocket. ~ The LeeBase (@TheLeeBase)

For many, two devices on the body are unnecessary. Pulling the iPhone out of a pocket or purse is fine — most will not need another device to access payments or track health. ~ Forrester CEO, George Colony

Ya’ know, human beings are kinda funny (in an odd sort of way). I guess it’s human nature to ignore human nature. Go figure.

The fundamental principle of human action—the law that is to political economy what the law of gravitation is to physics—is that men seek to gratify their desires with the least exertion. ~ Henry George

Do want to call that kind of behavior lazy? Okay, we’re lazy. But mostly, we’re human.

I’ve always felt extremely lazy when I explain my main reason for wanting an Apple Watch. It would eliminate the need for me to reach all the way into my pocket to retrieve my iPhone when it buzzed. I stand by my brazen laziness. And I very much appreciate that the Apple Watch will analyze incoming email to create its own “quick choice” reply. Very smart. ~ Ken Segall

Benedict Evans poses some important questions regarding the tablet and the smartphone, respectively:

How much was it worth not to have to open your laptop? ~ Benedict Evans (@BenedictEvans)

I use my phone even though my tablet is in my bag or my laptop on the table. How much does a watch cannibalise in the same way? ~ Benedict Evans (@BenedictEvans)

We know that a large proportion of smartphone use is done in the home, where a laptop or tablet is within easy reach. Shouldn’t that be telling us something? Persistence matters. Convenience matters. Laziness matters. Human nature matters.

And besides, what else — or should I say who else — are we ignoring here?

For half the population, your phone is not always in your pocket. ~ Benedict Evans (@BenedictEvans)

Oh yeah. The female of the species. Remember them? The one’s who do most of the shopping for (literally) mankind? The ones who wear most of the jewelry? The ones who make up the majority of people living on this planet? The ones who often put their phones in their purses instead of in their pockets?

We should be very, very careful not to substitute our judgment for the judgment of others. Just because we don’t like something; just we’re not enthusiastic about something; does not mean that others will feel the same way. That’s just common sense. Unfortunately, there is nothing so uncommon as common sense.


I see a world where the watch will eventually replace the phone. ~ AAPL Orchard

The long-term success of the iTime (or whatever it gets called) will be similar. If it can’t replace the iPhone completely it’s a goner. ~ John Dvorak

My stance on the smartwatch as a viable mobile accessory is unambiguous; I’ve argued my case before. As a category, it needs to replace — needs to completely replace our need for a cellphone. ~ Joseph Volpe, Engadget

That’s great and all, except that it’s completely wrong.

“A smartwatch doesn’t replace my smartphone.” “A tablet doesn’t replace my personal computer.” “A motorcycle doesn’t replace my car.” ~ AAPL Tree (@AAPLTree)

A device should not try to be something it’s not. It should be true to itself. Why would we want a smart watch that replaces our smartphones? We already have smartphones that work great. What we want — or what we should want — is for smart watches to do what they do best. No one is quite sure what that is yet, but you can be darned sure that squashing a smartphone down to the size of a watch is not going to work any better than squashing a Personal Computer down to the size of a tablet worked.

Replace the phone with the watch? You’ve got it all wrong. And don’t blame Apple just because your vision is faulty.

The worst kind of arrogance is arrogance from ignorance. ~ Jim Rohn



Forrester’s research is showing nascent interest by consumers. ~ Forrester CEO, George Colony

Yeah, about that. I’m not a big believer in surveys about products that don’t exist. You shouldn’t be either.


We’re finding — if you look at the surveys, you can see that large amount of the customers that have purchased touchscreen devices in last two years, they intend to get a device with the QWERTY keyboard on it now. ~ Mike Lazaridis, Co-CEO, Research In Motion, Inc, 16 April 2010


Days before the iPhone debuted, the market research company Universal McCann came out with a blockbuster report proving that practically nobody in the United States would buy the iPhone. “The simple truth,” said Tom Smith, the author of the iPhone-damning report, is that “convergence [an all-in-one device] is a compromise driven by financial limitations, not aspiration. In the markets where multiple devices are affordable, the vast majority would prefer that to one device fits all.” Solid survey research suggested not only that the iPhone would fail, but also that it would fail particularly hard in the United States because our phones and cameras are good enough, already. ~ Derek Thompson, The Atlantic

Today there are lots and lots of people saying they have no interest in an Apple Watch or in the smart watch category altogether. They are telling the truth. They really can’t imagine owning a smart watch. However, their beliefs do not reflect the limits of the smart watch category. Their beliefs reflect the limits of their imagination.

You can’t ask people to decide on a trade-off when they have experience of one side but not the other. ~ Benedict Evans (@BenedictEvans)


It requires an iPhone to function making it very clear that this is an accessory rather than a new product category in its own right. ~ Radio Free Mobile

Toni Sacconaghi, Bernstein: While the device is aesthetically attractive, and has a very innovative UI (“digital crown” and differentiated touch), we struggle with the fact that the majority of the Watch’s functionality is dependent on the presence of an iPhone.

This shit better have some major non-tethered functionality. ~ Jason Hirschhorn (@JasonHirschhorn)

Remember when the iPod, the iPhone, the iPad were all tethered to the Mac? No? Neither does anyone else.

Memory may be a terrible librarian, but it’s a great editor. ~ Ralph Keyes

The iPod, the iPhone, the iPad and now the Apple Watch are or were tethered to another device. They offload or offloaded tasks which they could not handle or which they were ill-suited to perform to the better suited device. Tethering is not a fatal flaw. In fact, it can be a chief advantages. Take, for example, the iPod:

One of the biggest insights we have was that we decided not to try to manage your music library on the iPod, but to manage it in iTunes. Other companies tried to do everything on the device itself and made it so complicated that it was useless. ~ Steve Jobs

Unnecessary, Unneeded, Underwhelmed

The very first new post-Steve Jobs product, Apple Watch, is stunningly pretty, is functional — and is utterly unnecessary. ~ Brian S Hall (@brianshall)

Did not expect to be so underwhelmed by implementation. It’s basically Android Wear 2.0, which isn’t saying much. ~ J. Gobert (@MrGobert)

I think Apple Watch will be a flop. ~ The Tech Guy, Episode 1118

Great just what the world needs.

I was so hoping for something more.

The reason why everyone’s disappointed is because we had our hopes up for this incredible device.

Why oh why would they do this?! It’s so wrong! It’s so stupid!

Oh wait! Those last four quotes weren’t about the Apple Watch at all. They were taken from the forums at Macrumors and were referring to the launch of the original iPod.

The more things change, the more they are the same. ~ Alphonse Karr ((The original saying & original author.))

New Apple product X is announced. Pundits & analysts say X will fail. X breaks all previous sales records. Step. Rinse. Repeat. ~ Nick Bilton (@nickbilton)

Three years from now, the same people making fun of this thing today will complain that Apple hasn’t innovated since the Watch. ~ Mitchell Cohen (@mitchchn)


Professional critics of new things sound smart, but the logical conclusion of their thinking is a poorer world. ~ Benedict Evans

Always listen to experts. They’ll tell you what can’t be done and why. Then do it. ~ Robert A. Heinlein

I have not exhausted all of my material, nor have I exhausted all of the stupidity…but I have exhausted myself. Enough. No more Claim Chowder.

It’s possible to fight intolerance, stupidity and fanaticism when they come separately. When you get all three together it’s probably wiser to get out, if only to preserve your sanity. ~ P. D. James

I want to make something perfectly clear. I am not advocating for or against the Apple Watch. That will be addressed in a future article. What I am advocating for is clear thinking.

The creators of Apple Claim Chowder used to be arrogant and obnoxious but ever since the introduction of the Apple Watch just the opposite has been true. Now they’re obnoxious and arrogant. After all, the vast majority of the Claim Chowder cited here, and in my previous 7-part series ((Apple Claim Chowder Series:

1) Introduction
2) Events
3) Killers
4) Cynicism
5) Product
6) Evolutionary Or Revolutionary
7) Business Models)) on Apple Claim Chowder, could easily have been avoided.

Conversation would be much improved by the frequent use of three words: I don’t know. ~ André Maurois

The wise man doesn’t give the right answers, he poses the right questions. ~ Claude Levi-Strauss

Never be afraid to sit awhile and think. ~ Lorraine Hansberry


Next time, I’ll look at the design of the Apple Watch and try to pose some of the right questions. Come join me then.

Post Script

If you want to take the chance of having me ridicule you in one of my future articles, be sure to join me on Twitter @johnkirk. I’m looking forward to mocking your acquaintance.

Published by

John Kirk

John R. Kirk is a recovering attorney. He has also worked as a financial advisor and a business coach. His love affair with computing started with his purchase of the original Mac in 1985. His primary interest is the field of personal computing (which includes phones, tablets, notebooks and desktops) and his primary focus is on long-term business strategies: What makes a company unique; How do those unique qualities aid or inhibit the success of the company; and why don’t (or can’t) other companies adopt the successful attributes of their competitors?

84 thoughts on “Apple Watch Claim Chowder”

  1. It’s easy and lazy to be negative. If you are right, you can say “I told you”. If you are wrong you can say “Good thing I warned everyone so things wouldn’t turn out like I predicted.”

    Additionally, for some reason, nothing breeds contempt like success.


    1. Saying that of such a negative post is delightfully ironic.

      And it seems to me success breeds more coat-tailers (sorry, i-nalysts and i-fans) than haters.

      1. Heh, thank you for the stunning insight that creating successful products tends to *increase* the number of people that have a positive opinion of that company.

        1. I think my wording might have been to subtle for some. It’s not about having a good opinion, it’s about staking a claim to a part of that success, via ex-post insight or blind devotion.
          I’m old enough to have seen a bunch of corporate heroes come and go; in my youth it was IBM, Toyota, Coca-Cola, Procter & Gamble on the analyst side, Comodore, Atari, Sinclair on the consumer-IT side (I’m sure there were non-IT brands too, but I was already fairly immune to fashion, I blame my parents :-p). They all had their attendant analysts offering consulting on how to duplicate those successes, and highly invested users who linked their ego to their ecosystem.
          Got it now ?

    2. While I may agree with you, but there is also the other side of the coin, the seller of dream Like Gruber, ben thompson, john kirk, Benedict Evans, daniel Erang and many annalist in this blog etc. who often act as an extension of Apple PR team to make you believe that somehow the new Apple Watch will cure cancer and save humanity.

      1. If Apple ever did happen to create a device that cured cancer, I am certain that you would claim it was overpriced and criticize its use of a proprietary charging cable.

        1. Nop thats not my style, in fact, the only time that i often criticized Apple is when it comes to their services, the Cloud or their hypocrisy.

          more often, I tend to answer to your own exaggeration and biaise about their products.

        2. lol Exactly Kirk! You know that Kenny would be upset that they did not make it a generic drug from the start. After all, Apple is “rich” and can afford to just give stuff away.

      2. Gruber, Thomson, Kirk, Evans and DED all get Apple and do a great job covering Apple from various different angles. Just because they agree with many things Apple does I have seen all of them say things that are critical of Apple as well. They are not an extension of Apple’s PR team.

        1. if you think when it come to this guy it is just about agreeing with Apple, then you’ll be too slow to understand how the PR team at Apple, Google, etc control the tech press through good relationship, inside information, product demo, exclusivity etc. ..

          a perfect example of that is Ben Thompson after writing a good post about his scepticism of the Apple Watch which i thought was fair, had no choice but to change his minds and backtrack probably after receiving some pushback or maybe a phone call from the Apple empire

          now he is struggle to convince people that the new Apple Watch is a revolution that we need to buy today because of some future functionality that may be possible probably in 2 to 5 years down the road.

          1. That’s unfair and almost slanderous about Ben Thompson, unless you are sitting on something for a future expose. Otherwise this is the exact kind of lazy, thoughtless “criticism” John is talking about. You are making something up to fit your imaginative narrative. Nothing based on evidence or even logic.

            The difference between your list and the slew of claim chowder from John is that the guys in your list are using critical thinking to come to their conclusions. You may disagree with their conclusions. They may even be affected by their positive experience with Apple products. (_Everyone_ has biases and that does not automatically invalidate someone’s logic.) But I bet every single one of the people in your list would welcome a _reasoned_ discussion with someone who disagrees with them. If your disagreement is sound, reasoned, and well presented it will have far more affect than throwing around accusations of “fans” and PR rubes in attempts to marginalize someone’s position.

            Otherwise, if these guys bother you that much, just stop reading them. There are a number of sites, both pro and con Apple, I’ve just plain stopped reading, even if there is a link from someone I like. It just isn’t worth the aggravation from the lack of thought. And there is nothing gained. No one is impressed by the colonialist who thinks he is going to civilize the primitive savages. So just let it go.

            And really, against all conventional thinking of computing platforms, market share, and business models, Apple is succeeding against the odds. That alone makes them worth admiring and analyzing. Why else would Samsung have been so intent, at least initially, on copying Apple and why Google shifted gears with Android from a Blackberry clone to an Apple clone?

            No one in your list says this automatically means Apple will always succeed. But with their track record, it is difficult and a bit irrational to bet against them without some reason and logic behind it


          2. The issue is about objectivity and consistency

            i am not saying that Apple or Google controle these Guys, and tell them what to say or not to say, my point is that a lot of these good annalist out there are finding themselves in a circle with a lot of Friend and Fan who read their stuff that make it almost impossible sometime for them to be very critical of these company without receiving a huge backlash.

            First of all, i’ve been reading Ben thompson for a very long time and subscribes to the annual membership on his blog to receive and read his updates, he is probably one of my favorite and probably the best tech analyst out there.

            the problem is that every time a good analyst becomes popular, all a sudden he will receive a lot of support inside information, that will bring him a lot friends inside Apple or Google and their die hard fan. when that occurs it becomes almost impossible for them to be very critical of these big company without receiving a huge backlash from their friend, their reader or other pundit to the point where it could affect their reputation and their business which i thinks is a form of control.

            I’m willing to bet that this was the reason why Ben Thompson had no choice but to change his mind after receiving a huge number of Backlash on twitter from Apple Fan and other popular pundit and becoming the face of the anti Apple Watch clan because the argument he made for being wrong after being sceptical of the Apple Watch make no sense to me, or to even James Allworth during their latest Podcast.

            Here’s what he wrote about Android wear which I think was fair because the SmartWash category is new and undefined , therefore nobody knows how it will play out yet, and don’t get me wrong, it hasn’t changed its mind on it

            Here’s what it said about the Apple Watch and just as with the Android wear his scepticism was base on the question of Why?

            Here’s is the excuse as to why he has to change his mind because now he thought someone like my mother can buy the Apple watch today because Apple is probably 5 years ahead of the industry and that the Apple watch will become our next Digital Hubs.

            does any of that make sense to you as to why someone should buy the watch now?
            why would he change his mind when the initial question that made him sceptical about the value and the job to be done with the watch to be worth the price right now still remain unanswered

            does that mean he has changed his mind about the value of the android wear platform as well

            these are the problem with a lot of good Annalist these days
            more often than not their business are in the way of what they really want to say

          3. I read Ben Thompson’s pieces and listened to the podcast with James Allworth.

            I think you are either not clear on what Ben “changed his mind about“.

            He seems to still have his initial questions, related to the “Why?”, which he still thinks was not well answered by the introduction Event. He still wonders what actual use cases will either come along, become evident or evolve as time goes on; and how many will be evident at the time the watch becomes available.

            I think what he has changed his mind on, is that there is *something* yet to come that will answer these questions. He is now more optimistic that there will be some great “use cases” beyond the vague “convenient accessory”, or “health tracker”, or “intimate communicator” phrases.

            And this “optimism” appears to be based on more than a loyalty to Apple. He has now thought about how the Apple Watch seems to have a complete “Computer on a chip”, and how there appears to be a solid platform on which developers can go to town over the next few months and really show us the “why”, and show us some great use cases.

            Ben seems to think that Apple Watch has some real potential baked right into it — this despite all those critics (including in this thread) who say, “nothing new here, move along, been done, less features than other watches already on the market…”

            The one special “feature” is that it may just be a great platform on which developers can build some great apps with real compelling use cases. We won’t know that for a few more months. This may be the “iPhone” of SmartWatches. And the iPhone was dismissed as a gimmick.

            So, I think what he changed his mind on is that what he assumed, along with everyone else, was “just” a convenient accessory, now appears to be something with a little more future potential (because he now believes Apple was looking farther ahead with it than it appeared/appears), just as it was with the iPhone.

          4. i understand all of that which is the reason why i said his excuse for changing his mind did not make any sense to me because it did not answer the two most important question that make most people sceptical about the SmartWatch.

            which is battery Life and Interaction.

            why would a regular customer buy this Smart Watch when their already have a more powerful and more capable phone in their pocket,

            the answer should be convenience and better interaction.

            The problem I have with Apple Watch is the interface that seems to mimic too much the functionality of your phone in a way that appeared less useful and practical, due to the extreme limitation of the screen which are microscopic, then to focus on the ships capability as a mean to deal with that make no sense to me

            even if a lot of developer were to come up with a lot of great App I do not believe that would make a big difference because the interacting with this microscopic screen the way Apple’s presented it not too practical when you already have a phone in your pocket, compare with the iPhone or iPad that provided better interaction from the beginning that was superior to the PC and smartphone before them.

            I also do not believe that the introduction of the watch was poor the way you guys seems to believe, I think the introduction showed us exactly what it was.
            that’s how we introduce a product to Build momentum

            the Apple Watch is not unique, The Moto 360 and many other Smartwatch on the market have a computer on ships as well.

          5. “why would he change his mind”

            Actual smart people change their mind, it’s called “thinking”. As we get new data, or think of something in a new way, we evaluate our own thoughts and opinions and update our views in light of new information.

            Ben’s article about what he got wrong about the watch is not an excuse, it’s an explanation, and it makes sense. Changing your mind doesn’t mean you are being inconsistent or biased, it simply means you changed your mind. Smart people understand that changing your mind is allowed.

          6. So Ben Thompson came across some things that make him question his suppositions and assumptions. How is it only good when someone sees things your way, but bad when someone doesn’t?


          7. that’s not what i said don’t put word on my mouth

            if you read thousand of articles he wrote about the SmartWatch category you will notice that he has always been sceptical about this category for two reason, Battery Life and interaction which is the reason why he along with John Kirk, grubber and many other annalist though that Apple will introduce a bracelet instead of a watch.

            Now how can having a more capable ships that can do wonder in the future be a reason not to be sceptical about these two things anymore

            does that make sense to you?

          8. I think that is exactly what you said based on your willingness to let your imagination trump your own experience regarding how Ben Thompson articulates his analysis. I think he laid out his thoughts quite cogently. I don’t see where he has released his skepticism, but he has certainly refined his thoughts. He makes perfect sense to me.

            What anyone _thought_ Apple would ship has been trumped by Apple’s announcements of what they will actually ship. Now one has to assess the Apple Watch based on what exists, not speculation about an unannounced product. And even this, we have to assess based on not having the actual product in hand. So _everyone_ is still speculating, you included. It just seems everyone except you is willing to re-assess based on new information and you want to penalize others for doing that.


          9. My point is that if he is wrong now, then he was wrong all along because the argument he made for being wrong about the Apple’s watch can also be made for every other Smart Watches on the market, since it is all speculation based on future functionality,

            he even give us some example of use case that come straight from the Android Wear platform

            which beg the question as to why he isn’t though about these revolutionary future capability before when he was commenting on the android wear platform, why does he have to change his mind only after Apple show us something similar to what is already available on the market and received a huge backlash from Apple Fan and Pundit alike for his last post.

            it’s about being consistent.

            unless his last post was more of a damage control than anything else.

            it doesn’t look consistent for me to hear him said he was wrong about the Apple watch after reading all of his previous post on the Android wear and SmartWatch in general

          10. “if you think when it come to these guys it is just about agreeing with Apple, then you’ll be too slow to understand how the PR team at Apple, Google, etc control the tech press…” – Kenny

            No one controls me, Kenny. I write what I want. I’m sure it’s the same with the other writers that you so casually disparage.

            “a perfect example of that is Ben Thompson after writing a good post about his scepticism of the Apple Watch which i thought was fair, had no choice but to change his minds and backtrack probably after receiving some pushback or maybe a phone call from the Apple empire” – Kenny

            Kenny, you need to get a grip. It is not those you accuse who are controlled. Rather, it is you who is controlled by a self-imposed prison of distrust, cynicism and conspiracy thinking.

          11. why don’t you try to be very critical of Apple just for an entire month as you have always been with samsung and you will see at the end of the month how many friends or reader you would have left

          12. “Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self.” ~ Cyril Connolly

            I don’t write in order to have friends, Kenny.

            “You don’t write because you want to say something; you write because you’ve got something to say.” ~ F. Scott Fitzgerald

  2. Thanks for this Mr Kirk. Your essays are my favorites on this site. You seriously have a mind for quotes. I copy & paste lots of them, being something of a quote collector myself.

    1. As usual, Kenny, you have ignored the point of my article. Allow me to quote from the article itself:

      “Intelligent debate is welcome and there are many questions surrounding Apple’s newly announced Apple Watch. But patently dumb allegations should not be debated — they should be mocked.”

      I do not rail against criticism. Rather, I am an opponent of thoughtless criticism and a proponent of clear thinking. I have tried to pick out those criticisms of the Apple Watch that are based on no evidence or that are not supported by a logical framework. I see no hypocrisy in that.

      1. I do not disagree with this article at all, I just think that you should have quote yourself up there too for having criticizing Android Wear SmartWatch and The Moto 360 prematurely, without having ever used one or possibly even have intention to do so.

        Here’s what you said about something you’ve never tried or used.

        John Kirk Quote: (Don’t get me wrong. Today’s wearables should not be tossed aside lightly. They should instead be thrown with great force)

        what does that tell after reading your last article?

        1. At the time I wrote that article in July, 2014, Samsung had, in a period of about 8 months, already come out with six – count ’em — six generations of smart watches. Each watch generation superseded the last I didn’t have to throw aside the the wearables that existed in July. Samsung was throwing them aside faster than I could write about them.

          1. Awesome Quote: John Kirk Quote: (Don’t get me wrong. Today’s wearables should not be tossed aside lightly. They should instead be thrown with great force) Hahaha So true!

          2. don’t try to play with words here, he wasn’t only about the samsung watches, it was about all of them, including the Moto 360 that you said should be thrown forcefully until you ‘ve seen the Apple Watch that resemble a lot the first generation of Samsung Watch.

            why don’t you just admit your criticisms were premature just as those you mentioned above in your article.

      2. The Oscar Wilde quote you gave works just about as well if you reverse it: ridicule is the tribute genius pays to mediocrity.

  3. “Every time Apple brings out a product, critics cite price as its fatal flaw, even when such criticism makes little or no sense.”

    This has always confused the heck out of me. Maybe it’s a holdover from the 90’s when Apple was making extremely high profit margins on their computers (and losing customers to Windows PCs left and right). But the price premiums Apple charges, post Jobs’ return, are seldom all that much higher than for strictly comparable hardware from other brand name retail companies. And that premium buys you 3 or 4 things: 1) the privilege of running Apple’s OS, 2) hardware that is much more attractive and much better constructed than most alternatives, 3) a warranty and customer service from a company with well over 90% customer satisfaction, which maintains a network of retail locations where you can bring your malfunctioning device for in-person service. Plus, 4) (for portables) either a significantly lighter and thinner device than nearly all lower priced alternatives, or (for desktops) a unique form factor (nano-pc, all in one, and whatever the name for the new Mac Pro is called) that adds significant value compared to a generic mini-tower or generic laptop.

    Of course, none of those four things is easy to stick into a spec comparison table, and it seems that many in the tech industry have some peculiar form of brain damage that prevents them from being able to understand something if it cannot be summarized in a powerpoint spec comparison slide.

    1. Exactly! Many do have some form of brain damage that does not let them see the intangible things that come from owning one or many Apple products. When Apple’s consumers look for products they are not looking at products the same way IT professionals do. Specs only tell part of the story and can be misleading in many cases. For example, screen resolution. Sure there are SmartPhones with more resolution than the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus but they are not considering the affect that has on battery life or fragmentation in the ecosystem. For Apple’s customers they are for the most part happy with the tradeoffs that Apple makes as they are able to actually use the advancements in technology and they are not just marketing gimmicks that make a spec sheet look good but do not have any real practical value.

      In regards to Apple in the 1990’s having high profit margins and loosing customers to Windows. It was because they sat on their lead from the 1st Macintosh from 1984 to until Windows 95 came out for there to be real competition. It was the developers who decided how the desktop wars went. Also let’s not forget that once again it was businesses that where buying desktop PC’s versus consumers who where purchasing Macintoshes. The problem is that at that time computers where too new, too expensive and did not really have much to offer the consumer. So of course Apple lost that round. This time it is different as consumers are driving the SmartPhone, Tablet and SmartWatch buying. This plays right in to Apple’s strengths.

      Just to be clear, Apple is winning on profitshare and not marketshare and that is what matters to them. They never have and never will be the company that makes the most popular products but that is ok. That is why we have other vendors to make products for the masses. They can win at marketshare. So both can win and the market can work fine.

  4. “Whenever Apple introduces a new product category. The $350 iPod will be
    niche, the $600 iPhone will be niche, the $500 iPad will be niche,
    etcetera, etcetera, etcetera”

    To be fair, niche or mainstream is all a matter of scale. A niche product for Apple would be a runaway bestseller for just about any other tech company. By today’s standards (~250 million iphones a year and rising), the original 1st generation iphone was a niche product (~6 million iphone 1’s sold in total). Heck, smartphones as a category were a niche product in 2007. Likewise ultraportable notebooks were a niche product. Then Apple halved the price on the Macbook Air and now it’s replaced the vanilla Macbook in their lineup, meanwhile Intel is trying to make “ultrabooks” mainstream (not quite clear on how that fits in with their also trying to make 2-in-1 convertible tablet/laptops mainstream, but Intel is large, it can contain multitudes).

    I think it’s perfectly reasonable to say that the first few generations of Apple Watch, like all other s-watches to date, will be a niche product, bought mainly by nerds. Apple will of course sell millions of them and make a billion or so dollars in annual profit from them, but it’s going to take a while for the tech (batteries and software) to mature, and likewise a while for cultural expectations (whether or not people wear a watch at all, what they expect it to do for them) to evolve to a point where the thing takes off the way smartphones have done.

    And it’s quite possible that it will never fully take off, and s-watches will remain a nerd-only niche product, or turn out to be a fad. That’s the risk Apple is taking by entering a new category so early, instead of their more usual approach of entering late but with something that completely blows the competition out of the water.

    1. haven’t you doing the same on the other side as well thinking that every new apple’s products will have the same reaction on the market as the one before it and be widely successful as the iPhone?

      1. “thinking that every new apple’s products will have the same reaction on
        the market as the one before it and be widely successful as the iPhone?”

        Where did I say or imply that I thought that? Sometimes Apple misses (eg, the 5c did not do as well as they hoped it would, and this year the 5s quietly but notably did not go plastic as it moved down a price tier). Sometimes they totally bomb (the G4 cube). I happen to think it’s extremely unlikely for Apple to hit the jackpot again the way they did with the iphone, which was a perfect storm of carrier subsidies creating artificially low prices for pocket computers, and a field full of competitors whose UI skills were incredibly incompetent.

        The truth of the matter, however, is that Apple, by virtue of their brand, and by virtue of their massive ecosystem and the crossover synergy they build into all their devices, is virtually guaranteed to sell millions of *whatever* it is they decide to make next, whether it’s a wearable, a TV box, or, heck, a futuristic “Minority Report” style computer that operates by watching your gestures.

        1. i totally agree with you but sometime you need to understand that a company’s strengths can also become its biggest weakness.

          Pundit used to make the same kind of argument regarding Microsoft thinking that windows ecosystem was their easy ticket to any new category of tech market

  5. These two quotes are perfect:

    “People really love to hate Apple. It should be considered a disorder at this point.”

    “We hate the very idea that our own ideas may be mistaken, so we cling dogmatically to our conjectures.”

    And from your article: “Many of Apple’s critics have never understood the difference between price and value. As we move toward wearable computers, the disconnect is only going to grow greater.”

    I’ve long been fascinated by how many people dislike Apple *for no logical reason*, and I think the foundation of it is that Apple proves them wrong, they are baffled by Apple’s success. Simple as that.

    1. The part that I am looking forward to next year when Apple announces all the prices for all of the SKU’s for the Apple Watch when the anti-Apple tech nerds come unglued and loose their minds. All because they are not the target market for the Apple Watch as I am sure that most of them have never spent more than $20 on a Casio calculator watch. They have no idea on how the luxury jewelry and watch markets work.

      All of the recent hires Apple has made and will continue to make will become to make a lot more sense as their expertise will be put to the test in the rollout of the Apple Watch. I have every bit of confidence that Apple will be able to pull this new product launch just like they have done with most every other one.

      1. Yep, the more Apple dominates the higher end ‘best customer segment’ the more hysterical the anti-Apple crowd is going to become.

    2. I loved this quote too, “Many of Apple’s critics have never understood the difference between price and value.”

      Anyone in sales can confirm that people don’t make purchases based on logic but rather emotion. As the Mr. Kirk states, it’s not eggs that make the omelet but rather the chef. Why bother watching commercials or looking at a menu with perfectly lit and arranged food if all you needed was some paper towels and a burger.

      We are emotional creatures and marketers bank on us making buying decisions with our hearts, not our minds. If you never liked Pepsi then a dancing Michael Jackson, Beyoncé or Brittany Spears should have no effect on you when you’re standing in front of a vending machine.

      Just get Smart Water instead.

      That’s what Jennifer Anniston drinks.

      1. Thank you for the kind words, Mark.

        Many people confuse price with value because the only thing they value is price.

        For most of us however, price is only one component of value. Apple provides a premium product and those who appreciate that sort of thing respond quite logically by paying a premium and remaining extremely loyal to the company. However, since Apple’s critics do not value the same thing that Apple’s customers’s do, they assume that Apple’s customers are illogical zealots.

        The greatest mistake we can make when analyzing others is to assume that if they don’t think at all like us, they don’t think at all.

        1. I would guess that these very same pundits/critics also ignore this perspective/advice in their own lives when they buy clothes, cars, bikes, food, etc.

  6. John – My esteem for you goes up (from an already high base) with every article!
    So many laughs & SMHs and, of course, I love the quotes. The “accidental” slip of “Apple Watch” for “iPod” is especially rich.

  7. I watched MacBreak Weekly and the crew there were very skeptical about the Watch introduction saying Apple never provided the “why”, the reason for the product to exist. On th same show though Leo Laporte said he thought for sure the watch would be round yet he never gave a reason why. In fact everyone complaining about the watch not having a round display has yet to provide a valid reason for the display being round. It seems to me a round display is the epitome of form over function. So I think it’s a bit hypocritical to knock Apple for not providing the “why” when those advocating for a circular display don’t have a good “why” either.

    I think it’s fine to be critical about the way Apple introduced the product (I would actually have preferred less information since we know it’s not yet ready for prime time) but criticizing something you’ve never used and based off one presentation isn’t fair at all. It’s clear Apple is holding some things back for the actual launch next year. I think people should wait to form their opinion until after the actual launch and they’ve had the opportunity to actually use the product.

    1. They probably can’t help themselves. Page views are the life’s blood of most websites so the more hits they can generate the more sponsors/advertisers they can get.

      I for one was impressed by what they showed and even if the battery can only last a day it’ll be something we’ll quickly get over and will only improve over time. This is the first iteration and if Apple’s history is any barometer for the future the first generation of their products will be good but the second and third iteration will be stellar after they’ve worked out the initial kinks.

      I could see an Watch that’s completely waterproof to several meters under water for extended periods of time (I’m thinking of a marketing campaign with Michael Phelps), a battery that lasts 72 or more hours (maybe longer with moderate to light use) and being less and less reliant on a tether to the iPhone.

      The only potential problem I see is will consumers be willing to spend approximately $400 or more a year to upgrade to the latest Watch and if so what do they do with the old one? Will Apple have a trade-in program? Will Target, Best Buy or do something similar?

      I can see myself buying an Watch for $450 (the $350 starting point is likely for the 38mm watch that’s for women and I’m also including the cost of more than one type of band) next year but will I spend that or more again in 2016? If can get upwards of $150 for the 2015 model then maybe. Otherwise I might forcibly relegate myself to the first model for a couple/few years.

  8. It’s an under-powered, over-designed toy, just like the 1984 Macintosh, the 2001 iPod, and the 2007 iPhone. Whether it’ll do as badly in the market as all of those did is not yet clear. But that’s the way to bet.

  9. Great article as usual but I’m going to have to object to this: “If you don’t have a background in engineering, you shouldn’t be commenting on how to construct the space station.”

    I have a background in engineering and I definitely shouldn’t be commenting on how to construct anything (except maybe software) much less a space station. Very few engineers are competent to talk about space construction. I suspect that it is much the same for most economists talking about luxury consumer goods. If you haven’t put in the effort that I’m sure Apple has, then your limited expertise is probably not relevant.

    1. “I have a background in engineering and I definitely shouldn’t be commenting on how to construct anything…” – jamesdbailey

      Yeah, I almost said “rocket scientist” instead of “engineer” but for the analogy’s sake, I didn’t want to suggest that one had to be the equivalent of an economic genius in order to comment on pricing. But maybe I’m wrong. Like the space station, the economics of fashion is way over my head. 🙂

      1. I took that quote as conveying that people that seemingly have all the answers have little to no experience in the subject they’re criticizing.

        A lot of the anti-Apple comments I view read like a Bible; as though what that person is saying is beyond reproach or objection. They speak with such certainty and passion that for anyone to disagree with them is folly.

        Usually a source of objectivity but frank discussion, I couldn’t make it through the entirety of a podcast from The Verge as they lambast Apple for coming up with names like “Digital Crown” and “Force Touch”. The infantile whining and complaining about a device they could only wear but not use — all Watch’s were in demo mode only rendering the crown and button useless — made my brain hurt.

        A bit of criticism is warranted but when they began tearing down a product that doesn’t truly exist was nothing short of maddening.

        I welcome criticism and objections to the product but once it breaks into a discussion of playground-style insults you’ve lost me.

        1. There’s an American quotation that reflects your view and deserves pride of place among the pithy and timeless aphorisms listed above:

          “A Consultant is a man who has studied all 52 sex positions of the Kama Sutra, but doesn’t know any girls”

  10. No matter how much spin you apply there are few undeniable things about Apple Watch:
    1. It’s ugly and plain.
    2. Same or less features than the competition.
    3. Crown is a very clunky solution (but marketed as the most innovative – right).

    Any reasons to buy it? Only for those who need everything Apple!

        1. Whatever substance “they” have are . . . it is immensely better than whatever you think trolling adds to your capacity of developing a capacity to reason.

    1. Just for fun, let’s pretend that you’re not a troll and that you would respond intelligently to an intelligent argument.

      1) “It’s ugly and plain.” Looks are subjective. It doesn’t matter what you or I think, it only matters what the buyer thinks. In a free market, you can either vote for a product by paying for it or you can vote against it by not paying for it. There is no veto power. If the market votes for a product then the product wins, regardless of our personal views.

      2) “Same or less features than the competition.” Features are what a product does, benefits are what a product means to the customer. Until you learn the difference, your analysis will always be fatally flawed.

      3) “Crown is a very clunky solution.” Maybe. I’m going to try to write an article tentatively entitled “Dissecting Apple’s Wearable Design” in the near future. It will take Dieter Rams’ 10 design principles and try to apply them to the proposed Apple Watch. Even then, I would have to wait until after I’ve tried something before I’d condemn it.

      1. 1. Let me put is this way: Ask a kid to draw a smart watch and the first thing he will do is draw something like Apple Watch. That is how plain it is.
        True – who wants that thing on his wrist he will buy it but this will not change the facts I said before.

        2. You are talking like there is no correlation between these two – features and benefits. There are no benefits without the features in the first place.

        3. The crown is mere a marketing gimmick.
        With it, Apple wanted to blend old with new – to have a something that will act as a bridge between old clocks and new smart watches. But one thing is having a crown and completely the opposite to make it function well or better than another solution.
        Here Apple failed because you will constantly move your finger from the screen to the crown to the screen, back to crown to the screen. No, no, no, no, no.
        Just look at some clips where the watch was operated and you will see what I’m talking about. Very clunky.
        It would be much better if they moved all the crown functionality to the screen and ditch the crown completely. Don’t tell me Apple couldn’t find such a solution.

    2. There may or may not be a reason to buy it. I’m still waiting for your list of “undeniable things about the Apple Watch”.


  11. “Niche”

    I find it interesting that no one (that I’ve read) is hammering Google about their niche devices, like Glass.

    I also find it ignorantly adorable that critics keep using “niche” disparagingly. When it comes to wanting and having a profitable business, niche is often the preferred way to go.


    1. So true. A “niche” can be a good or a bad thing. It just depends on what “niche” you are talking about. On the high end it is fine. Where companies get in to trouble is when they get a “niche” on the low end as those buyers can not sustain a business for long.

  12. Great work, as always, John.

    True story: I recently was desperate to know the time and suddenly felt the need for a watch. Where was I? I was at my local T-Mobile, buying an iPhone 6, and my old iPhone was being wiped, and the rep was activating the new iPhone 6, and I new I had less than an hour to get to the Apple Store across town to buy Apple Care. Of course there was no clock on the wall. I felt naked! How’s that for irony?!

    Another thing I regularly do: I pull out my iPhone to check the time, then I am distracted by some notification, slip my iPhone back into my pocket, and D’oh! I have to pull it out again just to check the time because I forgot last time. It is a pain to pull the phone out of the pocket!

  13. Gimmicks, iCopyist features and hardware, that Samsung already had out for years. Like Apple Health and integrated Cloud Services that actually work w/ Dropbox Syncing. Samsung S Health has been out since Galaxy S3 launch. Apple Health? Still isn’t w/ all it’s BUGS! lol….

    Samsung even had the original iPhone prototype out in white before iPhone in SGH-Z610. It also had 3G data, Real GPS, w/o any physical keyboard, using gestures and touchscreen on fully Multimedia playing interface w/ IR remote, front n back cameras, Single Round physical button and the first capacitive buttons on a Multimedia Touchscreen Phone introduced in January 2006.

    Unless you’re locked into Apple’s Time Machine….. that’s a whole year before iPhone came to market, just like the over a year before we’ll even see Apple’s Watch, that may only last a day…. if you’re lucky. That compared to newest Samsung Galaxy Gear S w/ 3G, a 2″ screen you can actually see to navigate the web as a stand alone smartphone watch. How long can it last on Samsung’s latest solid (non dangerous liquid filled flexible 300mAh battery? Two days and Samsung is bringing out flexible interchangeable wristband batteries. Not…. to mention now involved with Mont Blanc designing a Gear smartwatch with no internal battery to be the best looking, lightest, longest lasting smartwatch and could be out, as Apple’s iWatch is left just watching all it’s high end sales get destroyed! ……and Samsung actually has Interchangeable Wristband Batteries coming to market!

    Apple is running in last place even in the simple interface department and they still don’t have a device you can actually buy in a store or online today! ……and let us know when Apple Health (like iMaps) actually works as intended to go with Cloud Services that aren’t giving up everybody’s privacy, personal files and information. Which Apple apparently has been doing freely to NSA for years now! ^_* …..and you trust them??? Enough said!!!

    1. Thanks so much for this spot-on example of Apple Derangement Syndrome. Not only it is it completely wrong on every assertion, it is beautifully interwoven with the special combination of ignorance, strawman arguments, and impotent rage that only a truly misguided techno-geek spec-whore can spew.

      Great Job!

      1. I bet like most Applewellian Thought Police led or deluded iFans you are still listening to “Twist and Shout” propaganda messages from the inner party of Apple’s Elitists. All trying to convince you all that Apple invented everything under the sun, before the dawn of time! lol….. I presented facts….. while all you do is accuse. Typical Inner Party Doublethink Propaganda at it’s finest! 😀

        btw….. have you seen this video and the news that iPhone 6 Plus comes with extra bend and break-ability too?

        Now that’s Apple Quality for you in all Reality!!! ^_*

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