The Apple Watch’s Raison D’être

After having read a seemingly infinite number of Apple Watch reviews, I believe I may have discovered something that many, if not most, of the reviewers didn’t: The Apple Watch’s Raison D’être ((rai·son d’ê·treˌrāzôn ˈdetrə/noun: the most important reason or purpose for someone or something’s existence.)). And, I discovered it, not in the Apple Watch reviews, but in an article that preceded the reviews by over a week.

Two weeks ago, David Pierce wrote an article entitled: “iPhone Killer: The Secret History Of The Apple Watch” for Wired. ((The author of the article, David Pierce, thought he had discovered the Apple Watch’s Raison D’être too, but he was far off the mark: “(T)he Apple team landed upon the Watch’s raison d’être. It came down to this: Your phone is ruining your life.”)) In the article, Pierce quoted Kevin Lynch, Vice President of technology for Apple as saying:

“We’re so connected, kind of ever-presently, with technology now,” Lynch says. “People are carrying their phones with them and looking at the screen so much.”

“People want that level of engagement,” Lynch says. “But how do we provide it in a way that’s a little more human, a little more in the moment when you’re with somebody?”

In other words:

— The Apple Watch needs to help provide us with the same level of engagement that we already enjoy;

— But do it in a way/manner that is more natural, more intuitive, more human;

— Paying special heed to how we can we remain present with others while still interacting with, and reacting to, our technology.

These three overlapping goals are, in my opinion, the key to understanding the Apple Watch.

FITNESS

You might have noticed that I didn’t mention Fitness when discussing the Apple Watch’s Raison D’être. When it comes to the Fitness aspects of the Apple Watch, I like John Gruber’s analogy ((To me, Apple Watch’s health and fitness tracking features might be like what the iPhone’s camera is to someone with no interest in photography. I’m glad it’s there, and I’ll surely wind up using it in some ways, but it’s not a reason why I would buy it in the first place. ~ John Gruber)). Fitness is to the Watch as the camera is to the phone. It’s there whether you use it or not, so you might as well use it.

[pullquote] Fitness features will not be the key to the Apple Watch’s success, but the Apple Watch’s success will be the key to using the fitness features[/pullquote]

Smartphones have taught us that the best camera is the camera you have with you. Similarly, the best fitness device is the one you wear all the time. Fitness features will not be the key to the Apple Watch’s success, but the Apple Watch’s success will be the key to using the fitness features.

Competitors

Competitive smartwatch products may be useful in their own right, but they are not asking — nor are they answering — the same questions that the creators of the Apple Watch have posed. Accordingly, I don’t think existing smartwatches are competing with the Apple Watch at all. At least not yet.

And if others decide to go head-to-head with the Apple Watch, they’re going to find it difficult to emulate the one-two punch of the Force Touch/Taptic Engine that distinguishes the Apple Watch and makes it so compelling.

Defining Success

13fdc7ef298fc646f30c6216778665cf.0I will deem the Apple Watch a success if it, like the iPhone and iPad before it:

1) Initially outsells all other pre-existing devices in its category;

2) Becomes the de facto premium smartwatch of choice;

3) Creates a firm foundation for growth ((The iPhone was introduced in 2007, and across its first 12 months of availability, Apple sold about 5.3 million iPhones. By the third quarter of 2009, the company sold 5.2 million iPhones in a single quarter. In the first quarter of 2012, it sold 37 million. In the first quarter of 2015, it sold 74.5 million. The original iPhone… was also the best smartphone in the world, and over time the number of people who wanted to buy the best smartphone in the world kept growing as the underlying technology improved. ~ Vox)); and

4) Significantly and meaningfully strengthens the overall Apple Ecosystem.

I think the Apple Watch is already a shoo-in to accomplish all four of those objectives.

Mac installed base ~85m. iPad installed base, ~170m (my estimates). Apple Watch likely to be more iPad than Mac. Maybe larger. ~ Ben Bajarin on Twitter

Critics

If you were predicting Apple would fail for the last decade, it’s worth working out why you were wrong before continuing such predictions. ~ Benedict Evans on Twitter

The Verge’s Nilay Patel says that while the Apple Watch is easily the best smartwatch you can own today, but he remains a skeptic:

(D)o you want another tiny computer in your life that you have to worry about and charge every day? That’s the real question of the Apple Watch. Does it offer so much to you that you’re willing to deal with the hassles and idiosyncrasies of a new platform that is clearly still finding a true purpose?

images-116

I think that’s wrong. ((I’m not debating the issue. I’m just trying to explain why I am right. ~ Elevator Gossip (@GSElevator))) I think the creators of the Apple Watch know its purpose and the Apple Watch is designed to serve that purpose. I think it’s the reviewers, not the Apple Watch, that are struggling to discover its true purpose.

Things don’t have to change the world to be important. ~ Steve Jobs

The question isn’t whether the Apple Watch has a reason for being. It does. ((There’s two kinds of people in this world: those who think their opinion is objective truth, and… there’s one kinds of people in this world. ~ Joss Whedon on Twitter)) The question is whether Apple has executed on that vision and created a wearable computing device that fulfills that vision.

Our DNA is as a consumer company, for that individual customer who’s voting thumbs up or thumbs down. That’s who we think about. And we think that our job is to take responsibility for the complete user experience. And if it’s not up to par, it’s our fault, plain and simply. ~ Steve Jobs

Fortunately for Apple, it’s the votes of the customers, not the reviewers, that matters.

Have spent embarrassing amount of last two days reading gadget reviews. Takeaway: “Reviewers do not understand what motivates people to buy.” ~ Dan Frommer on Twitter

The reason I’m bullish (while some critics are calling bull$hit) on the Apple Watch is because Apple is asking all the right questions and they have a proven track record of success. Some will say this makes me an Apple fanboy.

You’re entitled to your opinion, and I’m entitled to know you’re wrong and stupid. ~ God (@TheTweetOfGod)

I say it makes me way more likely to be right. We’ll have to “watch” and see. ((The goodness of the true pun is in the direct ratio of its intolerability. ~ Edgar Allan Poe))

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?

888 thoughts on “The Apple Watch’s Raison D’être”

  1. Love this. As always, most of the reviews focused too much on the small details, but miss the big picture. 🙂

    1. Thank you for your kind words. To be fair, I think people want details from a review and if I were reviewing the Apple Watch, I too, would probably be drawn toward the tiny details that were previously unknown or were most intriguing.

      However, like you, I prefer to look at the big picture. Reviewing the reviews gave me an opportunity to do just that. 🙂

  2. The iWatch raison d’être is to 1- make money 2- increase lock-in.
    At those prices, it can only satisfy Apple’s 50%+ margin requirement; and I’m sure lots of Apple customers will want theirs, whether for bragging rights or because they’ll actually use it, so lock-in certainly will work too.

    1. The only difference I have with your opinion is in the raisons d’être “over competing models”.

    2. “The iWatch raison d’être is to 1- make money 2- increase lock-in.” ~ Obarthelemy

      Obarthelemy, sometime your lack of insight into how business works is truly breathtaking. EVERY company wants to make money but since not every company does, and very few are eminently successful, knowing that tells us little or nothing about HOW one makes a successful product.

      In fact, your observation is exactly backwards. Those companies that focus on making money almost never succeed because they’re focused on themselves and their needs and not focused on the needs of their potential customers.

      One of my favorite Steve Jobs’ quotes is: “You’ve got to start with the customer experience and work back toward the technology, not the other way around.” If a company gives the customer what they truly want — a premium experience — the customer will be more than happy to pay a premium for it.

      “You will get all you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want.” ~ Zig Ziglar

      1. You know I disagree, lock in is generally not a thing customer’s favor, with Apple being very notable exception.

        But you do raise an interesting thought. I will go on a limb and say that iWatch penetration will give a very good estimate of the “core” Apple base. Perhaps slightly inflated due to lack of significant competing models available to them. (See what I said there? “Available” to them). Pebble being notable albeit miniscule example. Space Gorilla tells me there are others, but clearly quite obscure.

        1. “iWatch penetration will give a very good estimate of the “core” Apple base.”

          Maybe, but I think I disagree. I’ve described the Job The Apple Watch is being hired to do as 1) Keeping us fully engaged in the flow of information; 2) In a more intuitive and less intrusive manner; 3) Especially when in the presence of others.

          I suspect there are many (1 to 5%?) Android users who are interested in all three of those things and some of them might consider switching platforms because of it. On the other hand, there are many current iOS users who don’t value those three things very highly and won’t be tempted by the Apple Watch.

          As an important aside, I believe that the second leg of my three-legged stool is the one that is the most under appreciated. The gap between pulling a phone out of one’s pocket as opposed to interacting with a wrist computer seems infinitesimal when viewed from a distance but the value of the added convenience seems huge once it has been experience and subsequently alters ones habitual ways of interacting with technology. The example I usually cite is unlocking one’s car with a key fob and there are literally thousands of other examples averrable if only I were smart enough to recall them all.

          1. There are Android watches that do what the Apple watch does, even elegant ones, done elegantly, they don’t need to switch. If there’s a contrast in penetration (and I do think you’re right) I can’t help but consider loyalty in the Apple camp.

          2. “There are Android watches that do what the Apple watch does.”

            I vehemently disagree and an entire section of my article is devoted to this. First, I think some non-Apple smartwatchs have value. Second, I don’t think that any of them are trying to do the job, as I’ve described it above, that the Apple Watch is trying to do. Third, I think it will be difficult to do the job the Apple Watch is being hired to do without the tools — like force touch and the taptic engine — that the Apple Watch employs.

          3. Well, I’ve had the Moto360 since September, and I’ve not seen a well deserved purported benefit of the Apple watch that the 360 can’t or won’t be able to do. There are others and Apple users jobs to be done are not unique or special.

          4. “I’ve not seen a well deserved purported benefit of the Apple watch that the 360 can’t or won’t be able to do”

            Is the Moto 360 fashionable enough to be worn by non-geeks and celebrities? Does it have an interface like the digital crown that allows smooth transitions from place to place within the user interface? Does it have a home button to orient the user? Does it have a way to communicate through touch through sketches, taps, and heartbeats? Does it have the force touch user interface? Does it have taptic feedback that discreetly provides you with a diverse array of information on incoming communications and watch functions (like directions from your mapping programs)?

            The Moto360 is certain to meet the needs of many, but it is not at all being asked to communicate information in a more intuitive and discreet method. And that’s fine. I’m sure you can list a half a dozen things that the Moto360 does that the Apple Watch does not. Each to his own. But you lose credibility when you argue that both watches provide the same benefits. They’re clearly aimed at different audiences and they’re serving different purposes.

          5. To me they both look like geek chic $250-$350 devices. If I were out to impress snobs, I would not wear either, no not even the rose gold. I would consider the iWatch otherwise, if I liked it’s looks, and I could use it on my platform of choice.

            Celebrities? Don’t even get me started on that. There’s taste that follows, and there’s taste that’s timeless. No current smartwatch is of heirloom quality, or class.

            BTW, I was saying they both basically do, or can be made to do, the same things, with the same ease.

          6. A Hyundai Elantra and a Bugatti Veyron both do basically the same things with ease. If you define getting from point A to point B in reasonable speed and safety. The whole point of product design for the consumer market is to find and capitalize on differences beyond those “basically same things” that you and your competitors offer.

          7. In no way do I see the Apple watch or any smart watch as a Bugatti. I do see it as roughly equivalent, leaving room for taste, as the Moto 360 or LG watch.

          8. Sounds to me like you’re “locked-in” and desperately trying to justify your predicament.

          9. Locked out of one OEM… Not missing anything either, my device is feature competitive. To me, it’s looks competitive as well.

          10. “Don’t Confuse Me With Facts!”
            Roy S. Durstine

            John, there’s history behind the quote.
            However, it seems appropriate with regards to the mind made up.
            Namaste and care,
            mhikl

          11. Agree with you here and this is something I have been thinking of since I have also used android wear devices extensively. You are right that Android wear can fix its UI and functionality problems and if it is just simple notifications and health then it can likely compete. However, if unique apps re-imagined for short interactions is really where the differentiator lands then we have to give it to Apple. Especially since this market is largely no-where near the size of smartphones, thus the market opportunity for devs broadly is not as big. Meaning less incentives for them to support Android wear if it is not a large market. I’m currently modeling as best I can the smart watch market over the next five years. But knowing the spending and engagement power of Apple users, and likely size of market, i’m still skeptical of Android wear to evolve meaningfully the same way.

            With Google likely brining Android wear support to iOS, which is smart of them, we will see if this makes a difference but I have a gut sense some dynamics may form for this market that simply favors Apple’s integrated ecosystem / solar system.

          12. One of the weakness I noticed with the Apple watch is the fact that many of the features that many of you think make it better, is actually make it more redundant in my eyes, because these features such as full blow facebook or instagram App are in direct competition with the more capable phone in your pocket that many you seem to forget When review the Apple Watch

            why would I use Instagram in a watch with a microscopic screen when I already have a phone with a larger screen in my pocket?

            that’s the question none of you are asking

            the reason I prefer the Android wear platform is simply because Google is not trying to create another computer to compete with the phone in my pocket but rather extend on it

            i knew for sure what the Android wear was good for the moment i put a the veri nice looking Moto 360 on, which is to provide me with the right Glancable information at the right time when i need it and more, if i want to be engaged in doing more the phone in my pocket will be a better tools

            Ben it seems to me that after using the watch Apple for a entire week, none of you seem to be able to articulate a clear idea of what it’s best for

          13. I posted the article I wrote on my experience from the Watch on Facebook. I was genuinely surprised how many people commented on it that they were interested and will likely buy it. These are people who are doctors, lawyers, school teachers, farmers, stay at home parents, etc. All of who I know and none of who I consider in the Apple camp. It actually appeals to them for practical reasons, which is why I feel there is this level of interest for a first time product.

            Of course first six month sales, is what I’d target to help me understand the “loyal base” although, I already have an idea as to what I believe that number to be.

            I truly believe Q4 will be the most telling quarter about this product and how far into the mass market this version one bleeds into.

          14. “The value of the added convenience (of using your watch instead of your phone) seems huge once it has been experienced.”

            That’s probably the biggest reason why the Apple Watch will be successful.

          15. “That’s probably the biggest reason why the Apple Watch will be successful” – Observer

            “The new always looks like a toy to experts in the old. ~ Benedict Evans (@BenedictEvans) 11/2/14

            “When experts are wrong, it’s often because they’re experts on an earlier version of the world.” ~ Paul Grahm

          16. People constantly underestimate the value of ‘convenience’. Once you experience not having to pull out your phone all the time (and no, holding on to your phone throughout your waking hours doesn’t really cut it) you will never go back.

      2. Well, what *I* find breathtaking is the ability of some to take PR at face value and quote it on, over internal non-PR memos (there’s the one that says one of the key goals is to increase lock-in) and non-PR insiders (there’s another one that says finance has the final say on product releases). We can pretend those don’t exist, or open our eyes and try to be rational…

        1. I’m asking “what is the job the Apple Watch is being hired to do.” This question can clearly only be answered from the perspective of the potential customer. And your answer is “profits” and “lock-in”. Can you now see how nonsensical your stance is?

          You’re so determined to prove that Apple is a bunch of greedy bastards that you didn’t even bother to note the topic being discussed.

          1. Well, the title refers to its raison d’être… this can clearly also (or maybe even only) be tackled from the point of view of its creator. Can you see how partial your choice of point of view is ?

            I don’t think Apple are greedier or bastarder than others. I do think acting as a mouthpiece for their PR with nary a critical thought nor a more global or long-term view is dangerous, though in the short term riding someone successful’s coat-tails is a much easier trip.

          2. “I’m asking ‘what is the job the Apple Watch is being hired to do.'”

            Not really. You asked why Apple made the watch not why people will buy it.

        2. So, Kevin Lynch is not non-PR enough for you? That’s interesting.

          Those internal memos, while highlighting aspects of corporate goals, do not point to the how of achieving those goals. The raison d’être of any company is to make a product or provide a service with the goal of the by product of making money.

          Joe

        3. Or you can stop deluding yourself that a few bullet points and some marketing strategy shorthand are signs of a vast satanic Apple plot.

          “Lock-in” is a phrase that you use as a pejorative. Those of us with first-hand knowledge consider being “locked-in” the same as being “well-served.” I wonder what we all know that you don’t?

          Correction: I don’t wonder that. The sun will become a red giant before that question can be answered. “Breathtaking” is such a nice way of putting it…

          1. Gee. A definition. Now if only you were clever enough to note how Apple’s services are entirely different from ink cartridges and that iTunes’ DRM was for the benefit of the recording industry.

          2. You’re right! We need to view the printer vendors and the music industry with the same contempt! Oh wait… we do! 😉

          3. You slap up a link like its some kind of trump card. I refute the primary examples from YOUR link and you argue with me. Get off your silly “lock-in” argument. “Switching costs” exist outside of Apple’s ecosystem, as well. It’s the price you pay for making a purchasing decision.

            In the end you’ve got nothing. Repeating the same lame point over and over doesn’t make it any more convincing. It’s tiresome and hardly a “tech analysis” worthy of a site for tech analysis junkies.

          4. Pray tell, what are the switching costs from, say, Samsung to Motorola ?
            Do you need to re-purchase your apps, media, cables, and/or, even worse re-learn things, change smartwatch, desktop, TV box… No.
            Do you need to do all of that if you switch from Apple to any other brand ? Yes.
            That’s lock-in.

          5. Where did you get this idea that tech is all-or-nothing?

            How does switching from Android to iPhone require a complete replacement for everything you own? Why do I bother reading your tripe?

          6. “Lock-in”, as you present it, is a red herring, not to mention totally irrelevant to the topic at hand. It has never been cheaper to switch from one computing platform to another as it is in the realm of smartphones. Most of the apps are free or cheap enough to not matter.

            Lock-in, as I’ve ever heard Apple discuss it, is about making the totality of their offerings work so well together that there is no _reason_ to switch, not to make it technically difficult to switch. It costs more to switch carriers than smartphone platforms.

            One can mix and match as one pleases. I have friends and family who use Android devices with Apple devices without any issue. They thoroughly enjoy the choices they have made.

            Move on. This is a non-issue.

            Joe

          7. What do I do with my iWatch once I switch my phone to Android ? With my iTunes movies ? With my tablet’s keyboard, SD adapter, USB adapter ?
            By lock-in, Apple means just that: changing just 1 device is impossible because it requires changing all devices at huge expense.
            You’re confusing lock-in and customer satisfaction.

          8. You’re confused with what is an issue and what isn’t an issue. If you really are still watching those iTunes movies, you thank god you have a device to watch them on without tying up your Android device or eating up its battery (I’ve seen this solution more than once). There is no “huge expense”.

            Joe

          9. I recommend HandBrake for your movies and secondhand stores for peripherals. As well, Apple holds very good value in the re-sale market. Secondhand stores (Android) + profits from Apple resale = coin in pocket.
            Surprisingly, lock-in works in both directions.
            Namaste and care,
            mhikl

          10. Joe, sometimes the bone is one’s only treasure, impossible to let go.
            Namaste and care,
            mhikl

          11. You’re BOTH right. Lock out = Lock in. One ecosystem has multiple vendors the other has one, so in one of them the customer is less beholden.

          12. Multiple hardware vendors, but ultimately still just one software-ecosystem vendor to whom you are locked-in for now.

          13. I’ll take the more diverse menu. Thank you very much….
            Fruitarian diets make you crazy!

          14. And actually printer cartridges are not that good an example. Brush up on “switching costs”

          15. ENTIRELY related to “well or badly served.”

            Several years ago I made the leap from 35mm film camera to 35mm digital. None of my Minolta lenses or flash units worked with my choice of Canon digital. I switched despite the cost and have never looked back.

            Your “lock-in” argument is silly because when people make thoughtful choices to invest in a quality system, they rarely switch afterwards. I can’t think of a single reason to switch from Canon to Nikon. Nikon makes fine gear, but I am WELL SERVED.

            Still, even in the unlikely scenario of my switching brands, my original investment decision to go with Canon is still sound. There is a thriving market for used Canon gear. Just as there is for used Apple gear.

            Is the same true for Android? You be the judge (hint: no).

            “Switching costs” are not unique to Apple, and the nefarious barriers you see all around you are mostly in your head.

          16. What’s silly is your analogy, because of network effects, DRM and file formats, that exist in IT but not in the physical world. Changing cameras did not make your old photos unviewable, require you to change your TV and watch…
            As for an ecosystem and OEM combined being a good choice at a point in time, sure. But betting all your IT and now consumer electronics, and soon health and financial data they’ll always be that way ? Doesn’t seem wise to me. Android does have 2 security valves: lots of OEMs, and AOSP.

          17. “Changing cameras did not make your old photos unviewable, require you to change your TV and watch…”

            Wow. My analogy was silly. But your reasoning is flawless.

      3. A couple years back Ben pointed to an HBR article that discussed when the shift occurred to companies focusing on shareholder value and return and how that resulted in a decline of share value compared to companies that instead focused on customer value.

        Wish I still had the link. Fascinating article.

        Joe

  3. So basically, your three part Raison D’etre is about reducing the distraction level of pulling the phone out of your pocket, especially doing so when it would be more appropriate to pay attention to the people you are physically with in the real world. In other words, the watch is about fixing notification disease.

    Many of the positive reviews of the watch (including Ben’s article here at Techpinions) have mentioned something about having to set the watch up properly in order to achieve the level of usefulness that they praise. In contrast, the Bloomberg reviewer talks about how the watch was endlessly poking him with notifications when he needed to be paying attention to the people around him.

    The difference, clearly, is in whether or not the reviewer took the time to go into settings and tell the watch which notifications were important and which were unimportant. keeping in mind that 90 or 99% of all users will never go into settings, that tells me that the Apple did not do its job properly — they failed to set the default settings of the watch to provide only useful notifications.

    Of course, the reason they failed to do that is that they still have not fixed the problem of notifications disease in IOS — you can tell IOS which email correspondents are worth of your immediate attention (VIPs) but you can’t do the same for IMs and phone calls, and unless you dive into settings, the default for all the 1 million apps out there that want to send you push notifications is to buzz the phone every time for every notification, from the most useless and stupid to the most essential.

    TL, DR version: the watch, as I feared, seeks to treat the symptoms rather than addressing the disease. And really, it makes notifications disease worse rather than better — because if your phone is incessantly buzzing, you can just mute the sucker and put it in your bag and ignore it. but if your watch is poking you every ten minutes, that’s not something you can ignore.

    Unless they can magically figure out how to make the typical non-geek customer willing to enter the terrifying land of “settings”, I don’t think I don’t think the watch is going to see mainstream acceptance until such time as Apple implements a systemwide fix for notifications disease.

    1. My proposal for curing notifications disease would be:

      As a start, all notifications by default must silently go into the notification queue without buzzing the phone. A notification from a contact, regardless of which app originated it, should buzz the phone only if that contact is starred as “always notifify me.”

      Better would be a multi-tiered system — all contacts get 0-3 stars.
      0 stars – never notify, just have the incoming message show up in the app.
      1 star – silently put a notification in the notifications pane, never buzz (default).
      2 stars – buzz a maximum of once every x minutes. if we’ve already buzzed recently, then wait for the timer to expire before buzzing again.
      3 stars – always buzz immediately.

    2. “In other words, the watch is about fixing notification disease” – Glaurung-Quena

      I don’t agree with that summary for several reasons.

      First, the Apple Watch is not all about notifications. It has much broader applications. But let’s set that aside for now and just focus on the notifications aspect of the watch.

      Many people have, as you do, described the function of the Apple Watch and possibly all smartwatches as being a “fix” for their phones. I think this leads to mis-analysis. The truth is that we love our phones and the flow of information going into and out of them. People complain, as people will do, but if you look at the sales of phones and how we use them, you will see that our actions speak much louder than the words of those who would deem our phones to be burdens. They’re not burdens at all.

      Once you realize that, you realize that it is not the point of the Apple Watch to “free” us from our phone. It is, as with all other Apple devices to allow us to use the right tool for the right job. The phone will remain our primary communication conduit. The Apple Watch will allow us to stay in the know when we’re on the move and/or when we’re in the presence of others.

  4. If the estimates are correct (and my memory isn’t faulty) it would appear that Apple Watch sold more in one day than Android Wear sold through all of 2014. It’ll be interesting to watch this unfold. I think the first wave of wearables will only sell well in the premium segment, since the value is additive (small conveniences), and Android isn’t plugged into this segment, it is Apple that dominates the premium segment. Android dominates the segments that seem to say “Meh, I can do all that with my phone already”. I do think Android Wear will gain some traction, but only after the jobs-to-be-done are defined by Apple’s ecosystem, and after prices come waaaaay down for Android wearables.

    1. To me, the success of the Apple Watch should be measured more by how much it strengthens the Apple Ecosystem than in raw sales numbers. In that sense it is somewhat akin to Apple Pay. People who use the Apple Watch or Apple Pay will enjoy the Apple ecosystem more, be much less willing to leave it and be much more willing to pay a premium price to gain the Apple ecosystem’s premium experience.

      1. I agree. But Apple’s dominance of the premium segment means services like Apple Pay and devices like Apple Watch are going to move the needle in the consumer market, so to speak.

        1. Agreed. The focus is on ecosystem but there needs to be a minimum number of users for both Apple Pay, Apple Watch, etc. before those ecosystem benefits — as you say — move the needle.

          1. Yes, and it helps tremendously that Apple’s customers are skewed towards the premium consumer segment, what I often call the Best Customer Segment. You need less absolute numbers of this group to move the needle. You know, the more I understand what Apple is doing and has done, the more I wonder if Apple truly has any competitors.

  5. “The author of the article, David Pierce, thought he had discovered the Apple Watch’s Raison D’être too, but he was far off the mark: “(T)he Apple team landed upon the Watch’s raison d’être. It came down to this: Your phone is ruining your life.” [↩]”

    If 75 million iPhones in Q1 2015 is ruining peoples lives per above note, how is an Apple Watch gonna undo that which the phone has impacted? It would seem like a paradox of sorts. And granted that the Apple watch is not an untethetered device, still relying with the iPhone for its sync and what-nots, hows does it help customers in the long term bar fitness?when they would still have to tinker and filter through the phone what they want to sync with the watch.

    I like Apple. Its gadgets are easy to use and simple. But an Apple watch? That will subconsciously influence me to habitually look on my wrist every now and then for the most mundane of notifications?

    A big MEH.