Apple Watch: Thumbs Up Or Thumbs Down?

“While at my local coffee shop recently, I talked to a barista (a Millennial) regarding Apple Watch,” Tom Taulli writes for Forbes. “He was pretty upbeat on it and said he would buy one (although, he did admit he did not know if he could afford it!)”

“My take: I’m skeptical on Apple Watch. So far, there’s nothing about it that will impel me to plunk down money for the device (and yes, I’m an iPhone user as well as an owner of an Apple laptop),” Taulli writes. “So to get more insight on this, I reached out to some tech experts. And here’s what they had to say.”

Of the seven “experts” queried by Taulli, 5 gave Apple Watch a “thumbs up,” one gave it a “thumbs neutral (to be determined),” and one gave it a “thumbs down.” Here’s the co-founder & CEO of Joyride, Jeff Chen’s thumbs down so we have it on the record:

Thumbs down. The Apple Watch is missing that ‘wow’ factor. The wearables industry is a good idea, but this implementation feels on par with other smart watches released months ago. Watches have not found a core use case, so I’m not predicting a real spike in demand for this product. However, because Apple designed their watch with fitness in mind, it could be a game changer. Overall, mobile phones, not watches, will be the ones dominating the market for the years to come.

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Edward W.” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
Barclays: Apple Watch could crush companies like Fossil – September 16, 2014
Jean-Claude Biver: ‘The Apple Watch cannot compete at all with European watches’ – September 15, 2014
What the Apple Watch says about Apple – September 15, 2014
Tim Cook of Apple Watch battery life: ‘You’ll want to charge them every night’ – September 12, 2014
Old school watch makers don’t get Apple Watch – September 12, 2014
Apple Watch, the world’s first real smartwatch, will be a massive hit – September 9, 2014
Apple iWatch designer Jony Ive: Switzerland is in deep shit – September 4, 2014


    1. Like Steve Ballmer’s comments about the iPhone and the lack of buttons, this group is clueless. “Think Different”!

      • put an Apple Watch on
      – each student to comply with the common core monitoring requirements
      – each senior citizen in a health care facility
      – on each of your kids to keep track of them at Disney, the mall, …
      – personal vibration alarm for a deaf person
      – etc. …

      Like I said, clueless. It is the apps and how the new device is used that makes the difference.

    1. I can understand your point. Like you, when I want to wear “jewelry” or if I’m diving or doing other water related activities, I be wearing my Rolex. But, when I want to wear a watch that is much more then something that just tells time, I will be wearing my Watch.

      1. My concern with the Apple Watch is the price point.

        Bear in mind that $349 is just the entry level price. For that you will get the Sport model with aluminum (scratch and dent prone) case, glass crystal, and rubber strap. At this price point I can see how it will do well, assuming we see more interesting use cases when it’s released next year.

        But from here I expect prices to climb at meteoric levels. The stainless steel and sapphire models may well cost close to or above $1000, and the gold models (I find gold jewelry tacky as hell) will probably cost at least $2000 or $3000 and possibly much more.

        Buy a used Rolex today and it will be worth twice as much in 10 years and remain every bit as desirable. Buy a several thousand dollar Apple Watch early next year and within 3 years it will be obsolete, no matter how beautifully and expensively crafted. In other words, unlike a Rolex, an Apple Watch will never be an investment.

        Conversely, you can spend a few thousand dollars on a Mac or Macbook Pro, but arguably you’re getting an enormous amount of utility from your purchase and you will have significant resale value a few years down the line. Additionally, you’re paying for performance and durability, not bling.

        So back to the Watch, either Apple plans to make these products upgradeable (replace the guts, or trade-in old model for new), OR, they are targeting these things at a very different demographic – one with ridiculous amounts of disposable income and a gaudy desire to flaunt it.

        If it’s the latter, I think this marks a radical change for Apple as a company, and one that may seriously tarnish the brand for anyone besides the Kardashians and some Russian oligarchs.

        Hopefully these fears will be proven wrong.

  1. This will be a lot like the iPod. When I tried to describe it to people they just said meh…I like my CDs. Once they saw it, felt it, and saw me play and song I wanted anytime they suddenly HAD to have one.

    When you say Watch people think of their Tag or Seiko…this is a new thing it will have to be experienced and seen to be comprehended.

    1. I was at the MacWorld show when the iPod was introduced. I was very excited because I had been struggling with my Rio MP3 player. But I couldn’t believe how many people were disappointed with the keynote, commenting “is an MP3 player the best Apple can come up with these days?” or “Apple is jumping into a crowded market of MP3 players with a not-so-different entry”.

      Little they know (or I) what an amazing iPod phenomenon was about to be unleashed!

      1. I think it’s more like the iPad than the iPod. I remember the original iPod vividly when it came out because I was producing reviews for MP3 players. I had a 20GB MP3 player, but was still very excited about the 5GB iPod because it got so many things right.

        At the time though, while there were tons of MP3 players on the market (Apple was pretty much last to market), most people didn’t have an MP3 player yet, so it really was a huge shift from CDs to the iPod, and the advantages were huge… a large library in your pocket.

        The Apple Watch isn’t really offering much of an advantage over an iPhone. In fact, you need an iPhone with you for much of what the Apple Watch is capable of.

        This makes it much more like the iPad. When it was released, many people just saw it as a huge iPhone without voice (or iPod touch). You had to really get your hands on one to appreciate it and even then, given the cost, it was something seen as a nice-to-have as compared to the iPhone’s must-have status.

        While the iPad market isn’t entirely a subset of the iPhone market, the Apple Watch will inherently be a subset of the iPhone market.

        For people like me who will be getting the iPhone 6 Plus and often have it tucked away, I’ll appreciate the Apple Watch as an accessory used more like a remote.

        1. Right, that’s my point. There are a lot of people like you where there’s no need (or possibly even a desire) for something between a phone and a laptop. When the iPad came out, I had a 3.5″ iPhone and a 15″ MBP (non-retina). There was very much a need for a device for me that was in between the two. Although now, with my 5.5″ iPhone and 11″ MBA, there’s not as much room for a tablet in the middle.

          On the other hand, that 5.5″ iPhone will often be someplace that isn’t convenient to take out just to check the time or get a notification of some sort. Even doing navigation it will be nice for me to have the iPhone stowed away sometimes and use the Apple Watch… especially when doing thing like boating or whatever activity where the iPhone would be at risk.

          All of this puts the device, like the iPad, in a subset category. Even more so than the iPad since it’s reliant on the iPhone, but it’s much closer to the iPad in that people already had iPods, iPhones, and laptops, than it is to the iPod since the iPod was entirely new. It wasn’t being inserted into a lineup of overlapping technology.

  2. I was pretty amazed at the level of detail that Apple applied to the watch. I will buy one for the exercise / health aspects plus the ability to use Apple Pay. The final price may be a deterrent. Will have to wait until the product release is announced.

      1. Ah. This make me feel nostalgic for my transformer watch I had as a kid. I think his name was Chronos. It could detach from the band and transform into a robot to fight Decepticons. And could still tell time.

  3. I got me some watches. They sit in a display box. I rarely wear them except for dress. Fakes they are. Rolex, Breitling, and a few just look nice. The Apple watch has more function. I can see this being the replacement to iPod line going forward. I believe that the team that Apple has put together will be very successful over the long run. The first iPod didn’t sell a million units for quite awhile. The iPhone didn’t sell a million on the first day. The naysayers are all the same as every other Apple product. I am a super fanboy admitted and will be a buyer day 1. If it lasts 1-2 years then I will be happy. I am sure that Apple watch 2 and 3 will be sweet!. I like the methodical nature Apple takes with each product before introducing it to the world. They took 3 years to unveil Watch 1. They will only have a year to come up with each new design and tech upgrades. They had me at iPod and Im still loving every product. A lot more people jump on the train with each stop along the way. I think Apple watch will be no exception. This gives them a platform to really dig deep into. I think Apple will continue to introduce new amazing products for many years to come. I don’t see them making any big mistakes that could take them to the abyss as they were before SJ came back to save his company. Tim Cook has been a great steward of the Apple mojo.

  4. Thumbs neutral (to be determined)

    I need to see it in person before I decide. And who knows what else the Watch will be capable of before it actually launches.
    Something tells me Apple held back a “few” things. Maps, Time, heartbeat, drawing/texting aspect were the big Watch features they showcased.
    Some of which required the iPhone so it’s just an external screen for them.

  5. ” apple watch is missing the wow factor……”
    The only thing missing is peoples imagination.
    Once they get their hands on one they eill see its impact and then the wow factor !
    Mark these words !

  6. I’m not predicting a real spike in demand for this product. However, it could be a game changer. I’m pretty sure that either of those two things will happen. Do you want to know what stocks I recommend?

  7. I hope I don’t have to have a gold colored watch just to have higher end features. As long as it’s just a cosmetic appearance difference, I’ll get the darkest black one they have. I just wish there was a black version of their silver Milanese loop. I love that design, but hate the silver color. The silver color looks too feminine to me, and so do ALL of the gold color “Edition” watches. Hopefully we will see a ton of third party bands to meet more specific tastes.

    1. What are you talking about? The Watches are the same internally and functionally, and all bands can be interchanged with any watch. There is no difference to the way each watch works; it’s just the exterior materials.

      And as far as bands, this is going to be as explosive of an area as cases are for the iPhone. I’m sure you can get a black/gun metal Milanese loop very shortly after the Watch is available.

  8. Jeff Chen…:

    Thumbs down. The Apple Watch is missing that ‘wow’ factor. The wearables industry is a good idea, but this implementation feels on par with other smart watches released months ago.

    Then Jeff, you obviously didn’t ‘watch’ the presentation or visit Apple’s spectacular Watch web pages. Hell NO, it’s no way ‘on a par with other smart watches.’ Do try to show some knowledge of what you’re talking about. Try putting together a simple comparison chart and you’ll discover your profound error.

    1. Not only that, but he said that because Apple included fitness in the watch, that could be the game changer. Um, other watches have fitness in mind, and there are fitness-specific bands, including the Nike Fuel, which Nike has already discontinued because it was informed of what the Watch can do.

      What a maroon!

  9. Yesterday I had 61 message notifications some of which I could just ignore till later and some I had to respond to at the time.

    I also had 26 email notifications and 7 reminders both of which needed acting on or responding to.

    As well as time alarms I had set. Do you think an Apple watch would be useful to me, hell yes I can’t wait to get my Apple Watch. As is is at the moment I’m constantly having to take my phone out of my pocket turn it on check the notification and either respond to it or read the message and put the phone back in my pocket.

    So for me the Apple Watch as you can see will be a blessing, a piece of tech that will be extremely useful. After all thats what Apple are about making tech that makes peoples lives better.

    Do the idiot analysis understand how useful the watch will be to people, not forgetting the health tracking (something I really must do for myself also) I doubt they even have the faintest idea on how the Apple Watch will transform and empower people.

  10. The Watch will change the way we interact with our world and will be bigger than even the most optimistic folks predict. I have heard of applications being developed for it that will provide uses that are not just smaller form factor phone apps, and make it a must have device in many large organizations.

  11. I thought this article title was going to be about a debate between wearing the watch on the inside or outside of one’s wrist (thumbs up or thumbs down)

    I bet we’ll see people wearing the watch in the inside of their wrist for better control, etc. new fad.

  12. Samsung Gears s looks SECOND GENERATION. Apple BETTER step up the pace !
    Samsung laughs… It took TWO years to come out with a larger phone.
    Samsungs CURVED design DOES LOOK BETTER !
    and oh yeah, BIGGER, WITH a keyboard.
    Samsungs Gear s LOOKS LIKE what APPLE should have made !
    Well, I guess, there’s one gonna come out LATER.
    But until you can do Dick Tracy Facetime, I’ll WAIT !
    How about a large oval two inch WIDE (not long) watch that does FOUR-WAY VIDEO CONFERENCING !!
    There, see, I’m ready to buy a smart watch, just temp me.

    1. I disagree with everything except that I will wait for Dick Tracy FaceTime, but that may be futile. As cool as a Dick Tracy watch seemed to me for decades, Apple and society would probably reject a watch with the privacy implications associated with Google glasses. That however was the most memorable and awesome idea from that cartoon.

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