VC Fred Wilson: Apple Watch will not be a home run

“Yesterday I wrote a post summing up what happened in 2014. In it I promised a post on what is going to happen. What I did not specify was how far forward I am going to look. It’s a lot easier to predict the future without a timeline on it. I think we all know, for example, we are going to have driverless cars. When that is going to be mainstream, however, is a pretty big question that I can’t answer,” Fred Wilson writes for AVC. “But, because yesterday was about 2014, I am going to make this post about 2015. And so here is what is going to happen in 2015 according to me.”

“After a big year in 2014 with the Facebook acquisition of Oculus Rift, virtual reality will hit some headwinds,” Wilson writes. “Oculus will struggle to ship their consumer version and competitive products will underwhelm. The virtual reality will eventually catch up to the virtual hype, but not in 2015.”

“Another market where the reality will not live up to the hype is wearables. The Apple Watch will not be the homerun product that iPod, iPhone, and iPad have been,” Wilson writes. “Not everyone will want to wear a computer on their wrist. Eventually, this market will be realized as the personal mesh/personal cloud, but the focus on wearables will be a bit of a headfake and take up a lot of time, energy, and money in 2015 with not a lot of results.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Note: iCal’ed.

Related articles:
Fred Wilson dumped Apple at $91 and doesn’t understand iCloud at all – May 12, 2014
VC Fred Wilson: By 2020 Apple won’t be a top-3 tech company, but Google and Facebook will – May 5, 2014
VC Fred Wilson: I’ve changed my mind about Apple’s iPad; I’ve fallen in love – May 27, 2010

30 Comments

  1. “Not everyone will want to wear a computer on their wrist.”

    Duh.

    – But enough will want to that the Apple watch will sweep the series, if we must have a baseball metaphor.

    1. First of all, the Apple Watch is not the computer, Fred. . . It is the peripheral for the iPhone which is the computer. Do you even begin to understand tech? Secondly, with over 600 million devices out there that will work with the Apple Watch, it doesn’t have to be “everybody” wearing a wrist device, but even ten percent of them is 60,000,000. That’s a hit in anyone’s book.

  2. Yes, just like the iPad was forecast to be a ‘dud’ at launch and then went on to sell over quarter of a billion!

    … and as Balmer (remember, Microsoft CEO) famously said about the iPhone being a $600 failure!!

      1. I’ll never forget the somewhat popular at the time, Scott Moritz who took one look at the iPad and renamed it “the iFlop,” one of the most useless devices on the planet. Truthfully, I have not heard much from him since. Probably had something to do with his credibility of being able to judge new products. He was off a wee amount with the iPad.

        However, there is room for his return as iPad sales “plummet.”

        “I told you so. I foretold the future.”

        1. I think I saw Scott the other day.

          Hmmm… was it at the McDonald’s drive-thru window or was it at the Walmart checkout?

          (And, yes, I’ve been to both of those places in the past – and I’m not proud of it.)

  3. It should be interesting to see how this turns out.

    Separately, someday I’d like to see MDN post all of the iCal’ed predictions/opinions with brief summaries of right/wrong. Either as an annual list, or on the day the proposed thing did or didn’t occur. Not hating, I am genuinely curious to see which pundits turn out to be correct and which are gasbags. Otherwise, the concept of iCaling like this loses some of its value.

  4. I found this snip in a 2007 Daniel Eran Dilger post on his RoughlyDrafted site referencing bloggers who were paid by Microsoft to put out posts that served Microsofts interests, which at the time included negative press about the just announced iPhone.

    “Paid to Shill Propagandism.
    Since Microsoft just got busted yet again with another grassroots payola astroturf campaign that paid several high profile bloggers to lace their opinions with Microsoft jingles, it’s not hard to imagine that the company has outlined its own iPhone talking points as well.

    Among those caught red-handed by ValleyWag for repeating the “conversational marketing” jingles in Federated Media’s pay-for-say ad program for Microsoft were:

    •Michael Arrington of Techcrunch
    •Om Malik of Gigaom
    •Paul Kedrosky and Matt Marshall of Venture Beat
    •Fred Wilson the “blogger-investor”

    So Fred Wilson accepted money from a tech company to spread misinformation about Apple products, according to this article.

    1. Let’s hope the same dirt with Damsung, can be unearthed 😀

      Bless you little iPad, for auto-correcting my spelling of Damsung…Damsung…oh OK already, I give up.

  5. “ooo! OMG! Really?! Wow. Golly gee whiz!!! Kill Cassandra!” predictions like this are fun. I’ve indulged in it myself enough times. But these prognostications lead to one BIG reason why Apple traditionally keeps their new products entirely SECRET. Putting the cattle into ‘a mood’ before the stuff is even on the shelf can be a major PITA for any company. Let Apple (or other companies for that matter) spin their products their way at the moment of availability. Steve Jobs knew exactly what he was doing with marketing.

  6. Wilson also predicted, “2/ Xiaomi will spend some of the $1.1bn they just raised coming to the US. This will bring a strong player in the non-google android sector into the US market and legitimize a “third mobile OS” in the western world. The good news for developers is developing for non-google android is not much different than developing for google android.”

    I wonder whether Dilger’s findings, i.e., “Xiaomi reported earnings of only $56 million in 2013, one-tenth what WSJ reported and 1/150 Apple’s Chinese earnings,”* will effect his clairvoyant abilities.

    I, for one, believe that  Watch will be a Grand Slam. And I have earmarked Wilson’s prediction for my future, “I told you so’s.”

    * http://appleinsider.com/articles/14/12/15/xiaomi-reported-earnings-of-only-56-million-in-2013-one-tenth-what-wsj-reported-and-1150-apples-chinese-earnings

    1. care to clarify what you mean by ‘Grand Slam’? The article states “The Apple Watch will not be the homerun product that iPod, iPhone, and iPad have been”. For the many that disagree with that on this board are saying they expect the watch to sell as many units as the iPhone… sorry but that is not going to happen. It might sell well but not in comparision iPhone.
      MDN may have iCal’ed it but I think they’ll be hitting the dismiss button very quietly

      1. I suppose it is relative.. If the sales of Apple watch at least breaks even with the total of all other brands, the claim will be accepted as ‘true’ regardless of how small the actual total sales of all such wearables end up being.

        1. I didnt pick them, its what the article says which 99% of user on this board are misreading. The Apple watch wasnt predicted to fail. Take your Apple goggles off, you might see better

  7. can’t wait till you’re proven wrong on this..

    It’s about the Bling… not the computer on the wrist… How many people I see buying & wearing Beats headphones which IMHO suck compared to Sennheiser or AKG… they probably won’t use half the functions on the iWatch but the Social Status will be like a Black Friday Sale at Walmart.

    even a fake Gucci Bag is a big seller…. and there are some people I know wear a pair of sneakers 3 or 4 times then give them to me… there’ll be those who have 3 iWatches to match the threads and the shoes.

  8. “Another market where the reality will not live up to the hype is wearables. The Apple Watch will not be the homerun product that iPod, iPhone, and iPad have been.”

    100% agree with this, you’re crazy if you dont. iCal’ed MDNs iCal

  9. iCal me
    The watch will be like the Apple TV- profitable but no great big deal.

    The good news is that Apple can stop wasting time chasing a marginal market an devote SW/HW engineering time to something useful.

  10. “This ‘telephone’ has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us.” — Western Union internal memo, 1876.

    “The wireless music box has no imaginable commercial value. Who would pay for a message sent to nobody in particular?” –David Sarnoff’s associates in response to his urgings for investment in the radio in the 1920s.

    “Computers in the future may weigh no more than 1.5 tons.” –Popular Mechanics, forecasting the relentless march of science, 1949

    “I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.” –Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943

    “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.” –The editor in charge of business books for Prentice Hall, 1957

    “But what … is it good for?” –Engineer at the Advanced Computing Systems Division of IBM, 1968, commenting on the microchip.

    “There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.” –Ken Olson, president, chairman and founder of Digital Equipment Corp., 1977

    “640K ought to be enough for anybody.” — Bill Gates, 1981

  11. I hate to sound repetitive…

    ……but just wait till the FDA approves the watch as a medical devise for reading blood sugar content through perspiration…..

    ….game over….

  12. In the first four quarters after they came out Apple sold about 5.5 million iPhones and about 20 million iPads. Predictions are that Apple will sell 10 to 40 million watches in 2015 so it looks like Apple Watch will in fact be as big a hit as those two products were at the start.

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