Pundit: ‘The Apple Watch is going to flop’

“Few analysts or writers will outright say it, but I will: the Apple Watch is going to flop,” Mark Wilson writes for Fast Company. “And I bet a lot of other people are thinking the same thing for many good reasons.”

“The Apple Watch is Jonathan Ive’s Newton,” Wilson writes. “When I look at the Apple Watch, I’m not seeing an empathetic creation for the masses. I’m seeing what the New Yorker’s more than 16,000-word story on Jonathan Ive would only hint at—that Apple may have built out the watch to satisfy the urges of a designer who has become more obsessed with Bentleys and Rolexes than making attractive, functional technology that will actually make life better for the 99%.”

“The Newton, Apple’s original, failed tablet, didn’t sell because tablet technology wasn’t polished, and we didn’t have the wireless networking infrastructure to make its experience particularly meaningful,” Wilson writes. “Sound familiar?”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: When we entered this one, iCal quivered with anticipation.

[Thanks to Sonny Dickson via Twitter.]

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NYT claims Apple has tough job trying to sell Apple Watch to ‘an uninterested public’ or something – February 28, 2015
Vogue Paris: Apple Watch is a ‘revolution’ – February 27, 2015
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Analyst: 100,000 Apple Watch apps in App Store by April 10th; 42 million Watches sold by year end – February 24, 2015
Apple Watch, the world’s first real smart watch, will be a massive hit – September 9, 2014

57 Comments

    1. I’m not predicting the watch will flop, because the Apple faithful will carry it to some degree; but over time I predict that interest will wane, before it finally erodes significantly over time.

      Still, there are many folks like me, who currently wear fine watches as jewelry and functional timepieces, that see no need to purchase this device. Especially so, because there is a perfectly fine iPhone 6 Plus in my pocket, an iPad mini in my carrying case, and an IPad Air at home. I still wish Apple all the best!

      1. It may not be as popular as the iPhone, but it will serve a purpose. I bought a Pebble when they first came out. I don’t use it in the house. However, when I travel on business it is great. It solves a couple of problems.

        1. A tap on the wrist alerts you to a phone call or text message in a noisy environment like a convention hall or factory floor or if you are hard of hearing.

        2. Glancing at the watch to see a text message or to see who is calling can be done quickly in a meeting or while speaking at a podium or during some similar activity.

        That is what we know so far. After next Monday we should know a lot more about what benefits the watch actually provides.

        If you don’t work in a noisy environment or have to pay attention during meetings and such then maybe you don’t need a smart watch. People will buy the Apple Watch for a variety of reasons, but there will be a core group that really need the benefits it provides.

        The so-called analyst who wrote the article seems to be of the “I don’t need it so probably no one else does either” crowd.

        Jonathan Ive can make the watch beautiful and fluid and a joy to hold, but the real usefulness comes from the core functionality it provides.

    2. I think the Apple Watch will be successful. But it may not be wildly successful. It’s not without its problems. It’s yet another device that people who are cash strapped will have to buy. This will be one barrier to sales. Another is its small screen. It’s very limited and totally reliant on the iPhone. Until it’s a completely standalone product, it’s not going to be wildly successful, but they will sell a decent amount of them to first movers over the next 2 years.

      The other big thing is battery life. With only 1 day battery life under normal use, it’s yet another issue with this device.

      After a few years, when battery life is better and it becomes more standalone, it’ll sell better.

      The use case for me is that I have a 6 Plus, so the less I have to pull it out the better. The watch can augment my large smartphone relegating it to more “power use”.

      1. It’s yet another device that people who are cash strapped will have to buy.

        Erm if people arr cash strapped then maybe is wise they spend it on bills and food instead!!!! If you cant afford it dont buy it, Apple products tend to be aimed at more cash rich people multiple surveys will confirm Apple products are bought by more eductated and wealthier people.

        Regarding battery life of 1 day dont hold your breath for much longer, simply the batttety technology does not exist. We still have phones that have 2 days standby with usage and this has been the same for 14 years!!!! Next years model will probably at a push get 1.5 days standby unless apple make the watch thicker to fit a bigger battery which they wont do

      1. There’s a clueless one down-voting in every crowd. 🙂 MDN made me laugh too.

        So true. You just want to drop kick these idiots predictions ASAP into a high level of excruciating personal embarrassment for those “brave” souls so foolishly forecasting.

    1. I recall an episode of Star Trek, where the Enterprise goes back to the end of the 1960s to deal with a rocket launch, which was being manipulated by a human from the future. The interesting thing was that he had technology far superior to the Enterprise and of all things a wrist watch no much different than what we are seeing today. Of course we have a long way to go. But it was a connected device to a base station, with a voice activated computer system.

      Just something to think about. This is a Steve Jobs watch for sure, as I am certain he was motivated by Star Trek as the rest of us. I bet the Apple Watch, not in name, but in brain, was on Steve’s bucket list.

  1. People who think the Apple watch is going to flop literally have no clue, no imagination and should not be technology writers. Apple Watch 1 will be amazing. Apple watch 4 will be something we can barely even imagine today.

    1. Well, Apple doesn’t work that way. The original iPhone was something difficult to “imagine” without seeing it first. Subsequent models are refinements on the original concept. Better screen, better camera, better performance, etc.

      In the same way, this first Apple Watch is the ground-breaker, unlike less imaginative (existing and contemplated) “smart” watches designs. The fourth Apple Watch will be refined and enhanced. Thinner, lighter, better battery life, etc. But certainly not “something we can barely even imagine today.”

      The Apple Car… THAT will be something that defies common imagination.

      1. I’m not talking about form factor, I’m talking about what it will be able to do. Yes Apple Watch 4 will look roughly the same as Apple Watch 1, but the types of sensors it includes and the interactions it enables can scarcely be imagined today. iPhone 1 had a tiny low-resolution screen, no video camera, no front-facing camera, no 3G, no GPS, no App Store, no NFC, no fingerprint reader, etc etc. The author of the piece complains that Apple Watch will flop because it’s “too limited” without even bothering to consider what it will be capable of a few versions from now. That shows a complete lack of perspective and imagination on his part.

        1. You said “Apple watch 4 will be something we can barely even imagine today.” In four generations, Apple Watch will be a more refined and enhanced version of the first Apple Watch.

          That’s how Apple works. The first Apple product for a new market is surprising in many ways. It’s something NEW that is difficult (if not impossible) for the competition to anticipate or copy. This works for Apple because Apple is SO GOOD at designing that original concept. Going forward, new models that refine the concept.

          Look at the first Mac and then the latest iMac. There is a huge gap in technology, but not in concept. Conceptual block-buster (harder to imagine), followed by refinement (easier to imagine).

  2. > Few analysts or writers will outright say it, but I will…

    And even fewer “analysts or writers” who predict an Apple Watch “flop” will admit how utterly wrong they were, after the first weekend of sales.

  3. Where do these pricks with their pompous predictions come from? Whenever someone comes out with a prediction like this and is wrong by a country mile it should be tattooed on their faces for life. What benefit does it give these people for being right in their predictions. It’s not like anyone really cares. How many of these near-sighted fools have been constantly betting against Apple and losing?

    I can hardly imagine the resistance the Wright Brothers must have gone up against. I mean, what did bike building actually have to do with building flying machines? A bike with wings is a guaranteed flop, right?

    I honestly can’t tell how well AppleWatch will sell. I’m only one person and my views don’t reflect everyone else’s views but my own. I happen to think Apple has a larger picture and they’ve been successful in business for years, so they probably have a good chance of creating a successful product in ways I can’t imagine.

  4. The first step is to define “flop.” For Apple, the expectations for success tend to be so inflated that people often refer to a perfectly fine product as a flop. Ignore them. There is not much that can be done at this point – the design of the Apple Watch is finalized and the factories are ramping up production for the release date. It will either sell well, or it won’t. Either way, Apple will learn from the experience and move forward. I just don’t have the inclination to waste much time on speculation. It is fun, initially, to make guesses about a new Apple product. But the fun rapidly wanes, especially now that the media is engaged and new product debates are no longer just a pastime for true Apple fans

    1. iPhone 5C was treated as a ‘flop’ for months after its initial release, even though it has outsold every single competitors’ model by a wide margin. It did fail to reach arbitrary numbers some ‘analysts’ has put out there.

  5. Mark Wilson is going to fail, not Apple Watch. I doubt he surveyed 200 iPhone users who know of the Apple watch.

    By the way, it is obvious that Apple has its own internal staff using Apple Watch for a long time to judge market acceptance, so I believe Tim Cook.

    With hundreds of millions of users of iPhones, and the market share ascending, there will be a significant % of iPhone users who see value and buy in early, let alone later.

  6. you can say stupid stuff like this when you ignore the enormous base of tech savvy, affluent, early adopters that will buy the first apple watch to own the first apple watch, period. The rest will follow.

  7. Predicting a flop (against current) is a great strategy. You will certainly NOT lose your job if you are proved wrong. In the euphoria of exceeded (positive) expectations, nobody (outside of our small circle of die-hard cheerleaders) will bother to look up the guys who were wrong and question their expertise.

    However, if you DO end up being proven correct, you clean up big as one of the very few who correctly predicted flop. It is a no-loss strategy.

  8. Narrow scenarios and vapid criticisms. Battery issues? There is plenty of room in a watch band for a thin ribbon battery. Apple’s been using them in laptops for five years.
    Why insult pundits by calling this kid a pundit?
    Most people are not going to use an AppleWatch for gimmicky features. They will focus on the practical: schedules & notices, phone calls, etc. Did I buy a wireless door lock so that I could operate it with my iPhone? Nope. I use my iPhone for other things.
    The guy calls the Newton a “tablet”. I guess that guys like this writer (who were not even alive at the time the Newton was around) should be recognized as being uninformed. I knew people back in the day who owned Newtons. None of them had problems with handwriting recognition. Not one. But that was the number one criticism. Too expensive? Yes they were (for the average consumer) but the pros who used them used the heck out of them. The problem with the Newton? Too many features and too high a price. If the idiots running Apple at the time had been smarter, they would have cut the price by slimming the features. The Newton would still have been better than competing PDAs and by costing less it could have been a success. Jobs was right to kill it when he did. By the time he returned to Apple the time of the PDA was about up. The natural successor to the PDA (and the Newton) was the smartphone.

    1. People from the Newton project left and formed Palm, which grew into a very successful line of products. Had Apple carried on with the Newton under SJ, it could’ve morphed into a very successful product… which it did years later as the iPhone.

  9. Just for the record the Newton did not fail . It was removed from the market after SJ returned to Apple .The original Newton was a bit of a joke but the last model was not and at the time that it was D/C’d the Newton OS was the operating system of 75% of portable devices . They worked fine when cabled to a cell phone carried in a folio .
    I pretty sure that I won’t be alone in getting the watch !

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