You don’t want an Apple Watch? Let’s talk about that

“What’s that, you say? You don’t want an Apple Watch? Let’s talk about that,” James Lileks writes for National Review. “People seem obliged to offer substantial, reasoned arguments why they don’t want one — and that seems proof that Apple’s cultural position is enormous… Apple invents something, and the world is riven into two camps. Those who desire, and those who decline. The former group is regarded with less interest than the latter, since those who want the Watch are assumed to be devotees of Apple who would pay $199 for a white plastic brick used to prop open doors.

“The people who don’t want them — ah, they’re the ones who make for good copy. They’re the rebels now,” Lileks writes. “You don’t want an Apple Watch, you don’t. But reject it for the right reasons — and that’s not because it’s another screen that takes you away from dealing with humanity, because that’s not what it is. To understand what this thing will become, there’s one thing you need to understand: It’s not a watch.”

“It sits where watches sit, and in its resting mode it shows the time, but it’s not as if Apple said, ‘Hey, let’s make a timepiece! Get on that. Also, after you’re done, figure out what else it could do.’ It’s a personal servant that tells the time when nothing else is going on,” Lileks writes. “It is Dick Tracy’s two-way radio, and a telegraph, and portal to whatever music you want to hear, and a telephone, and your wallet, and a remote control. The last item has the most potential, and will create new paradigms — to use that awful word — that we’ll get used to and accept without much trouble, because it will simply replace a bunch of devices.”

“Smartphones command your attention; they suck you in, provide you with so many other things to do or see or check or post or scroll. The thing on your wrist is for doing and dismissing,” Lileks writes. “The Watch is different, because telling time is not the function. Saving time is the function.”

Much more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Yessiree, Bob… er, James.

As we wrote back on January 31st: All phones are cumbersome to the same degree. They have to be pulled out, woken up, and poked at. Apple created… a world of iPhone/iPhone knockoff addicts. Apple will change the world again with Apple Watch, replacing iPhone zombies and iPhones on and under dining tables and everywhere else (you know, the stuff the older set complain about: “People nowadays, always looking at their gizmos, nobody can even have a conversation”) with quick glances of the wrist – like in the days of yore.

As we wrote on January 30th: With iPhone, Apple changed the fabric of our everyday lives: All around the world today, you see people constantly pulling phones from pockets and staring at them. With Apple Watch, Apple will change behavior worldwide once again. A quick glance at your Watch and you’re off. No more smartphone zombies. Watch and see.

Just like the tens of millions who said they didn’t want or need an iPhone, who are now on their fifth iPhone, so it’ll go with Apple Watch.


  1. First off I think the Apple Watch is a great idea. My only quibble is that, from what I’ve been able to discern is, if you take a call on the watch it’s in speaker mode. I’m just picturing several people in close quarters (perhaps an elevator) trying to use the thing at the same time, not a pretty sight. Perhaps it will work with your bluetooth earpiece but I can’t fins mention of it.

  2. Remember the world before every 1st grader had a smart phone? Well, enjoy your last few days before the Apple Watch comes out . . . because there will be no going back.

  3. Maybe I’d want one if I was more obsessed with my phone. I use it a lot, but I’m not constantly checking it and my schedule is such that I’m not constantly having to check when my next meeting it. It’s just a lot of money to spend on top of my phone. I’ve not upgraded my iPad for the same sort of reasons – my phone suits me phone on the occasions when I need access to stuff away from home. That said, I’m perfectly willing to accept that in a couple of years time I may have changed my mind. It’s just not something that I feel I need to get right away.

    1. Same here, but it’s not the price tag since I’d only be getting the Sport version. Since I’d heard they’re not going to fully utilize all the sensors, I’m going to have to wait to see what it can do in the real world. So far, I’m leaning more towards the Garmin Fenix 3 Sapphire which can do more of what I actually need from a wrist device. AppleWatch seems to be more designed for couch potatoes than fitness users. Even being an Apple shareholder isn’t enough to convince me to purchase an AppleWatch as much as I like the concept.

  4. apple watches, like all watches, are made for right-handers. being able to rotate the display doesn’t change anthing. the controls on the side are asymmetric, they were placed where they are, and given the functions they have, based on the extraordinary thought and effort that apple puts into everything they do. there was a lot of thought and work put into this. unfortunately then for lefties the controls are upside down and will not work in the optimal manner that apple designed into them. this is an interesting twist. most companies, with their lack of apple-like devotion to design issues, could be forgiven for overlooking this. so i am not getting an apple watch since it is obvious, from apple’s attention to detail, that they purposely decided to ignore left-handers.

      1. actually the iphone, with the volume controls on the left side, is better for lefties because changing the volume is a simple push on a button and it is done with the right hand, leaving the left hand free to do more complicated things. the old hp calculators were made the same way – for lefthanders. the buttons were designed for easier access for the right thumb, leaving the left hand free to write down answers. having a single. button mouse on the right side of a computer is actually a lefthanded way of doing things. i used to laugh at righties using the same hand to move the mouse and then pick up a pen and somehow write something down and then put the paper and pen down so they could use the mouse again.
        btw, you can’t scroll in this window for typing comments on an ipad. this has been a consistent problem. not sure where to place the blame.

        1. There are only three approaches to the problem. Either you optimize the design and usability of a device for the majority (and compromise it for the minority), you do the opposite (which would make no sense at all), or you make a second version of a product so you can optimize for both majority and minority.

          The latter results in doubling Apple’s 35-ish SKUs worth of phones and watches to over 70, doubling a host of costs just to better accommodate 10% of their customers. So, they do the next thing, which is to design a device that works great for 90% of customers, and still well (though not as well) for the other 10%.

          I understand the plight of lefties – I really do. But, expecting even Apple to make alternative versions of their products to market it to 1/10 of the customer base as their main product makes no business sense.

          Have you actually used the Watch? Looking at it, I can’t see how it still won’t work very well for lefties. Flip it, and all it does is flip the wake/sleep button and crown. Why is that a problem?

          1. you don’t need to use the watch to know that just flipping the controls does not work. just about any lefty, but hardly any righty, will immediately know this.
            i am not asking them to make an alternative watch for lefties – that would be wrong and silly. see my two posts below (one after one of your comments i think [which i really liked btw]) that they messed up by making a “two button” watch which is unnecessarily complex.
            i don’t expect a righty to understand why just flipping things does not create a problem. read my original post. apple spent a lot of time deciding which should go on top and which below it. with any other company you could argue it was just random design (see pretty much anything produced by you know who), and not worry about it. but apple is different, they brag they are different, they did this for a reason. they decided that the digital crown should go on top and the push button below it – that it was better this way. where they went wrong, in my opinion, was first having two controls, and then second making them physically different so that you couldn’t via software switch the functions around like you can do with the watch display.

    1. I don’t see that moving it to the bottom (when flipped around) would be that big a deal. In fact, it might be better – less likely to get your hand in the way of what you are trying to see/do. But whatever. Have a great day!

    2. I am left handed but wear my watch on my left wrist. Probably just imitated my friends from a young age who wore watches and I didn’t know any better. But now it feels weird to me to wear a watch on my right wrist, so I just stick with the setup. So Apple Watch won’t bother me as a southpaw.

      1. yes, it is amazing how we have accommodated to a world of righties. if righties had to live in a lefty world all of a sudden you could hear the screaming and gnashing of teeth out at either of the voyager spacecraft. please everyone, i am not complaining about anything. i just think that it is funny that a company that prides itself on paying attention to the small details can then cause you to reach the conclusion that ignoring the needs of lefties had to be a deliberate act.

          1. that is an excellent point. i gave you 5 stars for that. what is not clear to me is that the watch needed two different controls. if they could have kept it to just the digital crown with rotations and pushes (and maybe pulls) of different pressure i could overlook the clockwise vs. counterclockwise problem since they just isn’t any way of getting around that in our 3-d world. they made the watch unnecessarily complex and that was partly/mostly due to their right-handed bias that they probably didn’t even realize existed. as i mentioned in a post down below a bit there was genius in the one button mouse that most righties just didn’t realize. since steve jobs was so adamant about that i would have to believe he wouldn’t have liked the “two button” watch regardless of cost/benefit analysis. apple is always talking about how they make things to amaze and delight people and not about return on investments so i have to say that you can’t use the cost/benefit argument here. maybe with any other company you could, but apple isn’t just any other company.

    3. The watch can be worn with the crown on the top right OR with the crown on the bottom left.

      Did you even stop to think? Just for a second even? No. Didn’t think so.

      1. yes i did stop to think. apparently you didn’t before replying. my point is that the upside down controls are not in the optimal position for lefties. the fact that this is not obvious to you means that …

    4. Totally incorrect. There is even a setting telling the watch to display upside down when worn on the right arm. I don’t see how the crown below the button is any different then vice versa do you? 💥😱😳🚀😰😳

      1. spoken like a typical oblivious righty! your reply is totally incorrect. the fact that you don’t understand the difference between the controls being upside down for lefties means …
        if you had bothered to read my first post you would have noticed i specifically mentioned that rotating the display doesn’t help instead of pretending or actually not understanding that this is not the point of what i wrote.

        1. The controls are not upside down when worn on right wrist. They are simply reversed from how they are when worn on left wrist. Neither order is any wronger than the other. Both are in their respectively correct position. 👀💥😃

          1. they aren’t upside down, they are simply reversed! i can’t believe you wrote that with a straight face. you should be putting a “/s” after your comments. they are in the opposite order when looking at the watch and don’t work the same way. the digital crown is not in the same relative position to the push control when worn on the right wrist. i don’t know how much plainer i can state that. righties just don’t get it. i won’t even get into the issue of clockwise vs. counterclockwise differences because it would be a waste of time.
            actually this problem with the watch is a testimony to steve jobs’ genius to insist on a single button mouse. it is symmetric and doesn’t have the left/right issues of two button mice. apple is always saying they want to remember how they got where they are today, but they blew it with two asymmetric different controls on the watch. i would hazard a guess that jonny ive and his crew that worked on the watch are righties. and none of them realize the significant of one button controls.

        2. I’m a lefty, and FM is right.

          The controls on the right side work for righty wearing the watch on his left wrist. No problem.

          Put the watch on the right wrist, flipped 180º, and it works just fine.

          The relative positions of the crown and the button are immaterial to the user (as long as they stay the same on whichever user’s chosen wrist.)

          1. Since there is no physical device for any of us to verify with, let’s also keep in mind that for the crown to be on the opposite side, rotating ‘up’ would become a counter-clockwise motion.

  5. “How to prevent this “radically unequal” world is the question, and you suspect the answer is taxes; however many arrows the progressives believe stuff their quiver, they always managed to pull out the one that empowers the state to relieve people of their property.”

    …and then I looked at the address bar. Oh yeah, I’m reading the National Review. The fog lifts.

    Rich people sure do hate paying their taxes.

    1. And despite having read it, you still don’t get it. The weapon progressives use FIRST is having the state come take your stuff, whether it’s taxes or regulation. Ownership and freedom are concepts that the jealous and envious left can’t quite get. All they know is that someone else has something that they want and someone else is doing something without them. They are enfant terribles.

  6. Love the Take, MDN. My wife’s name is Syree, pronounced the same way. And our minister, who married us 25 years ago, still calls her Bob. 🙂

    But there’s a question for everyone here. Syree is too much like Siri. Is there a way to rename Siri so that I can have “her” call my wife? Or text her? Or anything useful? I say, “Call Syree”, and she replies “Who would you like me to call, Jim?” And those are *not* pronounced the same way, but Siri can’t differentiate between the two. Sooooo frustrating!

      1. Interesting thought… Can I leave the contact at Syree and teach Siri that “Bob” is “Syree”, though? I’ll have to play with it some more.

        I’m embarrassed to say that I had forgotten you didn’t have to be so literal, and that “Call my wife” would work. :/

        Thanks to you both!

    1. How does Siri pronounce Syree? If Siri says it different from how it should be you may have to use that pronunciation.
      And if your wife is listed as your spouse in contacts, you should be able to say call my wife.

            1. Siri can’t properly pronounce my last name. But when you go through the routine as you indicate above, Siri is only interested in getting the first name right. I can’t get her to fix just the last name.

      1. I’m okay with Bob, but not so much deliberately mispronouncing her name. She deals with mispronunciation all the time. (That said, I don’t know how Siri pronounces it. I’ll have to play some more, just for giggles. 🙂 )

  7. First of all consider the source- National Review, a CONservative rag.

    Next: I do not want jewelry on my wrist and that includes something made by Apple. I already have nice watches- one a heirloom Gold Swiss watch my father owned that keeps perfect time- and I do not wear them. Maybe you like shit on your wrist- I do not and have not worn one since the day I was honorably discharged from the US Army. Took a really nice chronograph off that sits in a dresser drawer.

    Next: the watch does nothing significant to my needs not already served well by my phone. Your mileage may vary.

    Next: there is not $300+ Dollars of value in the device much less thousands for me. Your mileage may vary.

    Next: I am no Apple hater. My time as a consumer and customer of Apple products predates the Macintosh. I remember the MUGs (Mac User Groups) and never had to switch to the Mac because I never switched away. I have been a shareholder since 2001. So spare me the accusations of being a troll in the paid service of Samsung. I am typing this on a Mac Pro connected to an LED Cinema Display connected to the net via an Airport Extreme Dual Band with Improved antenna. An iPad Air and iPhone 6 sit nearby- along with an SSD upgraded Mac mini that is a standby Mac if the Mac Pro goes stupid.

    Many of us who do not want or plan to buy an Apple Watch are not Apple haters, have no nefarious desires for Apple to fail or whatever bullshit is the clickbait of the day. We just do not see significant value in the device- period.

    In case your did not take Economics, value is not a price tag. Value is what people are willing to actually pay for an item. A Scamsung Android phone may be priced the same as an iPhone, but they are rarely purchased at anything like full price. The reason is that the value perceived by the consumer is less than the iPhone that almost always is sold for full price.

    1. LOL. Your justification for considering the source is something like this, right? The article was dumb and conservatives are dumb, so there you go. That’s the usual depth of analysis provided by leftists.

      1. The National Review is known to be a fact challenged rag. Was from back when Buckley edited it and it has gotten worse over time.

        The fact that the article was shit is not why I think the National Review is worthless. I know the article is worthless because it comes from that fact challenged right wing rag National Review.

        1. not sure how old you, are but when bill buckley started national review (in 1956 i think – at least i started reading it in grade school) it was a good magazine to read even if you didn’t agree with the arguments put forth there. when he got older and spent less time editing it, then it started going downhill, and when he left the magazine it went downhill and off a cliff. so i would agree with your view of it since he left, maybe near the end of his involvement as editor, but i would have to stand athwart your assertion, yelling “stop!” at including anything earlier than that.

  8. I’ve noticed that a lot of people seem to be confused about what the Apple Watch’s purpose really is. You’ve got to “think different” and only then will you understand where this thing is going. While the Apple Watch looks like a watch, it’s not actually a watch, it’s a small computer for your wrist. Just as using an iPhone for its phone capabilities has more or less turned into an afterthought so too is the time-keeping capability of an Apple Watch. Follow that train of thought and the future use cases for the Apple Watch are endless.

  9. Want one? I think everybody would want one. Need one, no. And that is my reason for not getting one. I’ll wait for the 6C. That will have apple pay and that is the only reason that a watch would be needed in my case since I have the 5S.

  10. Sorry, but I prefer to not were things on my wrists. I haven’t worn a watch in years. And I don’t interact with my phone so often and in such a way that the Apple Watch is going to magically give me back hours of my life. Besides, at least in it’s initial configuration, the Apple Watch is more of an iPhone accessory than a standalone device.

  11. I don’t want one, purely because I don’t need one.

    People really need to go back to buying things because we actually need them, not because the wheels of consumerism grind us into thinking that we do.

    1. Nobody really needs anything beyond food, water, and a little bit of shelter. With the possible exception of occasional healthcare, everything else in life is a want.

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