It’s time for the Apple Watch

Apple decided to make a watch and then set out to discover what it might be good for… — Wired

“With one sentence, Wired perfectly described the Apple Watch, Apple’s first product designed specifically to have a purpose dependent on the user,” Neil Cybart writes for Above Avalon. “Today it is a watch. Tomorrow it will be something else. Next year it may be completely different.

“After years of development, the next phase of Apple Watch has arrived with preorders beginning on Friday. Just as was the case when the product was introduced in September, many are overthinking the watch, turning Apple’s refrain about making great products into a complex business theory that risks missing the obvious keys to success,” Cybart writes. “By overthinking the watch and ignoring the clues we received over the past few years, it is too easy to miss what Apple Watch actually is: freedom to do different things with technology.”

Much more in the full article – recommended – here.

MacDailyNews Take: Yup.

One interesting bit in Cybart’s article is the question of what will be the FUD concocted by would-be competitors against Apple Watch?

We wonder if, for a change, Apple’s PR department will actually be prepared this time, anticipating potential attacks (scratching, battery life, water damage, etc.) with timely responses that will quell these concoctions before the echo chamber amplifies them out of control?

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Dan K.” for the heads up.]


      1. trolldude isn’t married. He has just started sneaking out from under his bridge to go to those new fangled internet cafes when I take away his internet privileges.

        Yes, he still lives at home and thinks I nag him.

    1. trolly, are you using that trick to repeatedly vote yourself up and vote me down again? We all know what you are doing, now STOP IT and get back under your bridge.

      1. Or maybe there are a lot of people, like me, who are sick of YOU, “mom”. You earned my down vote all by yourself. You are the only repulsive one here, why don’t you slither back from whence you came?

      1. You must be responding to “mom”, a creature that delights in being as boring, insulting, and off-topic as possible. If MDN had active moderators, such slander should be vaporized immediately … or preferably, the sender should be vaporized. That would be worth watching.

  1. From the full article:

    > In September 2014, Tim Cook introduced the Apple Watch with the following sales pitch: a personal device that could be used to tell time, communicate with people, and track one’s health and fitness.

    I think this is interesting, because Steve Jobs’ “sales pitch” for iPhone similarly had three points. iPhone was introduced as a mobile phone, the best iPod ever, and Internet access device. Three seems to be the “magic number.” iPhone certainly does more things (even at the time of release), but by limiting its description to three key selling points, it limits customer confusion and gets more people interested.

    NOTE: Others tend to make a list of bullet points and technical specs to show “everything.”

    I don’t think it’s “Apple’s first product designed specifically to have a purpose dependent on the user.” Some iPhone features, such as being a mobile phone, are used commonly by all users. Some Apple Watch features, such as being a wrist watch, are used commonly by all users. And many other capabilities (for both iPhone and Apple Watch) are used differently depending on user.

    The usefulness of Apple Watch will certainly grow over time. iPhone was launched without support for third-party apps, which later became its most valuable capability. Only Apple knows what capabilities will be added to Apple Watch. And because it’s “powered by iPhone,” only the collective imagination of developers limits what Apple Watch can do with those capabilities…

  2. I think the Wired article misrepresented Apple’s motivation.

    “Apple decided to make a watch and then set out to discover what it might be good for…”

    I think Apple decided make a personal, wearable device because it is the next step in a logical progression of computing devices. Then they decided that the wrist was the best real estate for such a device, and then decided what functions could it could serve from this placement, starting with a watch—a historical technological instrument often worn on the wrist. The wrist has already proven itself as an accepted and proven location for wearable technology. It’s a common sense move that somehow escaped Google’s reasoning. I don’t know why Wired chose to present that in pejorative way, but it makes perfectly logical sense to me. Wrist (familiar), watch (familiar), notifications and fitness ( familiar to “smart watch” and “band” afficianados). Everything else? This is Apple’s gamble. Did they add in the right mix of new functions that will make the Apple Watch a boon or a bust? I don’t know for sure, but I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. I’m buying the first model because there is only one FIRST model. The Mac, the iPhone, the iPad. I’ve had all the firsts and have been delighted with each of them, even though subsequent models got better.

    1. i don’t think any of us can really know what Apples thinking was when it came to developing the Watch but I don’t think The Wired quote is far off.

      We do know that a lot of companies entered the smart watch landscape long before Apple, including Google as far as providing a unified platform (I’m not sure I understand your Google comment in this regard). Apple would be amiss NOT to introduce a smart watch as, if the platform were ever to take off without them, it could lead to a lot of lost iPhone users and, subsequently, App Store and iTunes users.

      From that perspective, it’s reasonable to see why Apple would make a smart watch even if it didn’t initially think the platform had any merit. I think the iPad Mini would be a similar example of Apple acquiescing to a format they didn’t think was viable. The iPhone 6 Plus being another example.

      While I love the Apple products I use, I don’t consider myself an Apple fanboy. I don’t look at them as altruistically as some or believe that they are a group of well intentioned consumer concerned thought provokers who just happen to run one of the most successful companies in the world. They are a business first and foremost and they can not stay where they are by letting consumer portable electronic markets develop without establishing their place in it. The Apple Watch is one of those cases. They’ve been fortunate that Samsung and Android Wear have underwhelmed in their initial offerings but I think a lot of that has to do with the nature of Android users. Android users are more like PC users whereas iPhone users are obviously Mac users. PC users would see the functionality (or lack thereof) of Android Wear devices and decide that the category hasn’t really developed. Apple Watch, on the other hand, will be on a launch honeymoon with the Apple hardcore who will hardly judge it for what it is. Having used most of the first few generations of Android smart watches, I can tell you that the basic functionality of the Apple Watch won’t differ much from Android Wear. The biggest differences will be the bells and whistles of emoticons and messaging where you just ping someone, the hardware style and crown, and the app availability.

      The apps could make the difference, but when non watch wearers realize that the Apple Watch does everything their phone already does, it will be interesting to see how long people stick with it. Carrying around a lumuxy device on your wrist you discover you really don’t need becomes less and less fun every time you charge and and strap it back on the next morning.

      I hope Apple manages to jump that hurdle but I imagine they are at least a generation or two away.

  3. The suggestion that Apple created the Apple Watch and only after creating it worked out what to do with it is misleading. It implies that Apple is behaving like Google and Microsoft – launching half baked products to see what sort of market will adopt them.

    Obviously Apple didn’t know what might be possible until it created prototypes and experimented with using them, but by the time that they were preparing the Watch for mass production, they had a very clear idea of what it should do, exactly how it should do it, what sort of market it would appeal to and how to properly sell the product.

    “Today it is a watch. Tomorrow it will be something else. Next year it may be completely different.” … How is that any different from iPhone or iPad ? The major reason why iPhone became the pattern for all other smartphones was precisely because it could morph from being one thing into another. This morning my iPhone was used as an alarm clock, newspaper, satellite navigator, spirit level, viewer into inaccessible crevices, camera, voice recorder and reference manual – all within an hour. It has any number of uses and can rapidly switch from one role to another and that’s not even counting making voice calls or texting. Who would seriously expect the Apple Watch to be any different to that ?

    1. We have no way of knowing whether the Watch is a market reaction or not. The iPad Mini and iPhone 6 Plus were reactions. The AppleTV is a product that has basically laid dormant for five or six years until recent rumors.

      Incidentally, the reason the AppleTV has not changed is likely because Apple could not forge a path to further monetize third party content through the platform until now. Previously it was just a portal to iTunes content but recent rumors suggest they finally will add network subscription content. Without that, Apple was happy to not further the platform.

      And that App Store is a big motivation for Apple. ALL of Apples products now feature some type of App Store where they receive thirty percent of all sales. Apple Watch will continue that trend. No App Store, likely no product.

      The difference between the Apple Watch and the iPhone/iPad/iPod is the other products introduced a new concept to the category. The Apple Watch, from all the literature and videos available from Apple, has not. It is Apple catching up to a category that has underwhelmed the market to date. Their updates include sending heartbeats, drawings, and emoticons. Hardly the stuff of revolution.

      The Watch will no doubt be a success and I assume Apple will try to further the platform from generation one, but I nor anyone else can say WHY they are making a watch except that they expect to make money, especially through the App Store.

  4. 9to5 Mac just posted this news:

    Tim Cook: Apple employees will get 50% off Apple Watch, 1000+ apps submitted

    The full memo from Cook to employees can be read below: . . .

    The regular Watch and Watch Sport will be 50% off to Employees; NOT the Watch Edition, however. Let’s head off that potential error. The employee discount will be for 90 days after ordering begins (April 10th in the USA and UK).

    Hmm. So which Store employees owe me a favor… 😉

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