Surprising things I learned at the Apple Store — and one thing that was no surprise at all

“Yesterday, I visited my local Apple Store (4th Street in Berkeley) and got my first hands-on time with the Apple Watch and the 12-inch MacBook,” Ted Landau writes for Slanted Viewpoint.

“After all I had read about these two new Apple products over the past few weeks, I expected the event to be anti-climatic, confirming conclusions I had drawn from my immersion in the web coverage,” Landau writes. “Many of my expectations were met. But I was also in for a few surprises.”

“My biggest hesitation about getting an Apple Watch was that it wouldn’t be worth the bother. I’m content taking my iPhone out of my pocket; I don’t need a separate device to save me that effort — especially one that needs charging every night and may not always display the time on demand. However, after playing with the Watch for a while, I began to change my tune,” Landau writes. “Access to maps, notifications, email, Apple Pay, Siri, and more — all with the flick of my wrist. I could see where I would really enjoy having this device. And the interface worked much more smoothly than I anticipated. The touch screen, the button, the digital crown: I got the hang of combining their actions in no time at all. No amount of advertising can substitute for actually spending time with an Apple Watch. If you have any doubts about the Watch, you owe it to yourself to get over to an Apple Store. Like me, you may be pleasantly surprised.”

Much more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote on March 27th:

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.

Related articles:
Carl Howe: Apple Watch – an overnight multi-billion dollar business – April 17, 2015
My Apple Watch try-on experience – April 14, 2015
Apple Watch Edition is poised to disrupt the classic Swiss watch – April 16, 2015


  1. I just cannot understand why people keep writing stupid articles about AppleWatch Edition. A gold Rolex Datejust has the same movement in it as a stainless steel Rolex Datejust. It just costs $25,000 more. Why? It’s gold. And it tells everyone who sees it “how you roll”. This is normal for the watch industry. The wealthy buy these things everyday. It tells others who know what you are wearing what economic strata you are in. The only people who think it’s ridiculous are those that cannot afford it.

      1. Then you just don’t get it, Arnold, or you choose to ignore it.

        This is the first product in Apple history to be intentionally overpriced for the purpose of being expensive.

        That’s a subtle concept, and it’s been misunderstood at this site by a lot of people.

        It’s one thing to develop a product and sell it for a lot of money. Apple has charged a premium for years over their competition, which is fine with me. The iPhone and the Macbook Pro are worth everything I’ve paid.

        But it’s another thing to sell an overpriced item specifically because its attraction is that it’s very expensive. Apple has never done that. With with their selling overpriced Beats headphones, we have a change in company philosophy.

        They’ve taken a regular Apple Watch, spent some money on gold, and upped the price JUST to make it expensive. Neither good nor bad, but this is a new direction.

        1. A smart direction! Make money on the gold upgrades, instead of letting the third parties make the cash, as they do when they custom plate iPhones for the wealthy.

          There is the $350 version for those of us without as much spare cash.

          Don’t listen to envious fools who think if they can’t have a gold watch then nobody should?

        2. Not entirely new…the 20th Anniversary Mac, for instance, was significantly overpriced relative to its performance.

          I like your take that a specialty luxury product like the Edition is “neither good nor bad.” For some reason, people feel a need to applaud or vilify the Edition. To me, it satisfies a niche customer base with lots ‘o money. As an AAPL shareholder, I am all in favor of that money flowing in as Apple revenue and profits. It taxation does not work, let them ostentatiously consume their way into supporting the economy.

          1. Mel, I’m a bit confused, you seem to be okay with the price of the Edition (for obvious capitalistic reasons), but then say, “If taxation does not work, let them ostentatiously consume their way into supporting the economy.” If I understand your comment correctly, it’s okay for you to get rich off of someone else who can afford the Edition (capitalism), but they, because they are rich (due to capitalism), should have to give away a certain amount of their wealthy to someone (I assume you mean the federal gov’t).

            Is it safe to assume you’ll willing send more money to the federal gov’t than what they say you owe in taxes when you’re rich?

    1. Well, the difference between spending $10,000 in a Rolex and $10,000 in an Apple Watch is, the Rolex will to be obsolete in 2 years.

      Having said that, I would suppose Apple has that factor in mind, and I’d guess they’ll refurbish, exchange or do something.

      Or perhaps they would leave it like that, with the stupidity of spending $10,000 in a gadget with a 2-year lifespan.

      And the “it’s gold” argument… One thing I learned about gold:

      – Buy it in bars: Great investment
      – Buy it in jewelry: Terrible investment.

      1. Just the opposite. The Rolex will still be an object d’art in two years, and more so in twenty years.

        Apple’s Watch is not a watch to start with, it’s an electronic device. It WILL be overcome by technology very quickly. And because it’s being made by the millions, it won’t be something which gains value over time.

        You’ve got a good idea with Apple’s possible policy of upgrading. Free upgrades of the Edition would be smart.

        1. “and more so in twenty years.”


          the Rolex Warranty is for 2 years
          After 25 years Rolex says it does not guarantee parts available for any of it’s watches.

          letter from Rolex : ” , Rolex is only required to have and guarantee supplies for watches that are up to 25 years old.”

          i.e if they don’t have any more parts after 25 years you are screwed. You can repair them elsewhere with ‘fake parts’ but that devalues your watch.
          (so that’s just a bit longer than your 20 years)

          Even before that a servicing (required occasionally for mech watches) BEFORE parts can easily cost 500 bucks or more.
          (Rolex advises servicing every 3 years).

          Watch forums are filled with complaints about repairs costing hundreds

          e.g : “I brought it to the only authorized Rolex dealer and repair center in Madison to have it appraised and “tuned up”. This cost me (well, I had the estate pay for it) about $650. ” or
          “yesterday I dropped it on the bathroom floor and smashed th face. I thought they were virtually indestructable. I was wrong.
          Anyway, I took it to a jeweller (an AD) and they say it will cost $850 to repair.”

          when parts run out you are in even bigger $$$ hole.

          The reason that mech watch repairs are so expensive is not that the repairs are so wonderful but that there are few watch repairers left and you paying for the ‘privilege’ of them looking at your watch. The average age of Watchmakers in USA is 50-60 so in a few years repairs would even be harder.

          Also Watches only hold their value if they are in good condition, scuffed watches, with fake parts lose their value. (like comic books, mint rare ones are $$$, one with a torn cover is $)

          All of us old enough know of people with boxes of old mech watches left over by relatives which they say “one day we’ll get the thousands to repair them”.

          The idea of a Mech watch being a heirloom for great grandchildren is mostly a myth put out by the Swiss Watch industry like a national hymn to encourage purchases of expensive watches.

          Lastly (like you pointed out in a way)
          Mech watches can last longer than Apple Watch but not because of build quality but only because Mech Watches CANNOT improve, what you bought, the tech stays frozen, no hardware or software or battery etc upgrades like an Apple Watch. (There is evidence that you can strip out the core of the Apple watch for upgrades but this is speculative.)

          if you don’t want to upgrade your old apple watch can possibly keep ticking as a watch for 20 years ( the battery is replaceable).

          1. (There is evidence that you can strip out the core of the Apple watch for upgrades but this is speculative.)
            Oh ya Apple is all about the upgrades LOL
            Apple wants you to replace, everything they make now is locked in at the time you order with the rare exception of some desktop RAM

            1. “Oh ya Apple is all about the upgrades LOL”

              well my Mac Pro is pretty upgradable.

              Also they’ve never done anything like the Gold Edition watch.

              but anyhow like I said for the Watch it’s speculative. It’s from people talking unofficially with Apple reps and the fact that the processor etc is on a single module.

              other say that the target audience doesn’t care whether it’s upgradeable or not ( some people buy watches 50k or more )

              they seem to be right as it’s sold out (back ordered), so whatever apple decided to make initially they’ve already sold them all (within one day in China) . So if others think it’s too expensive etc the target audience have already bought all the initial ones (i.e apple hasn’t wasted anything on unsold stock) . it’s not getting the bargain bin discounted treatment like the Moto 360 and other android watches…

              So one more time can you UPGRADE your mechanical watch — make it do more stuff ? NOPE. Like I said you can pop in a new battery (it’s replaceable) and keep the Apple Watch running too as watch for years — just like a mech watch. So what was the big mech watch advantage again?

    2. Well then, the gold Rolex Datejust deserves the same criticism. In both cases, you’re just paying for expensive pretty metal surrounding the same insides.


    3. I don’t care if you want to pluck down all that money for the Apple Watch Edition, ITS YOUR RIGHT! It’s just that don’t expect me to awh over your watch in ENVY. I will only look at you with pity. My view is since this is technology, it will be obsolete in 2 to 3 years & you could have spend for an Apple Watch and invested the rest in Apple Stock.

      I am confident that the near future Apple Watch will be slimmer with more sensors for Health monitoring & the Bands will have batteries inside them for much longer battery life.

      But it’s your decision to buy it & your right since you have more disposable money to throw away. To me, it’s like you standing in front of me, take out a roll of money and smoking it in my face.

  2. The surprise was: “… the counter displaying Apple Watches was the least crowded spot in the Store. I’m not sure if this is a bad omen or just an outlier.”

    I’m going to visit my Apple Store today and see what the lines are like. I’ll report back.

  3. I felt the same way about the Watch. Though I’m a long-time Mac fan (since the 80s), I had skepticism about the watch interface. It turned out to be much easier than I expected. Really nice, with lots of thoughtful, subtle details that Apple is famous for.

    As for the new MacBook, it is awesome. I got mine on Tuesday and I’m already used to the new keyboard — so much that it feels normal. I still struggle a bit with finding the arrow keys, but that’ll just take time. The less key travel isn’t an issue — you adapt to that after a few hours of use.

  4. I went to the Palo Alto store on April 11th. There were no crowds, no lines. I was able to walk up to the watch display table, and simply ask for an opportunity to try on the watches. No wait.

    I think all the noise about appointments and no stock until 4/24 simply quieted the masses… kept the hoards away.

    The watch, by the way, is amazingly beautiful. I wasn’t sure I would like it (even though I pre-ordered one the night before), but when I saw it… I was completely sold. You really have to see it in person to understand what it is about.

    Once enough people are wearing the apple watch, it will create quite a buzz… It will be a huge success.

  5. Still no interest in the Apple Watch.

    The iPhone was revolutionary because it was three products in one: phone, iPod, Internet device.

    The Watch is something a company does to exploit their own advantage – the iPhone – but it isn’t conspicuously necessary for me to buy in the way the iPhone was.

    I turned down a family member’s recent offer of a Watch as a birthday gift. That’s how underwhelmed I am by the product.

    But it looks better than any of the other smart watches I’ve seen, so Apple has done something right.

    1. iPhone was also not necessary: you still could have your normal cellular phone and a notebook in your bag.

      However, it is easier to have smartphone — you do not have to use notebook for most of simpler things.

      So for even simpler things Apple Watch is quicker than pulling out iPhone. On certain operations, you will save quite a bit of useless movements that and wasted time.

  6. I hate when people who have no clue about such things comment on the Editiion Watch. It reminds me of my elderly parents who think spending more than $10 per person on a meal out is outrageous.

  7. I for one will not be getting an Apple Watch, at least not the first generation. I’m very happy with my iPhone 6 Plus and have no problem reaching for it. the Watch will not do anything that my iPhone cannot already do for my needs. I do not wear any watch on my wrist now because I am always near a clock anyways.

  8. I plan to buy the Sport version if only to lessen the chance of dropping my phone on concrete doing something simple like checking the time or looking to see who a text or call is from.

  9. Apple has to convince millions of younger people to start wearing a watch. This will be the biggest obstacle.

    The second obstacle, is that a class is almost needed to learn how to use the Apple Watch. The iPhone, by comparison, came without a manual and was really easy to learn.

    I lost a lot of respect for the product when the lame share your heart beat feature was mentioned

  10. “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.”

    While I believe the Watch will be wildly successful, I don’t think it will have the same level of churn that the iPhone enjoys, if for other reason than the lack of wireless providers providing the upgrade incentive.

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