Why Apple Watch is is eerily reminiscent of iPhone

“Only 3% of people who bought Apple Watch cited that the primary reason they bought it was as a watch. It is eerily reminiscent of the fact that the actual phone capability of the iPhone doesn’t matter much,” Bernard Desarnauts reports for Wristly. “In that light, the broad range of reasons for buying the Apple Watch falls within three distincts themes: as a device that supports health and fitness, as an iPhone companion and lastly as the entry point to something altogether new.”

“Apple Watch is not most valuable as a watch, even if it helps 18% of our panelists be more on time. Instead Apple Watch primarily helps our panel untether from their iPhones while remaining connected,” Desarnauts reports. “Another item of note that is consistent with our prior research is that a significant 27% report weight loss and feeling healthier.”

“In the aggregate, 91% percent of Apple Watch owners don’t revert to what they used to wear. This confirms our previous findings that Apple Watch is the exception to the rule when it comes to wearables and consumer abandonment. As frequently reported, most activity/fitness bands and other similar wearables have a 50% or higher abandonment rate at the six-month mark,” Desarnauts reports. “It is unusual in the context of watches that the vast majority of owners do not miss much or at all what they used to wear before. Any sentimental or other kind of value placed on the previously worn item is largely offset by the benefits Apple Watch owners assess for themselves.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Yup.

We do not foresee anyone wanting to take off their Apple Watch in order to wear a “jewelry watch.” Apple Watch is not just a watch to be replaced with another regular watch. Maybe wearing two watches in come into vogue for special occasions?MacDailyNews Take, April 3, 2015

Here’s what makers of Swiss or any other watches should do: Push the idea of wearing of two watches, one on each wrist or two on one wrist, into vogue. Because once people start using Apple Watch, they aren’t going to want to leave it at home. Ever. They won’t want to go to dinner parties without their Apple Watch. And that’s bad, bad news for watchmakers not named Apple. Watch and see.MacDailyNews Take, April 16, 2015

Already, we feel naked without our Apple Watches on our wrists. Already we notice people staring at their iPhones (real and pretend) everywhere and understand that Apple is going to change the world again. It’s like driving a car while everyone else is being pulled in buggies by horses. We hardly look at our iPhones compared to our pre-Apple Watch days, plus we’re saving so much time!MacDailyNews Take, April 30, 2015

Our iPhone usage is way, way down and, consequently, our iPhone battery life is way, way up (from about 40% left at the end of a typical day to over 65%). We put our Apple Watches to bed every night with about 30-35% battery remaining.

One additional thing to consider: We have iPhone 6 Plus units. 128GB. We are Day One iPhone users for every new model. We’re now using the iPhone (directly) so much less often that any Apple Watch-compatible iPhone might suffice. The next iPhone will need to offer something(s) might attractive to get those who’d normally jump to the latest and greatest iPhone, but now find a lot of their attention has shifted from iPhone to Apple Watch, to make the leap.

Of course, we’ll get the next flagship iPhone as usual, but it’s not a stretch to think that Apple Watch might impact serial iPhone upgraders. At this point with Apple Watch, a smaller model iPhone already looks much more attractive to us. So, we’re (again) seeing a raison d’être for SMALLER iPhones: You can just squirrel it away. Apple Watch use will very likely affect iPhone buying decisions for many going forward.

In a nutshell: Before Apple Watch, we used our iPhones all the time and wanted the largest display and longest battery life possible. After Apple Watch, we use our iPhones less and size/weight (easy to carry) have become much more important to us; a smaller iPhone battery wouldn’t hinder us now with Apple Watch.

Luckily for Apple, only some 20% of U.S. iPhone users have currently upgraded to iPhone 6/Plus (and there are millions of potential Android switchers coming off contracts every day), so there is a lot of headroom for iPhone 6s/Plus sales this fall and for a long time thereafter.

It’s rather amazing how dramatically the Apple Watch has affected our iPhone usage after just one month. Eventually, Apple Watch will likely change the dynamics of iPhone model sales. — MacDailyNews Take, May 22, 2015

Apple Watch saves time. And, we don’t mean that in a small way, we mean that in a big way. 😉 (Thanks, Steve.) Small bits of time saved throughout each day equal big time savings each day. Time is our most precious commodity.

“Lost time is never found again.” — Benjamin Franklin

That’s why we wear Apple Watches, they give us the gift of time.MacDailyNews Take, July 21, 2015

Apple Watch, the world’s first real smart watch, will be a massive hit – September 9, 2014


  1. > and lastly as the entry point to something altogether new.

    Had to look at the full article to see what they meant by that, and it was still not clearly explained. But I think it’s true. Apple Watch is the first product in Apple’s emerging wearable computing platform, which uses iPhone as its consolidated “hub.” Like the Mac is the hub for the home’s (or a workplace) computing system. This is smart. Apple is not trying to sell customers an Apple Watch instead of an iPhone; Apple wants to sell each customer an Apple Watch AND an iPhone…

    And as Apple Watch becomes more functional to more customers over time, an iPhone that is less burdensome to carry around all day will become more popular for more customers. Smaller WAS better in the early days of mobile phones; smaller will become advantageous once again. Why not make one that looks like a longer version today’s iPod nano (the “skinny” iPhone), for serious Apple Watch enthusiasts?

  2. I think the Apple Watch is on a slow-burn fuse, relatively speaking. As people learn what the Watch can do, it will become increasingly popular. No one feels the need to run out and buy one right now. But as more and more people figure out how useful it is in many different ways, word will get around.

    Recently bought a new MBP, iPhone 6S Plus, and an Apple Watch Sport Edition. They were long overdue upgrades …and a new addition to my kit. The chips in the older gear I’ve been using eventually got frustratingly slow. Here is a little story about what I discovered about my Watch today.

    Had to drive to the City today for a lunch meeting. Had my Apple Watch on. Before leaving the house, checked iPhone Maps for traffic. Then, as I start driving, my watch vibrates and I glance to see the first driving instruction. It was brilliant! I had no idea the Watch could do this, and I had no idea the thing was even turned on to let it happen. Each turn or driving instruction announced itself with a wrist vibration, which caused me to look at the watch face where the instruction was clearly visible with a glance. It was so much safer, easier, and more practical than the iPhone voice commands (I turned the sound way down for this trial) or my car GPS (don’t get me started…).

    Anyway, I had no idea the Watch could do this. And I had no idea the Watch was turned on for it today: it just happened. This feature alone could be really useful. It is much better & safer than iPhone voice commands.

    This makes me want to explore the Watch for other useful purposes that I do not even know are possible. I am looking forward to figuring out how to put this device to good use.

    1. “… This makes me want to explore the Watch for other useful purposes…”

      Then you are in for a pleasant surprise- Book yourself a dinner using Open Table on your iPhone, and watch what happens as the dinnertime approaches (and more) on your Apple Watch 🙂

    2. I disagree that it’s safer than voice prompts from your iPhone. It reguires you taking your hands off the wheel and looking at your wrist instead of the road. While not as dangerous as typing out a text on your phone, it’s the same as reading a text message. It’s a marginal improvement over looking at your phone, but its still an unsafe distraction for the sake of convenience.

      1. Nick, have you actually tried it? If yes, then maybe it is a question of personal preference. For me, it felt a lot safer.

        I always drive with 2 hands on the steering wheel at 10 and 2 o’clock (or 9 and 3). I could read the instruction on my watch face with a quick glance at my wrist. I may have raised my elbow slightly to rotate the watch a few degrees for a better angle (while keeping my hand on the wheel).

        The glance to my wrist was much less distracting than most glances to my dashboard. That includes looking at my onboard GPS navigation system map located in the middle of the console, which forces me to take my eyes away from the “straight ahead” position, unlike the Watch.

  3. Maybe I haven’t had a chance to play with an Apple Watch as often as I played with the iPhone, but I’m still waiting to see the sorts of apps that would hook me into saying, “Okay, I’m ready to get the Apple Watch.” I’m sure this will get me lots of comments telling me how great the Apple Watch is. I just need to see specific apps for myself. 🙂

    1. Nothing you see is going to convince you to buy it. Playing with it at the store is nothing like wearing it for a few weeks. Buy a Sport, wear it for a few weeks and you’ll be convinced one way or the other and you can return it within 14 days. You can’t test notifications in the store nor activity tracking, these are the “killer apps”.

  4. ‘Only 3% of people who bought Apple Watch cited that the primary reason they bought it was as a watch. It is eerily reminiscent of the fact that the actual phone capability of the iPhone doesn’t matter much,” Bernard Desarnauts reports for Wristly. “In that light, the broad range of reasons for buying the Apple Watch falls within three distincts themes: as a device that supports health and fitness, as an iPhone companion and lastly as the entry point to something altogether new.”

    Finally. Someone gets it. The Apple Watch is not a watch. It is a wrist worn peripheral, a second screen for the iPhone that extends functionality. It is a gadget, a device, but it ain’t no watch.

    When the iPhone was first demonstrated by Steve, I said that’s no phone. That’s a handheld general purpose computer that happens to have a phone attached.

    This is why people who are watch aficionados aren’t interested in the Apple Watch, generally speaking. Some obviously are but not as a watch. They’re interested in it for what it is. Something new. Something different.

  5. Remember this? Remember how after this video New Gingrich was excoriated by the Internet as people called him an idiot while ironically he was spot on accurate in his assessment of the iPhone. It’s much more than simply a phone. Even “smartphone” was not descriptive enough.

  6. Calling the first automobiles “horseless carriages” didn’t come close to expressing the effect of personal rapid transit on society. Calling the next generation driverless cars also doesn’t go far enough in expressing the effect that autonomous robotic vehicles will have either.

    1. Thats a very good correlation I think, its likely that ‘driverless cars’ as a personal experience is probably one of the last direct effects on us that this concept will have. Interestingly Marketing of concepts is often the opposite of what we think marketing is once the product is available and accepted. It is usually trying to make something new seem somehow familiar rather than differentiating it from what we presently use. Even in a much more technologically focused society than that when horse was the prime mover some human instincts do seem to hang on in there.

  7. And the Apple Watch will evolve into something so beyond what a watch is, that calling it a watch will eventually sink in as kinda dumb. MDN is right when they explore the idea of wearing two devices, but no one is going to do that. I love watches but eventually, I will succumb and wear an Apple Watch because I’m going to NEED it, and I’d feel stupid wearing a real watch on my other wrist when I’ve got other devices that tell me the time just fine.

    1. Dumb yes, when we progressively look back on that naming convention in the future, but a necessary intermediary decision to allow people to buy into an otherwise unfamiliar process and product, through percieved familiarity I think. If the iPhone was sold as an ‘internet’ or some other device I wonder if it would have got the same traction, or remotely as quickly. Most people have a relatively conservative make up at heart.

  8. A lot of people will choose an Apple Watch as the consequence of a simple strategic decision. Choose:

    1. a basic timepiece, Like a Timex.
    Or even just use your phone. This was an adequate fall-back option when my wristwatch batteries wore out. But I got tired of relying on my phone as a timepiece; I often don’t have it on me, or I first have to pull it out of my pocket and switch it on just to see the time. It is much faster and more convenient to to be able to glance quickly at my wrist to note the time. I planned to dig up my old watch and get a fresh battery for it if I did not try the Apple Watch.

    2. an expensive, jewelers-quality timepiece, perhaps with a few quaint functions like stopwatch, altimeter, etc., that some would characterize as “conspicuous consumption”. Eg, a Rolex. Then wear it on appropriate occasions.

    3. or a reasonably affordable timepiece AND advanced technology device with communication/notification/”computing” capabilities and a multitude of advanced utilities of your choice available.

    Which will it be? I believe that In time, a lot of people will figure out useful it can be for them and will “get it”. But you almost need to buy the Watch first to be able to figure out how you would use it. Most people will not want multiple timepieces. But that would not prevent anyone who did from choosing all 3 options.

    Now that I have my Watch, a basic timepiece is unnecessary. And an elite watch has never appealed to me.

  9. Well there is a surprise. Do we remember all the narrow minded on here when it was launched moaning about how they have no need for a watch totally unable to come to terms with the simple fact that this is NOT a watch the term is used simply to try to make potential buyers familiar with the item and then realise how useful it is or will progressively become, yes exactly like the iPhone. I hope that those naysayers at least now respect the reality of the situation even if like myself have no immediate desire to buy the product.

    Beyond that this proves once again just how insightful Steve Jobs was when he, against so much criticism, refused to budge from the concept that you create products that the public will learn to love/need rather than produce products that they, or their so called experts/analyst overlords on their behalf, claim that they want.

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