Apple Watch is a huge success, HomePod will likely follow a similar path

“I recognize that these are vastly different products, but Apple’s success with Apple Watch after much skepticism from the market reminds me strongly of the imminent rollout of HomePod,” Dave Mark writes for The Loop.

“The early watchOS experience is quite different from what we’ve got today,” Mark writes. “What’s critical to me is that those changes rolled out as free software updates. And they work on the original hardware.”

“The point is, Apple Watch at birth was almost nothing like what we have today,” Mark writes. “And I believe the same thing will be true for HomePod.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple’s success with [insert product here] after much skepticism from the market reminds us strongly of virtually every new product Apple has ever introduced.

Without Steve Jobs, visionary and perfectionist, Apple is reduced to throwing public betas – unnamed, but that’s what they are – on the market (Apple Music, Apple Watch, Siri Remote, HomePod) and letting early adopters (beta testers) perform en masse and publicly some measure of the winnowing and perfecting that the genius Jobs could do all by his lonesome behind the scenes prior to public release.


  1. Soooo, by inference he’s saying don’t buy one now, because it isn’t the product we need it to become, but someday it will be (except for the one you buy now which won’t, because as in each other case, the hardware evolution is the key to eventual success).

    It’s okay to be a first-adopter, just recognize that that comes with limitations and a smaller ratio of value/cost than what comes later, and also recognize that it’s okay to wait, too.

  2. MDN Take is hilarious. I love Steve Jobs as much as anyone. However if you look at the history of Apple we can see that even the iPhone in its first iteration did not have the App Store. They had a twist Steve Jobs arm before he actually even put the App Store up. So this notion that all products were perfect under SJ and there was no room for improvement is totally false. And wasn’t Apple TV, the ultimate beta, developed under Jobs???

    1. Thank you! The only word came to my mind re the MDN take was ‘bollox’. Unrealistic, untrue and not the story from those who’d actually worked with him.

      from Daring Fireball:
      Bethany Bongiorno recently left Apple after a long stint, including work on the original iPad. She tweeted some terrific stories, including this one:

      At one point Steve wanted to turn UIKit elements orange. Not just any orange, he wanted a particular orange from the button on a certain old Sony remote. We got a bunch of remotes from Sony with orange buttons to try and find the right one. In the end, Steve hated it.

      I retweeted it with the comment that this is as Steve Jobs-y as any Steve Jobs story gets. No detail too small. Strong opinions loosely held.

    2. So true. The first iPhone had plenty of things that needed improvement. As well as no App Store there was no 3G, recessed headphone socket that you needed an adapter to use most third party headphones, no Cut & Paste till iOS 3, poor camera with no video recording and very poor in low light, no GPS, call quality was not good.

      All these faults would be improved over time with software uodates & newer generations so for MDN to say without Jobs Apple puts out Beta products is looking back with rose tinted glasses.

    3. One of Steve’s greatest achievements, the Macintosh, was very much a beta product when first introduced. (But still delightful.)

      There a plenty of geeks, like me, that are happy to be beta testers for something new and exciting and even to pay the “nerd tax” by being an early adopter and having to upgrade later. I loved my first generation Apple Watch, but sure, I love the newest one even more. Likewise, I got one of the first iPhones, the first Macs, the first iMacs, etc.

      All of them were useful and fun, if not completely polished. I haven’t seen a huge difference under Tim Cook than Steve Jobs, except that the Keynotes aren’t as interesting.

  3. If Apple suddenly ceased to exist, who would innovate? There would be nothing for other companies to copy. And if there were to be an innovation, who would get it to market worldwide as Apple does. The answer is nobody could-like Apple does. No company or product is perfect. But I posit that Apple’s products will always be the closest to excellence.

  4. Back in the day, I bought a brand new and expensive Mac Plus as soon as it went on sale. It was obvious even then, that it was an underpowered machine, missing all kinds of things; things you know, like a hard drive. LOL! I remember swapping the system floppy so I could use the application floppy, and then write a letter or something, and then back to the system disk, which was then loaded into then measly 1 MB of RAM. I knew then that I would buy whatever new computer Apple would come up with. Even buying a 20 MB exterior hard drive a few months later was like stepping into the future.
    But I loooved that little machine …looooooved it! Compared to College, when typing a program into a batch of cards so that a big ass computer could run it; the Mac Plus was the future, and it was all mine.
    Looking back, I never regretted having purchased the Plus. I knew I could wait and get something better and cheaper down the line, but dude, how could I? I was then running Lotus 123, Aldus Pagemaker, and MS Word. I remember publishing my first newsletter, amazed that I did not have to take it to the typesetter. It was a time of wonder, and some of the best times in my young life. And as for being a beta tester? …who cares. Now out there is a shiny new iMac Pro …chances are I won’t be buying one; there is nothing there to beta test, but a HomePod? Where is the beta tester line for that sucker? I am getting mine tomorrow – WhooooHooooooo!!

  5. Classic “lead user/early adopter” scenario. Classic Apple.

    The key differentiating feature and proprietary technology is the sound quality. Took them 6 years for it to see the light of day.

    Rather than go for perfect with Siri and voice control (which is a whole other development effort and team,) they went with good enough so they can learn. Going for perfect costs too much money and time out of the gate and then what happens if its not perfect? It took Alexa a long time before it caught on, too, if you recall.

    The other parallel efforts with Airplay 2 and pairing speakers are part of the roadmap. Great product development roadmaps are careful not to put too many expectations on the first generation. In this case, the first generation will even improve over time with updates. small amount of patience required.

    I have 2 Google Home minis and never use them, btw. Love Siri on my watch, phone and Apple TV. But I think voice’s importance is overstated, now that I’ve gained some experience with it. Sure, its perfect for control audio playback.

  6. Comparison with the Apple Watch ignores the fact that Apple Watch could still perform some (limited) functions even if every other Apple device you own somehow breaks. The HomePod is totally dependent on at least one other iOS device being functional for it to work after a reset.

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