Apple Watch: Apple’s new failure?

Look forward through time, not back

apple watch

All eyes are on Apple today as the usual suspects try to invent new arguments with which to justify their Kool-Aid induced distorted reality in which everything Cupertino does is tinged with failure.

Even Apple CEO Tim Cook knows there’s work to do. “We’ve never sold anything as a company that people could try on before,” he pointed out last week (though arguably all those white iPod headphones could be seen as just that).

Apple is expected to use today’s event to tell us why we need Apple Watch, and to reveal any hitherto unrevealed product and software features, along with some pretty cool flagship apps.

Yeas and Nays

Anticipation is high, but it looks like lots of industry experts still need to get their heads around what Apple is doing with this smartwatch.

“Apple Watch is a really poor product,” said Forward3D CEO, Martin McNulty today. “I don’t understand this product.”

Macworld UK even seems to have managed to convince itself the device will flop. “The Apple Watch will have to do a lot more than notifications, tell the time, and monitor our fitness if it is to change our lives and justify its [$349] price tag,” writes the UK mag’s editor, Karen Haslam.

I think there’s some confusion because some pundits are looking at where the puck’s been, and not where it’s going. I recall Apple faced similar challenges getting its iPhone message across in 2007, when many said they didn’t understand why Apple was “making a phone."

They do now. It just takes time.

“People need to understand more about what this product is, and what it does, and I think that will evolve over time,” said Ben Bajarin of Creative Strategies.

Ignoring the pundits, an astonishing 12 percent of UK consumers already expect to buy an Apple Watch as soon as it goes on sale, with that figure rising to 22 percent among 18 to 34-year-olds, reports CBR.

Sales and fails

With the Apple Store down at time of writing, it’s possible Apple Watch will be made available for pre-order, and prices confirmed. I can’t wait to see prices confirmed as I’m sick to death of reading long, tedious reports exploring the philosophy of watchband pricing. Life’s too short, I need to know the price.

Is price critical? Sales estimates for Apple Watch (aka “failure” in the other reality) vary, as some analysts anticipate tens of millions of sales of the device, while the Wall Street Journal reckons the company is keeping its own internal expectations relatively low (in contrast to the hype) with 5 million Apple Watches ordered in the first wave.

OK, that 5 million means Apple hopes to sell around seven times as many Apple Watch units in the next few weeks as the number of Android Wear devices sold across 2014. Failure sure looks succcesful.

Good day springtime

So what’s the prevailing expectation for Apple’s springtime failure?

Strategy Analytics believes Apple will ship 15.4 million Apple Watch units in 2015, giving the company 54.8 percent of whatever that analysts believes constitutes the “smart watch market."

“Apple’s long-awaited entry to the wearables space will no doubt supercharge a market that otherwise seemed destined to be the preserve of techies and early adopters,” said Ernest Doku, tech expert at uSwitch.

"I do think that the Apple Watch will be like the iPhone and iPad.... I think the Apple Watch is going to do the same thing for wearables,” said Paula Skokowski, Chief Marketing Officer of Accellion.

And one day your smartwatch will replace your smartphone.

Don’t forget bookmark our live blog to read all about what Apple announces during tonight’s event.

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Copyright © 2015 IDG Communications, Inc.

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