Apple Watch is a failure -- will 2017 bring change?

Apple Watch sales are poor. Cook copies iPhone playbook with 2016 ‘S’ model.

The next Apple Watch won’t be a huge change. Or so our old “friend” Ming-Chi Kuo says—the oft-quoted analyst predicts a mimic of the iPhone playbook, launching a mildly tweaked version every even year.

[Developing story. Updated 10:24 am and 1:44 pm PT with more comment]

Ming-Chi also opines that Tim’s Watch isn’t flying off the shelves: Sales are way below plan. And Apple’s $50 price cut isn't going to do the business.

In IT Blogwatch, bloggers are stuck at nine to ten.Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment. Not to mention: Tiny Korean donuts

What’s the craic? Here’s Neil “before Zod” Hughes—2016 Apple Watch will be internal 's' upgrade:

According to well-connected insider Ming-Chi Kuo...the 2016 Apple Watch will feature..."limited changes to form factor." ... A thinner profile will have to wait until...2017. ... Kuo has a proven track record.

He is bearish on Apple Watch sales, predicting...only 7.5 million total units will ship in 2016 [and] only 10.6 all of 2015. ... Apple has declined to reveal any shipment numbers.

Those sales figures are way below expectations, apparently. No wonder Apple isn’t being specific. Mike Murphy mithers no one needs an Apple Watch:

When someone suggested that it would complement my “personal cloud,” I eventually felt compelled to buy [an] Apple Watch. ... But when someone asks me if I think they should...I usually tell them no. ... There really isn’t much of a need.

The future of Apple...appears to be very boring. ... Apple has always prided itself on ‘thinking different.’ ... But different in the case of the Apple Watch right now just means “weird.”

You have to charge [it] every 18 hours. [It] costs about ten times more than that does a better, quicker job of telling you the time.

Apple sold nearly 75 million iPhones in [Q4] alone, which leaves a lot of people who...didn’t see the need to tack on a $300-or-more accessory. ... Does Apple have anything else up its sleeve that could hit that sub-$500 price to attract new customers?

Ming-Chi is certainly good at getting his name out there, isn’t he? But elijahg is fed up of hearing stories sourced from Kuo:

I don't understand why anyone listens to this bloke. He changes his mind on a weekly basis.

As if Apple changes their mind from week to week this late in the game. ... Anyway, I don't think a spec bump would do much to spur sales. The watch isn't particularly slow.

They just really need to fix third party apps. ... They don't launch 90% of the time.

Well, waddya know? Dave Smith tries to list Everything we know:

Apple will reportedly release a new Apple Watch this year. [But] you shouldn’t expect [it] to look any different from the first-generation.

It looks like Apple Watch upgrades will closely iPhone[s]: Every two years or so, there will be...a completely new design, and in those in-between years...“S” models. ... Apple’s next event...we know about will be...WWDC in June.

Some say that Apple Pay is the killer app for Watch. Yomiuri Shimbun-chan has news for you—Fingerprints to be tested as ‘currency’:

The [Japanese] government will test a system in which foreign tourists will be able things at stores using only their fingerprints...and relieve users from the necessity of carrying cash or credit cards. ... Tourists would then be able to conduct tax exemption procedures and make purchases.

It hopes to realize the system throughout the 2020. ... The experiment will examine issues including how to protect...privacy.

Surely it’s time for an awful, predictable pun? Not from me, I was fired for doing that this morning. Instead, last words go to Porco:

Apple to finally release a thinner product? It's about time!*

* this joke contains up to 100% recycled materials.

Update 1: “It’s not enough,” thinks Lance Ulanoff. (BTW, he hasn’t been laid off.) The next Apple Watch won’t change that much:

Incremental changes should come as no surprise in a market as immature as smartwatches. ... Apple’s position as the big fish in a small pond...probably gives it the right to set the tone.

I like the Apple Watch. ... I feel like I’m wearing a watch from the future. ... And, even to this day, I get “wow” or “cool” comments...when I check into flights with the Apple Watch. [But] if Apple...wants to grow beyond people like me, it has to make a number of...changes.

The next Apple Watch material should be a polymer. ... The cheaper material will allow Apple to price [it] at $199 [what] Steve Jobs called the magic price.

Dump the app home screen. ... Most of the time, you’re not launching apps anyway. ... Directions, which work as a perfect complement...launches and runs without me touching the watch.

It’s time for make some real market leadership moves.

Update 2: OTOH, others think there are some worthwhile apps. John Patrick Pullen, for instance—The 7 Best Apple Watch Apps:

Almost a year into owning the Apple has fundamentally changed how I use my iPhone. [But] there haven’t been many Watch apps that have really wowed me.

Apple Pay is a fantastically convenient way to shop. ... No cash, no card, no problems.

HeartWatch is so good, you’d think Apple built the $2.99 app itself. [With] the free iTranslate’ll never encounter a language barrier. ... With the free Golfshot app, you don’t have to change your wristwear when you’re done with the back nine. ... The $3.99 MacID app lets you unlock your Mac with the tap of the Apple Watch. ... The free At Bat app can load you up with everything from box scores to broadcasts. ... A Tiny Game of Pong...smartly abandon[s] touch controls for the Watch’s digital crown...just like in the Atari classic.

And Finally…

How cute are these tiny Korean donuts?
[hat tip: Patchouli Woollahra]

You have been reading IT Blogwatch by Richi Jennings, who curates the best bloggy bits, finest forums, and weirdest websites… so you don’t have to. Catch the key commentary from around the Web every morning. Hatemail may be directed to @RiCHi or
Opinions expressed may not represent those of Computerworld. Ask your doctor before reading. Your mileage may vary. E&OE.


Copyright © 2016 IDG Communications, Inc.

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