My Favorite Apple Watch Myths

Apple Watch was released April 10th 2015. Eight months later we are holding the first Apple Watch conference. To kick off the discussion, here are my favorite myths about this new product:

Myth 1: The Watch is off to a slow start

Apple does not give out sales figures but by tracking the change in the operating segment reported sales we can estimate that between 6 and 7 million units have been sold to date. During the fourth quarter (third since launch) I expect another 6 to 7 million units to be sold. That places the Watch launch at a higher sales rate than the iPhone (3.7 million in three quarters), even with the iPad (14.7 million) and slightly lower than the Mac’s volumes (15 million in the last three quarters, 31 years after launch.) Selling 13 to 14 million  of a new category product, in three quarters, priced at an average of $400 is extraordinary by any measure. Moreover that’s equivalent to over $5.5 billion in revenues that just appeared out of thin air.

Myth 2: The Watch is for watch lovers

The Apple watch was launched with three “tentpole” applications: a Watch, a Communication product, a Fitness product. This means that it is more than any one of these things and perhaps not the best at any of these things. The value of the design is in the tradeoffs it makes. Watch lovers are seeking watches. Let them obtain watches. The Apple Watch is not only a timekeeper. It does not just tell time, it saves time.

Myth 3: The Watch is for fitness fanatics

This is another tentpole. It is a fitness product with many features and sensors. Yet it’s not only a fitness product. Fitness fanatics may want to get customized solutions for their needs. The Apple Watch is no more a perfect fitness product than a computer is a perfect calculator.

Myth 4: The Watch is for techies

If it’s not a perfect watch or a perfect fitness tracker then it must appeal only to nerdy early adopters who want to dazzle their friends with gadgets. Sadly, the Watch is not a very good “gadget”. It has a limited set of interactions and is not amazingly feature rich. There are many alternatives that better demonstrate an ability to complicate your life.

Myth 5: The Watch is a luxury product

There is a gold version but that is a rare sight indeed. The data we plan to share suggests that the vast majority get the base model which starts at $350. That places it well outside the “luxury” segment. But we should think again. Price does not make luxury. What makes luxury differs by buyer. Not having to dig out a phone from a pocketbook while driving may be many people’s idea of luxury.

Myth 6: The Watch is fashionable

Technology and fashion are contrary opposites. One requires function, the other treats function as failure. Just like price does not make luxury, fashion does not determine style.  All the Watch can do is not mess up your personal style. If it tried to be fashionable it would have a shelf life of three months.

Myth 7: The Watch competes with the Swiss watch industry

The Watch does not compete with watches. It competes with naked wrists. Some watches also compete with naked wrists but if there is already a watch on a wrist, Apple Watch may move on by.

Myth 8: The Watch has a weak battery

I’ve never gone a day with less than 50% battery remaining. Since we need to recharge ourselves once a day, the watch conforms to our biology. Unless you sleep far away from a source of electric power, the Apple Watch has enough battery life.

Myth 9: The Watch is fragile and not waterproof

Don’t hit it with a hammer. Don’t worry about taking a shower with it on. Look for something else if you’re going into combat. The only valid concern is that it will not work with non-conducting gloves on.

Myth 10: The Watch is an iPhone accessory

Actually this is not a myth. But it will be.

Myth 11: You can’t do much with the Watch

You can do a lot less with a naked wrist. Some of the things I did with it in 24 hours are shown in the image above. My other wrist, which was naked, could not do any of these things. As far as I’m concerned, the watch is just killing the competition.

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