Until recently Apple has not done much to hype the upcoming Apple Watch, other than provide an onstage demo, create a few product videos, a publish a few web pages, each with scant details about one of Apple’s most anticipated new products.
Most of what you’ve read about Apple Watch has come from two camps; one decidedly pro Apple and longing to see the Watch succeed, and the other decidedly critical of all things Apple and seemingly rooting for defeat rather than offering up insightful market analysis. Apple just took off the kid gloves. It’s time for the real hype to begin.
The Lifesaving Tech Trinket
As is my custom it is unlikely that I’ll buy the very first version of Apple Watch, regardless of the wonderful reviews. Upgrades to existing products are a different animal than launching a whole new product category and I’d like Apple to iron out the early kinks.
There is little doubt that both designer Jony Ive and head Apple honcho Tim Cook are proud of what Apple is about to launch. So proud that Ive was quoted as saying the Swiss watch industry is in deep poop. So proud that Tim Cook says Apple watch will become as essential as an iPhone.
Whoa. As to Ive’s semi-prediction that Swiss watches have seen their day, time will tell. It won’t take the industry long to begin stuffing those mostly mechanical beasts with electronics.
As to Cook’s view, there is little doubt that Apple Watch will become essential to some people, but, as with all things Apple, not for the masses. For crying out loud, you have to have an iPhone just to get proper usage from Apple Watch (though to be fair, Apple has sold well over 600-million iPhones, so it’s still a healthy market).
Cook seems to be trying his own brand of Steve Jobsian-like reality distortion field with Apple Watch. Essential? Wait. There’s more! Cook also said Apple Watch will change the way you live your life and help you to fight the ‘new cancer.’ In this case, the new cancer is the disease of sitting down for too long, and any good smartwatch should tell you, alert you, buzz you, or electrify you into action every hour or so.
Something Else, Maybe?
Apple is as much about show ‘n tell and visible sizzle as Meghan Trainor is about the bass. Tim Cook’s recent hype tells me that Apple is orchestrating a surprise when Apple Watch launches in April. Alright, it’s a watch, a tracker, a device with alerts, alarms, and sensual sensor notifications; an extension of the iPhone (with Apple Pay thrown in), so Watch will come with some clever apps, followed up in a few months by developers with ever more clever extensions for Apple Watch.
Apple is about shining a light on the obvious; the obvious that everyone else seems to miss. The Mac had a mouse and a graphical user interface not found on the masses of DOS PCs back in the previous century. The iPod was an easy to use and portable media player that made the competition look horribly antiquated.
Likewise, Apple’s iPhone embarrassed all the smartphone makers when it was released to howls from critics and love at first sight among customers. Even the iPad was a no-brainer; and re-defined the portable tablet industry overnight.
What is the sizzle in Apple Watch? Style? Design? Fashion? Alerts, alarms, and notifications? Apple Pay? What is the compelling feature that Apple has yet to talk about that turns the Watch into a must-have device that becomes an overnight sensation (just don’t forget that Apple hasn’t really had any overnight sensations except the iPad, and that’s in decline)?
Is Apple holding back a little extra sizzle that won’t become obvious after the Watch gets shipped and used by a few million customers?