Of course, Apple lived up to its word and shipped Watch to Apple Stores in ‘early 2015’ (which Apple defines, officially, as the first four months of the year), and to a few thousand eager customers. Obviously, Watch supply is less than demand, but that’s Apple’s de facto methodology these days.
Long Live The King
How does Apple get to become the king of vaporware? First, let’s define vaporware. No, on second thought, let’s have Apple define vaporware.
noun – COMPUTING – informal
Vaporware is software or hardware that has been advertised but is not yet available to buy, either because it is only a concept or because it is still being written or designed.
Apple began promoting and advertising Watch many months ago, so it qualifies as vaporware until it begins shipping to real, live customers.
We can speculate that Apple had manufacturing problems, or the software powering Watch wasn’t really ready for primetime (as many early adopters attest), but Apple’s move toward promoting vaporware had a big impact on the nascent smartwatch market.
Watch froze the industry for about six months. Of course, that gave Samsung time to begin retooling their next line of smartwatches so they can look and feel and work much like Apple Watch, so there’s that.
Vaporware comes in two flavors. The kind that Apple uses to ice the market before it launches a new product. And, then there’s vaporware that just never ever gets shipped; hardware or software. Apple isn’t afraid to use its prominence in the industry to put a segment in deep freeze mode while potential customers wait for the company to introduce a new product.
Allow me to pronounce Apple as the king of vaporware. How else does one explain the six to nine-month rollout of Watch? The initial announcement froze the market for six months, then the elongated rollout kept Watch in the daily news cycle long after it should have faded into memory.
Way to go, Apple. May the king live long and prosper.