Apple had to slash the price of Watch to get customers interested, right? No so fast. Remember, Apple slashed the price of the original iPhone less than a year after it was introduced. I read the headline and I’m pretty certain that a slashed price doesn’t equal a measly 14-percent. No, what Apple has done is put the iPod magic into Watch and that’s a good thing. Colorful, too.
Remember The iPod?
Even critics would call Apple’s iPod a magical device Retroactively, of course. Many critics panned the iPad as an overpriced, underpowered bauble. Sounds familiar, huh? The iPod was the first portable music player that people actually wanted to use and the original $399 price tag (for less storage and capability than a Watch) did not prohibit the clunky devices– by today’s standards– from becoming a big hit, arguably a product that helped to save Apple from remaining a niche maker of premium priced techno-goodies.
iPod was an unqualified hit product and Apple moved swiftly to improve the device. Remember the iPod mini? It was a huge success and Apple threw it under the bus in favor of the iPod nano. Along the way Apple worked to shape the image and utility of the iPod. iPod shuffle for runners. iPod Classic for, well, whatever it is that people did with those hefty little devices. Apple added a better screen, movie and media capability, and much more.
What About Color?
The iPod was a hit, and we owe it all to its ability to store and playback music. Right? Right? Not so fast. I think the iPod was a hit because of color and music. Color? Yes. Look at the iPods of yesteryear. Color. Touchscreen buttons. Storage. Thin, slim, and attractive.
How does the iPod differ from Apple’s new Watch line of colorful bands on the same hardware from a year ago?
For Watch, cases, bands, and color seem to be the order for 2016. Watch didn’t get any hardware love from Apple (that will come later this summer), but it got a very iPod-like, iPhone-like price cut and a whole bunch of colorful new Watch bands.
The iPod’s advertising magic was music and color, but adding color to the Watch line does not make it a successor the Apple’s iconic music player. What it does is make Watch friendly; or, rather, friendlier, in a way that the colorful iPod mini made the iPod the first big product hit of the 21st century.
A watch is a watch is a Watch, right? No. A traditional watch does double duty as a utilitarian device– it tells time– and a fashion accessory which spans the spectrum of humanity. So does Watch, but it does so differently than iPod, of course, and perhaps more so than any other Apple product. First, Watch is an accessory, but that’s not likely to be the case this year or next year or within a few years.
I know friends, family members, and co-workers who have collected a dozen watches through the years– each worn at different times of the day, or on different occasions– who know treat Apple’s Watch similarly but different. Instead of swapping watches, Watch owners swap bands. I have six. My husband has four. Instead of collecting watches, we’re collecting Watch bands, and though that’s not an apples to Apple comparison, it’s very iPod-like.
Like Watch, iPod was utilitarian. Like Watch, iPod was personal. Like Watch bands, iPod was colorful. Like Watch bands, many of us had more than one iPod. By dropping the entry level Watch price to $299 (still $100 less than the original iPod) and adding more colorful and classy bands, Apple signals to all that Watch has a similar magic as the iPod.