Remember the iPod? It was Apple’s overpriced, underpowered but easy to use music player from the turn of the century. The device had an actual hard drive inside. And came with a pair of glistening white earbuds.
It took a few years but you started to see those white earbuds everywhere; on the streets, at schools, in the office, and all over the place, even if the iPod itself was somewhat hidden in pocket or backpack. It took awhile, but iPod sales flourished. So it is with Apple Watch.
Watch? Or, Read?
Watch was introduced a couple of years ago, and launched a few months later, so it hasn’t been available for even two years, and there’s already been a hardware upgrade among multiple software releases, now at watchOS 3.x. The past two years tech readers have been treated to a wide range of Watch reviews; from ‘Who needs it?‘ to ‘This is very cool‘ to ‘It’s no iPhone.’ Duh.
The most recent headlines say Apple’s Watch sales have dropped over 70-percent. That number is a guesstimate, of course, and somewhat belies the visible fact that we see more and more Watches in the wild, hence the iPod effect. Perhaps as a counter to the fake news about Watch sales, Apple CEO Tim Cook announced record sales for Watch.
That means we’re back to ground zero. Apple Watch is good, bad, and dampened by sad. The good is obvious. Watch works. It’s an excellent way to offload some iPhone functions, particularly health tracking, notifications, alarms, alerts, email, and Messages. Watch complications have become an art form, and already many thousands of apps for iPhone have Watch counterparts.
What’s bad? An unfortunate side effect of being tethered to an iPhone is that market analysts, critics, and technology hounds call Watch a failure instead of a hit because it does not sell in the same numbers as iPhone. What does? Even the Bible doesn’t sell as well as the iPhone. What is forgotten by critics is that Watch is an accessory, so by nature it won’t sell as well as iPhone.
That brings me to sad. Another side effect of our free flowing misinformation superhighway is that everyone has an opinion or perspective on something, maybe even uses a few scientific methods to support a conclusion, but are still just as wrong. IDC’s research says Watch sales have fallen. A bunch. Apple says they set a new record. And we have visual evidence because more people than ever sport an Apple Watch.
Who should we believe? Research guesstimates? Critics? Market analysts? Or, customers? I’m going with customers, of which I am one. Watch rocks. It’s not an iPhone, of course, but one day it might be. Notifications, alerts, Complications and faces can be customized and personalized ad nauseam, it’s water resistant to a fault, and as the iPhone is an affordable luxury, Watch is a fashionable utility, and the latest, Watch Series 2 and watchOS 3.x simply make it better than ever.
Remember how iPod improved over the years? Remember how the iPhone and iPad both improved over the years? Today’s Mac line resembles Macs of the past in name only, as capabilities are far, far greater. So it is with Watch. Some people may not like it or see the need (it’s a want, not a need) but the rest of us know better. So does Apple.