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It's Time To Admit Apple Watch Is a Success (imore.com) 406

At company's quarterly earnings call, Apple CEO Tim Cook said the holiday period was the company's "best quarter ever" for Apple Watch -- both units and revenues -- "with holiday demand so strong that we couldn't make enough." He added: Apple Watch is the best-selling smartwatch in the world, and also the most-loved, with the highest customer satisfaction in its category by a wide margin. Apple Watch is the ultimate device for a healthy life, and it's the gold standard for smartwatches. We couldn't be more excited about Apple Watch. Long time Apple commentator Rene Ritchie writes: There's a strange narrative in the tech community concerning Apple Watch being a flop, a failure, or in some way, shape, or form, a disappointment. It's particularly bizarre given Apple Watch, as part of the wearable market, is doing record numbers. It could be that there is no real "Smartwatch market", just an Apple Watch market. Much like there's no real "tablet market", just an iPad market. Since it's such a new product category and most of the existing products are still bound to phones, it could also simply be too soon to tell.John Gruber adds: I think we should stop talking about "smartwatches" and just consider Apple Watch a "watch", period. In September, Apple claimed watch revenues second only to Rolex. How can it not be considered a hit at this point?
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It's Time To Admit Apple Watch Is a Success

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  • Perspective. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by blueshift_1 ( 3692407 ) on Wednesday February 01, 2017 @12:46PM (#53781481)
    I feel like it's just a matter of perspective. The watch market as whole has never really been as significant as the phone or PC market, thus comparing the apples watch compared to iPhone or Mac sales makes it look like a failure, but within it's sector it is a strong competitor. It certainly hasn't take then world by storm the way that the iPad and iPhone have been able to, but at least hast been a strong contender for watches. So I'd say the watch has been a viable product, but no great success.
    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      Apple seems to be laying it on thick today.

      It's the most popular, best selling smart watch... Well, yeah, it's also pretty much the only choice for iOS users, where as Android users have a wide variety to choose from and thus sales of individual models are diluted. Apple only does one model per year too, because even with the various straps and colours they all count as "Apple Watch 1" sales.

      It has the most satisfaction... I'd be interested to know how they know that, but again it's hardly surprising when i

  • It doesn't matter if it's a hit, because Apple Watch will never work adequately with non-Apple devices. I have more confidence that an Android Wear or even Tizen based watch will not have as much lock-in.

  • by Marxist Hacker 42 ( 638312 ) * <seebert42@gmail.com> on Wednesday February 01, 2017 @12:47PM (#53781495) Homepage Journal

    My smartwatch was $35 including shipping. It has SD and SIMM card slots, and is a fully functional smart phone complete with camera.

    My only complaint, no health sensors beyond accelerometer apps.

    Why is the Apple Watch (and the rest of its competitors) so expensive? Are red and green LEDs that much more expensive?

    • Never heard of it, so I looked it up. Available for €14.99. Isn't it unbelievable that such a thing is available for the price of a couple of cups of coffee? We live in fascinating times.

      What's the battery life on that thing?
    • Googled that. They're DOA half the time, constant connection issues, and "Battery life when connected to Bluetooth is approximately Four Hours."

      Yeah, thanks but no thanks. That's like saying the iphone is too expensive because you can get a shitty $35 android phone made in Brazil.

  • Sorry, But No (Score:5, Insightful)

    by segedunum ( 883035 ) on Wednesday February 01, 2017 @12:49PM (#53781529)
    I've seen more Rolexes than Apple Watches. Microsoft also did this with Windows Phone when they talked about 'revenue' rather than any hard sales figures. The reality everyone else knew finally dawned.
    • Re:Sorry, But No (Score:5, Insightful)

      by cmseagle ( 1195671 ) on Wednesday February 01, 2017 @02:15PM (#53782539)

      I've seen more Rolexes than Apple Watches.

      That's not surprising. By most estimates Apple has sold about 20 million iWatches. According to the fine folks at rolexforums.com [rolexforums.com], Rolex has produced at least 50 million wristwatches, and those wristwatches will stay in circulation for decades.

  • Much like there's no real "tablet market", just an iPad market. Well, I'll say there is no "tablet market", just a Microsoft Surface market.

    I don't have either an iPad or Surface tablet, but between the two hands down, it would be the Surface Tablet Pro.

  • Not making enough can mean many things and given how CEO statements can have an impact on the stock market, call me suspicious but the statement is ambiguous. Were they unable to make enough because they were running three shifts at a factory designed to run two shifts? Or have they been scaling back production to meet lukewarm demands?

    I have only met one person – not know —met one person who has an iWatch. I'm just a bit suspicious of these statements.

    • by Raenex ( 947668 )

      I find it weird that there's all these rules requiring public companies to disclose all sorts of things, but basic information about how much of product X was sold for Y is a corporate secret.

  • They made the Apple Watch because they wanted a watch. There is no problem that the watch solves. So, it's a solution looking for a problem.
  • The funny thing about people claiming the AppleWatch was not succeeding, was they always ignored sales and customer satisfaction.

    There have been other products that people really liked that got axed as well, but not that sold in the volume the AppleWatch did. If any other company but Apple had been selling the AppleWatch, it would have been considered a breakaway hit...

    Especially after the WatchOS 3 update, the Apple Watch has been really useful, and apparently the newer models (series 2) have multi-day ba

    • and charge fast enough you can wear them while you sleep and just charge them while you are in the shower to get a full charge.

      So, your life can revolve around charging the thing? Seems more like those little egg gizmos that tweeners used to try to hatch a couple of years ago. Who the hell is in charge here? (So to speak.)

      • The whole point is that your life does not revolve around charging the watch. You just do so when convenient. Even with the older watch I sometimes don't put it on a charger when I go to sleep, I just charge it for fifteen minutes or so and it's good for the rest of the day.

        With the newer watch you can just charge it whenever, and go for a few days without.

    • Especially after the WatchOS 3 update, the Apple Watch has been really useful, and apparently the newer models (series 2) have multi-day battery life and

      Battery life of barely a day was the primary reason why I considered Apple Watch to be a joke. If they've fixed that issue, maybe it'll be worth a second look. Especially now that Pebble/Fitbit has royally screwed the pooch.

  • Marketshare? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by johanw ( 1001493 ) on Wednesday February 01, 2017 @12:51PM (#53781557)

    > Much like there's no real "tablet market", just an iPad market.

    Nonsense, Android sold more units. Just like the phone market is really an Android market.

  • I have an iPhone, iPad, iMac, Macbook Air, Apple TV, Apple Airport Extreme, iPod Nano(for the car) etc etc. and yet, when I have been in the mood for new gadgets, I simply haven't been able to come up with an excuse that could convince myself why I would want the Apple watch.
    But I guess it helps if you are a part of the social media users? Maybe in my younger days, I thought it would have been cool to get ICQ or messenger notifications on my wrist. These days I will read messages to me when I feel like it n

  • by Khyber ( 864651 ) <techkitsune@gmail.com> on Wednesday February 01, 2017 @12:55PM (#53781601) Homepage Journal

    ...that Slashdot admitted they're just fucking Apple shills. The money is too great for such a BUSINESS NO LONGER RUN BY AN INDIVIDUAL.

    Prove otherwise, Whipslash.

  • But hey, a 51.6% year over year drop can't be meaningful. https://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=prUS41875116 [idc.com]

  • by BarbaraHudson ( 3785311 ) <barbarahudson@gmai l . c om> on Wednesday February 01, 2017 @12:58PM (#53781659) Journal
    A Rolex - lasts for generations, holds and even increases in value with time. The next generation will value it.

    An iWatch - 5 years from now, it will be removed from the drawer where it's been gathering dust and given to some infant as a chew toy because it no longer works with the latest phones, and it no longer gets updates anyway.

    • by Viol8 ( 599362 )

      Indeed. Or if we're talking simply numbers manufactured then success as defined by the number of digital watches Casio has sold over the decades makes Apples effort look like a cottage industry.

    • by sl3xd ( 111641 ) on Wednesday February 01, 2017 @01:05PM (#53781765) Journal

      I have to admit a certain amount of ignorance here, but is it possible to get a Rolex for $400?

      I suspect that's where your argument falls down; it's as ridiculous as comparing a Bic Cristal to a Pelikan Souveraen [pelikan.com], or a Vietnamese Moped to a Maybach.

      In other words, you're comparing a mass-market product with an heirloom product. They're not even close to equivalent.

      • I have to admit a certain amount of ignorance here, but is it possible to get a Rolex for $400?

        $400 (or more) is what you'll pay just to have your Rolex cleaned and serviced every few years. Buy the cheapest Apple Watch, buy a good third-party band instead of buying Apple's overpriced band, and your total cost of ownership will be comparable to the cost of maintaining your Rolex, assuming you upgrade your Apple Watch every two or three generations.

        Rolexes and Apple Watches are apples and oranges. I own th

        • Oh, how quickly people forget Apple's failed attempt to sell a gold iWatch [cultofmac.com] for $10,000 - $17,000. Or the $115,000 iWatch [idigitaltimes.com]?

          And as another poster pointed out, you're a sucker to take it in for maintenance every year. It doesn't need it.

      • First - it was the article that made the comparison, not me. Second, you can spend $17,000 on an iWatch, or even $115,000 [idigitaltimes.com]. Both are for people with more money than brains.
      • by Ecuador ( 740021 )

        I have to admit a certain amount of ignorance here, but is it possible to get a Rolex for $400?

        Yep, that's standard price in most dark alleys.

  • by Parker Lewis ( 999165 ) on Wednesday February 01, 2017 @01:00PM (#53781691)
    If it's a success, nobody is required to admit, we'll see it everywhere and in the press, like iPods (in the past) or iPhones today.
    • If it's a success, nobody is required to admit, we'll see it everywhere and in the press, like iPods (in the past) or iPhones today.

      Fair enough, but the claim comes from their Q1 quarterly earnings call. I'd say they would be remiss in NOT admitting it were a success, given the target audience is investors.

  • by timholman ( 71886 ) on Wednesday February 01, 2017 @01:01PM (#53781711)

    The Apple Watch is only a "flop" in the sense that people don't need them the same way they need a smartphone. Compared to any other wearable, it's a runaway success, but people don't think about it in those terms, because it is an Apple product.

    Personally, I love my Apple Watch, but I'm old enough to be part of a generation that wore watches. I'll still put on my Rolex for dress-up occasions, but my Apple Watch is my go-to daily wearable.

    For people who didn't grow up wearing watches, the Apple Watch may elicit nothing but "meh" from them. So be it ... it is not a device for everyone, but it is an excellent device for people who want to wear a watch that does more than tell the time.

    • Compared to any other wearable, it's a runaway success, but people don't think about it in those terms, because it is an Apple product.

      Actually, it's NOT a "runaway success" "compared to any other wearable," which should be part of the metric. In particular, compared to a fitness tracker like FitBit, Apple's sales are a LOT smaller. (And, notably, Cook didn't reveal sales numbers here, but the Apple Watch has been trailing FAR behind FitBit sales last year.) Now, you might say, "That's a flawed comparison -- the FitBit is a lot cheaper and it's not a full-blown 'smart device.'"

      And that's true. But when the Apple Watch premiered, Tim

  • by unixcorn ( 120825 ) on Wednesday February 01, 2017 @01:02PM (#53781729)

    Most of the kids I work with have an Apple Watch to go along with their iPhones. I have an iPhone and love it but I can't bring myself to replace my current watch, which is a 28 year old Rolex, with an ugly Apple Watch. I bought my Rolex in the 80s and made payments on it for a couple of years. I wear it nearly every day so from a value standpoint, if I did an ROI on it and tried to compare it's value to tech that will probably only last a couple of years, I am sure the Apple watch is not a good investment. Call me a snob but maybe if they can figure out how to put the Apple Watch guts in an Oyster case, I may be more interested.

  • What does it do, prick you if you don't exercise?

  • by thegarbz ( 1787294 ) on Wednesday February 01, 2017 @01:04PM (#53781755)

    I come here for news, not for people wanking over completely insignificant statics.

    And that's what they are, the Apple watch is by far the best and most popular of a product category that the overwhelming majority of people couldn't care less about. I think I've seen like 2 of these things, both of them worn by people who work in IT.

    The fact that they sold more than they could make is positive marketing speak for "even we thought it wouldn't sell".

  • by Nunya666 ( 4446709 ) on Wednesday February 01, 2017 @01:07PM (#53781797)
    IIRC, I saw an article a week or two ago that said "It's time to admit Apple Watch is a Failure." Seriously.
  • "Apple claimed watch revenues second only to Rolex. How can it not be considered a hit at this point?"

    How you ask?

    When you have to game the revenue statistics so hard that you are forced to compare a single product from a tech company against an entire brand that pretty much manufactures one fucking thing that only 0.1% of humans can afford, it tends to bring into question any other claims related to "success".

    In short, you're reaching here. A lot. Let's also see how well this fad pans out in the coming years, as I doubt even the iLemmings are going to be able to help Apple hold that revenue claim.

  • I know a few people who have Apple Watches. They like them all right, but at least one says that it's seriously overpriced for what you get. And at least the Series I can be painfully slow. I have no interest in owning a smart watch of any kind, but if I did, I would do what I did with Android phones. I would start off with the cheapest one I could buy that would do what I want it to do, then slowly work my way up to something more expensive that's a really good fit for me. You can't do that with Appl
  • "Long time Apple commentator Rene Ritchie writes: ...Much like there's no real "tablet market"

    I'll have to be blunt, but I'm guessing the reality distortion field didn't quite die with it's creator. The fact that Apple has more revenue than competition, as it happens with the iPhone, doesn't mean there is a market or that the market is profitable (it might for the iPhone, and probably also for the iPad, but definitely not for any smartwatch, including the iWatch). In the case of the iPhone, it's factual the

  • by sl3xd ( 111641 ) on Wednesday February 01, 2017 @01:33PM (#53782079) Journal

    Trying to call the Apple Watch a failure is wishful thinking for those who hate it.

    I see quite a few Apple watches as I walk around my city going to/from work. I'm seeing more Apple Watches, in fact, than any other single brand of watch. It's reached the point where I'm seeing more Apple Watches than other fitness trackers (though that's due more to a decline in fitness tracker use than Apple's success).

    I don't know any of those owner's use case for the Apple Watch, and they sure as hell have no obligation to justify their consumer choice to me or anyone else.

    So at the end of the day, I have to go with the reality I see, instead of falling back to "alternative facts" that support the narrative I like. I'm seeing a decent number of Apple Watches, and it's effectively the only smartwatch I see.

    There's certainly nothing approaching the kind of penetration we see with smartphones, but as far as I can see, the Apple Watch is effectively the only smartwatch people buy.

    Let's face it, this article is effectively /. clickbait - it'll generate a lot of comments (of which I'm guilty). There's a sizable portion of the /. readership who will instantly start frothing at the mouth at the merest hint of any Apple story.

    Given the cancellation of a few anticipated Android cousins, we become all the more rabid should the Apple Watch be mentioned.

    A story about the Apple Watch being successful? Just post it and watch the clicks roll in.

  • My Pillow is the #1 pillow recommended by the National Sleep Foundation.

  • Its true, just thinking about the watch makes my heart rate go up which has caused me to get rid of my elliptical and I no longer go hiking or trail running. Just thinking about the Apple watch give me all the cardio I need.

  • About whether the Apple Watch is a success or not.

There are running jobs. Why don't you go chase them?