Just 6.8M smartwatches sold in 2014 at an average price of $189

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  • Reply 21 of 52
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,119member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by chrismarriott View Post

     
    The Apple Watch, like the iPod, is going to redefine its category, carve out a new consumer electronics mass-market, and maintain dominance over it.  Apple is so far ahead with its in-house technoogies (like its A-series CPUs and now the Apple Watch's S1), manufacturing, desing, and software development that the competition won't ever really catch up.


     


    Here's a piece I wrote on Friday that expains how and why the Apple Watch is a much, much bigger deal than the tech media is reporting: http://torusoft.com/blog/the-ipod-all-over-again


     

    Just bookmarked your blog. You know how to write, and deeply understand Apple, which is a rare thing (especially for people who like to write about Apple). So many truisms, for example:

     

    Quote:

    They can't imagine the future unless someone shows it to them. And even when someone does, they seem to frame the future in the context of the past. Every time a new Apple product ships, this lack of imagination leads to the same people explaining how Apple will fail while lacking the ability to explain how Apple succeeds.


     

    Perfect summary of people who are good at mocking and bashing the Apple Watch, then failing to articulate what the alternative should be. Epitome of intellectual laziness. 

     

    Apple seems to have done everything right with the Apple Watch, in terms of positioning, design, functionality, and how it will be marketed- as far as current technology will allow. Apple Apple Watch might be Apple's most ambitious and complex product to date- just because of how the item is viewed socially, and where it falls in the technology/fashion spectrum. So many different demographic to please. 

  • Reply 22 of 52
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by pmz View Post



    A smart person wouldn't bet against Apple selling every Watch they can make in 2015.



    Do you have even a close estimate of how many AppleWatches that would be?  5 million?  10 million?  I'm sure no one has a clue.  Maybe not even Apple.

  • Reply 23 of 52
    brucemcbrucemc Posts: 1,527member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Steffen Jobbs View Post

     

    No matter how many AppleWatches are sold, Wall Street can simply say their sales expectations weren't met and make AppleWatch appear as a failure.  I don't have a clue how many AppleWatches Apple intended to sell the first year and how many AppleWatches Wall Street expects Apple to sell.  There could be a huge gap in expectations.  The news media and pundits are going to break down the sales and start harping about why Apple can't sell as many Edition models as they sell Sports or Stainless models.  I'd think if Apple could sell 5 million AppleWatches total in a year that would be a good start, but I keep hearing all these figures of tens of millions of AppleWatches being sold and I just don't think that is possible.




    Don't confuse Wall Street with the media/pundits/bloggers/Internet fools, etc.  While Wall Street doesn't "get" Apple, as the market pricing has, for the most part, under valued their growth rate historically, and they cannot understand how the company achieves success, they are not generally negative on Apple.  Most analysts are quite positive on Apple in fact, and only a few believe Apple has near-term large challenges.  When Apple shares went south a couple of years ago, most continued to maintain buy ratings and had higher price targets than the market, often by a lot .  You can accurately say those analysts are not going their investors many favours by being behind the curve, but they are hardly trashing Apple.

     

    Now, media of all stripes are certainly guilty of putting a "negative spin" on their stories about Apple (and it gets worse each year), but for the most part that is purely based on their incentives to get as many clicks as possible.  There are no doubt some (like a few posters on this forum) that truly believe (despite overwhelming evidence) that Apple is nothing more than a marketing company, that their products are inferior, that is only the late Steve Jobs / Jony Ive / reality distortion field that accounts for Apple's success - and write their faux-critical articles because they believe it is correct.

  • Reply 24 of 52
    brucemc wrote: »

    Did you read Gruber's piece on his view of pricing?  He hinted yesterday that his forecast of the stainless steel watch with band coming in at around $1000 USD was "pretty accurate", which indicates his Apple sources might be giving that feedback.  


    The interesting thing in his blog post was that he believes Apple may restrict the bands - that you can't simply buy the Sport edition and then pay for a high-end stainless steel band for it.  All speculation of course, but if true it indicates Apple is serious about creating some higher pricing tiers.

    Prediction: Amazon will be flooded with stainless steel watch bands for the Sport edition, made in China. $14.95 each, free 2nd day delivery with Prime. Because: did Apple ever sell its own watch bands for the iPod Nano? And did that stop others from trying?
  • Reply 25 of 52
    jfanningjfanning Posts: 3,388member
    melgross wrote: »
    Not as much as it used to be. At one time, there was a big fight over whether the S40 series from Nokia were smartphones or feature phones, for example. The iPhone, when it came out that first year, was never described, by Apple, as a smartphone, and going by the standards these days, it would have been right between a featurephone and a smartphone.

    But yes, there are a number of AOSP phones that could be described as feature phones, in the practical sense.

    The S40 was never described as a smartphone.

    Which ASAP phones are feature phones and why?
  • Reply 26 of 52
    thomprthompr Posts: 1,511member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post



    Duh. Everyone else is in a race to the bottom fighting for the same market share.



    I will say though IF Apple is going to be selling ?Watches that are thousands of dollars they need to be on the ball in terms of marketing and they need to address the obsolescence question. That New Yorker profile on Jony Ive said that 10 minute ?Watch into video came out of his shop (I think they typically are produced by marketing) and he largely directed and edited it. So I wonder if he and perhaps Angela Ahrendts will be more involved in marketing this product. If there is an event before ?Watch goes on sale I wonder who will be on stage announcing prices and other details. Usually it's Phil Schiller but at the September event it was Tim Cook.

     

    Whenever you see one of those 10-minute presentations for a new Apple product that features Jony Ive talking on a white background, interspersed with images, audio, and perhaps some appearances by other employees, I think that it was probably made in Jony's shop (directed, edited, produced by him).   These seem more like high-quality behind-the-scenes documentaries that show the magic of how the product is designed and made, which is fundamentally different from standard marketing material (although useful as such on the Apple website).   I doubt that Jony would let the marketing department direct his message there.  So, unless I'm wrong and all of those other similar Ive videos were made by marketing, I don't see how we can glean anything from the information in the New Yorker profile that Ive directed this one.

     

    Having said all of that, I think it's quite clear that Jony's role in the presentation of Apple has increased greatly, from hardware, to software, to Apple Store design, and, perhaps as you suggest, to marketing as well.  I say, keep it up Jony, until you show your limits.

     

    <Off-topic Rant>

     

    Speaking of Jony and his design skills and increased role in all things design, I do have one bone to pick with him:  I don't like where Apple moved the power button on the iPhone 6.  I understand that the goal was to make the button more reachable on iPhone 6 when you are using it one-handed and don't have giant hands.  (If you are using the phone with both hands, any location would work, and the original location would be fine.)   Unfortunately, I have discovered that I often have to change my grip even more to press the power button in its new location than I would if it had remained in the previous spot!   Sure, I can REACH the button with my thumb in its new location more easily, but in order to effectively PRESS IT DOWN I have to simultaneously press against the opposite side of the phone.  Starting from a position where I'm holding the phone like I'm going to make a call (thumb on one side, right index finger gripping the other side) it's no big deal to move the thumb up a bit and just press.  I am already gripping the phone and several fingers are firmly pressed against the other side.  But more often than not, I'm using the phone one-handed to surf the web, or text, or use an app, etc.  In these cases, my thumb is above the home button and/or screen, my index finger is supporting the iPhone's back somewhat near the top, and the remaining three fingers are splayed out not-so-firmly around the bottom left edge of the phone.  Unlike the smaller previous iPhones that I could firmly grip while surfing, the iPhone 6 is essentially resting in the last knuckles of my fingers or against fingertips.  Everything is where it needs to be to maintain a delicate balance and the phone is nowhere near a state in which I can provide resistance for the press.  In fact, the most economical shift-of-grip I can come up with that results in being able to provide the needed resistance also results in my index finger being situated such that it is fully capable of reaching the original location!   So why move it?  From the position I'm describing as my most commonly used, it's actually much easier for my index finger to reach the location where the button used to be (and press down) than to move my thumb up to the new location and my index finger (or middle finger) over to the opposite side for leverage.  Be careful not to drop the phone throughout this multi-finger-delicate-balance shift!   And make sure that you don't provide that leverage exactly opposite the power button, because that's where the volume buttons are.  The phone won't turn off.  The volume will increase.   "Well", you might say, "the iPhone 6 isn't exactly designed for one-handed use, so stop using it that way before you drop it, fool!"  True that. True that.  But if that's true, then you didn't need to move the power button to begin with!  Two hands can easily reach everywhere!

     

    It's especially annoying that the volume buttons are directly opposite the power button.  Sometimes when you are trying to change the volume or put the phone to sleep, you press both buttons and don't get the result you wanted.  That is bad design, in my opinion.

     

    I'll get off my soapbox now, because I obviously need to catch my breath.  :)

     

    Besides, I love everything else about the new design, and it's really not a big enough deal for me to even think twice about leaving the comfort of Apple.  I just hope they think about changing this back again on a future model.  (Not holding the breath that I just caught, though.)

     

    </Off-topic Rant>

  • Reply 27 of 52
    jakeb wrote: »
    After working on a Watchkit App, it becomes clear that the Apple Watch is designed mostly as wearable external monitor for the iPhone. In Xcode, the simulator is even listed under "External monitors", shared with iPhone video-out. The Apple watch will likely get thinner, get better battery life, get a better screen, get wireless charging, get fancier health sensors, get style updates... but the core functionality of the Apple Watch should last for a very long time compared to other tech because most of the heavy lifting happens on the phone, not the watch. 

    I don't draw that same conclusion. You're only looking at 3rd-party apps on the iPhone that will connect to ?Watch. There are still all the features of ?Watch that are independent of requiring a tethered iPhone in order to use.
  • Reply 28 of 52
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post

     
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by chrismarriott View Post

     
    The Apple Watch, like the iPod, is going to redefine its category, carve out a new consumer electronics mass-market, and maintain dominance over it.  Apple is so far ahead with its in-house technoogies (like its A-series CPUs and now the Apple Watch's S1), manufacturing, desing, and software development that the competition won't ever really catch up.


     


    Here's a piece I wrote on Friday that expains how and why the Apple Watch is a much, much bigger deal than the tech media is reporting: http://torusoft.com/blog/the-ipod-all-over-again


     

    Just bookmarked your blog. You know how to write, and deeply understand Apple, which is a rare thing (especially for people who like to write about Apple). 


    Couldn't agree more. I am not normally a fan of people who self-promote on AI, but this is a superb blog, and well worth a read. Also, highly apropos to this thread. Thanks, Mr. Marriott.

  • Reply 29 of 52
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by thompr View Post

     

    Speaking of Jony and his design skills and increased role in all things design, I do have one bone to pick with him:  I don't like where Apple moved the power button on the iPhone 6.  


    I have to agree that it's an extremely poor -- and annoying -- design choice. I've been saying this since Day 1.

     

    I wouldn't be surprised if Apple moved it back where it was in the next version.

  • Reply 30 of 52
    I bet Apple Watch effectively promotes the sales of the rather "superior" iPhone 6 Plus, as opposed to just the regular "6", because it will enable the Plus to be stowed safely away most of the time while on the go.
  • Reply 31 of 52
    Couldn't agree more. I am not normally a fan of people who self-promote on AI, but this is a superb blog, and well worth a read. Also, highly apropos to this thread. Thanks, Mr. Marriott.

    And he made it clear that he wrote it, which I appreciate.
  • Reply 32 of 52
    I'll most likely buy one and change style with a cheap eBay strap. Like my iPhone's I'll update it when there is a new feature I want.
    That's all.
  • Reply 33 of 52
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jakeb View Post

     

    It would be nice for them to address the obsolescence question, but...

     

    After working on a Watchkit App, it becomes clear that the Apple Watch is designed mostly as wearable external monitor for the iPhone. In Xcode, the simulator is even listed under "External monitors", shared with iPhone video-out. The Apple watch will likely get thinner, get better battery life, get a better screen, get wireless charging, get fancier health sensors, get style updates... but the core functionality of the Apple Watch should last for a very long time compared to other tech because most of the heavy lifting happens on the phone, not the watch. 




    Very interesting comment ... In a way, the iOS mobiles we carry with us can be viewed as extensions of a "master" desktop machine, where the iTunes, iPhoto and other "personal" contents reside, and can be more easily managed. Similarly, the Apple watch can be viewed as an extension of the iPhone, located on the body at a place where the iPhone itself cannot be, and easily accepted (contrary to Google glass), because taking the appearance of a conventional watch (which is just a disguise ....).

     

    One could imagine other sensors, located on other parts of the human body, interacting the same way with the iPhone ....

     

    We have here a fundamental design decision, similar to the one explaining the iPod success (designing the iPod as a device to hear/watch the content, but NOT to manage it).

  • Reply 34 of 52
    melgross wrote: »

    Watches, even smart watches, are more of a fashion thing than they are a practical thing. <snip>

    From that perspective, then it's very important that high profile people, especially media and music stars KEEP wearing the ?Watch so it holds its relevance as a fashion item. How that is encouraged is an issue Apple likely will address.
    As has been pointed out elsewhere, high end buyers would likely not care much about their watch being obsolete. They can afford to buy a new one every two years or so, and trade their old one in, if they decide to do so.

    Probably true. But as I mentioned above the ?Watch needs to remain relevant as a fashion item. Apple may release new bands during fashion week each year or seasonally to (1) update the ?Watch from a fashion standpoint, and (2) Keep the fashion-conscious buyers engaged. Perhaps through special events for ?Watch owners. From a fashion standpoint, fashion leaders will drive the market for the fashion-conscious buyers — so Angela Ahrendts and her posse will earn their money once the watch is out the door.
    At $350, it really doesn't matter at all. But it's interesting that Apple made a point of the modularity of the electronics package inside. Perhaps all of the modules are modular. The sensor platform on the bottom is one unit made from Zirconium oxide. That module can likely be replaced easily. The battery as well. The display probably isn't that important, as Apple isn't likely to do much to it, as the resolution is likely enough for several years.

    I agree - Apple has a modularity to the single electronic package inside the ?Watch that may be how Apple will satisfy the upgrade question when it becomes an issue. It may be interesting to see how much a first generation ?Watch with it's S1 module still intact will sell for in 25 or 30 years. (I know I now regret disposing of my 128K Mac)
    It might be the stainless steel buyers who would care the most. If Apple did decide to upgrade the electronics and possibly, the battery, every three years, or so, that would be great. But why would they? After all, people buy new phones every two years, on average. If they bought a new watch every five or six years, on average, it would be fine.

    I really expect Apple to treat ?Watch owners differently than owners of other Apple products in how upgrades and marketing is done. I could see Apple at important events, such as the Oscars with a room where celebs could get their watch upgrades while they are being interviews... something like that to splash the Apple name out there while connected to the upper crust of society.
  • Reply 35 of 52
    hydrogen wrote: »
    Very interesting comment ... In a way, the iOS mobiles we carry with us can be viewed as extensions of a "master" desktop machine, where the iTunes, iPhoto and other "personal" contents reside, and can be more easily managed.

    Apple envisions the "master desktop machine" to be the iCloud, or the "time capsule" at worst. Apple does not consider its products to be clustered around a home-based desktop computer... the desktop computer is viewed to be on the same level as any of their other products (with the possible exception of the soon-to-be- released ?Watch).
  • Reply 36 of 52
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,507member
    rogifan wrote: »
    I'm very curious how Apple will price the cheapest stainless steel model. If it's a lot more expensive than the Sport model I think Apple will have a harder time getting people to buy up. If Apple wants a lot of people buying the stainless steel watch I think they should price the base model (SS with Sport band) at an attractive enogh price and then let the bands be the lust worthy item. The thing you didn't come in the store to buy but it's so nice you have to have it.

    the numbers for the watch industry show the average price for a Swiss watch to be $739 last year. So Apple could price it that way. There were over 29 million Swiss watches sold last year, so that's a large enough group to be selling to. If Apple sold it for somewhat less, say $600, as a number I've been seeing written about, then it would be in the lower side of the average. That would be tempting.]
  • Reply 37 of 52
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,507member
    brucemc wrote: »

    Did you read Gruber's piece on his view of pricing?  He hinted yesterday that his forecast of the stainless steel watch with band coming in at around $1000 USD was "pretty accurate", which indicates his Apple sources might be giving that feedback.  


    The interesting thing in his blog post was that he believes Apple may restrict the bands - that you can't simply buy the Sport edition and then pay for a high-end stainless steel band for it.  All speculation of course, but if true it indicates Apple is serious about creating some higher pricing tiers.

    If Apple doesn't make bands available, I think it would be a mistake. Apple may not feel that way, but I don't know how they've arrived at their end point. Did they consult people in the fashion and watch industries? They hired a few very high level people from there, and I imaging that Ahrens also knows something about watches and fashion.

    I would buy a stainless model. Not this year, most likely, but likely next year. Depending on the pricing, I might buy it with a leather strap. But I've always had problems with leather straps. I destroy them quickly. So, later on, I would want to get the steel bracelet. That will likely cost quite a bit, from looking at it. If I couldnt, I would be unsure if I wanted to do the buy at all. I would imagine, or at least I hope they would, be aware of that decision process for many people.
  • Reply 38 of 52
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,507member
    rogifan wrote: »
    I don't doubt the SS bands will be quite expensive but I just don't see how Apple can sell a Sport watch for $349 and then a SS watch with sport band for $300-$400 more. What makes the SS watch with black or white sport band worth that much more of a premium? If we're to believe Gruber Apple's pricing wll be $349 > $749. Seems like way to much of a price gap and would make it more difficult to upsell. Unless Apple is expecting most of the sales to come from the Sport model and the other two collections are just for Apple execs rich friends?

    If you look at a high quality watch bracelet out of SS, you will see that it can easily cost well over $500. These are complex devices themselves, with a lot of hand assembly and finishing.

    As far as the case itself goes, people will believe that a 316L material is much more valuable than one out of anodized aluminum. It will look much more refined, and it will be heavier. When people pick something up, the heavier one always seems worth more. Forging SS is a much more expensive process than machining aluminum, and there is machining to do for the SS model as well.

    If you go to Apple's site, and go to the watch section, you will see that the SS model just looks a heck of a lot better.
  • Reply 39 of 52
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,507member
    jfanning wrote: »
    The S40 was never described as a smartphone.

    Which ASAP phones are feature phones and why?

    I didn't say that Nokia described them that way. But the tech forums were always having arguments about it. They weren't smartphones, they were featurephones. But some of the better models had smartphone like functionality.

    ASAP? Do you mean AOSP? I don't have model numbers. But you can read about the many models in China, India and some other places that have the minimum of functionality, and have no access to an App Store, or other services that we consider part of the smartphone experience today.

    I'm not going to get into an argument with you about it. It is what it is.
  • Reply 40 of 52
    melgross wrote: »
    If you go to Apple's site, and go to the watch section, you will see that the SS model just looks a heck of a lot better.

    Speaking of that, the white and black plastic bands for ?Watch look the same as for ?Watch Sport, meaning aluminium, but the white plastic band for ?Watch Edition clearly is at least gold in colour.

    1) Do you thunk the white band for the ?Watch Edition is using 18t gold for all the metal components, including the area of the band that will attach to the casing, which I am assuming is metal and not a hard plastic.

    2) Do you think the standard white and black plastic bands are the exact same between ?Watch Sport and ?Watch, which would likely mean aluminium?


    400
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