The Apple iWatch Hall of Fail - 9 Predictions of iWatch Doom

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The Apple iWatch Crystal BallThe Apple iWatch Crystal Ball

It hit me the other day that I would love to have a list of everyone who predicted that Apple's so-called iWatch will fail. And then I realized, who better to make such a list than me?

Apple hasn't even announced the iWatch, and yet it was pretty easy to find eight mainstream examples of people who just know that Apple is going to fall on its face with this thing. I know there's more out there, and I would appreciate it you'd let me know when you see them. I'll be updating this list as time marches on.

So far, there's a consistent theme in these predictions, and that's people assuming Apple will fail because everyone else has failed with smartwatches. I've written about in the past, but it bears mentioning again: Apple won't do a smartwatch like previous smartwatches, just like it didn't do MP3 players, online music stores, smartphones, or tablets like those that came before.

One more note: If Apple's iWatch does fail in the market, I'll change this list into a Prediction Hall of Fame pointing out how these folks got it right.

In no particular order:

 

Author: Jon Markman - Watch Out When Apple Goes For The Wrist
Publication: Forbes on June 24th, 2014
Short Version: Nobody wants to play Plants vs. Zombies on their wrist, smartwatches are stupid, real time pieces are made by Breitling and Tag, and "the smartwatch is a solution in search of a problem." Plus, you know, battery power.
Bryan's Notes: This is the piece that gave me the idea of keeping this record. It's a great example of looking for answers inside the box.

 

Author: Rocco Pendola - Apple's Smartwatch Will Probably Fail
Publication: TheStreet on June 23rd, 2014
Short Version: Smartwatches are gimmicks and nobody wants one.
Bryan's Notes: Rocco Pendola is a smart cookie and a class act. I wrote a column taking him to task for this particular piece, and he took it in stride (and even tweeted it). We also made a bet: if Apple sells less than 40 million units in the first calendar year of availability, the iWatch will be labeled a failure. If it sells more, the device is a success. The loser writes a guest post explaining how the winner was right. Fun, right?

 

Author: Trip Chowdry in Comments to CNBC
Soap Box: Global Equities Research on March 20th, 2014
Short Version: If Apple doesn't release the iWatch in 60 days, the company will disappear.
Bryan's Notes: This wasn't just an iWatch Hall of Fail entry, it was an Apple Death Knell Counter entry (#64). His absurd deadline came and went on May 19th, I might add, but Apple appears to have not gotten its death certificate.

 

Author: Megan Willett - DEAR APPLE: We Don't Want A Smart Watch Because The Classic Wrist Watch Will Never Die
Publication: BusinessInsider on May 10th, 2013
Short Version: "Hey Apple head honchos, we don't care about smart watches, so don't even bother trying." Also, real time pieces are timeless.
Bryan's Notes: This piece reads like a love letter to mechanical watches, something I can personally get behind. I love watches. Real watches, that is. Mechanical marvels. The thing is that can remain true and Apple can also sell a bunch of iWatches.

 

Author: Rick Aristotle Muniz - 5 Reasons Why Apple's iWatch Will Fail
Publication:The Motley Fool on February 11th, 2013.
Short Version: No one wears watches any more, disrupting is hard, the iWatch might not do enough things, and it will probably be too pricey.

 

Author: Alexis McCrossen - Why the iWatch Will Likely Fail
Publication: Time on October 22nd, 2013
Short Version: The wrist is so old fashioned.

 

Author: Kevin Roose - Does Anybody Really Want an iWatch?
Publication: New York Magazine on February 12th, 2013
Short Version: Smartwatches have always failed in the past.

 

Author: Rob Enderle - What the iWatch Could Be if Apple Still Had Guts
Publication: TechNewsWorld
Short Version: The iWatch could be a success if Apple did this thing that HP once did but it won't do it because Apple isn't a risk taker any more.
Bryan's Notes: lolHP

 

Author: Sam Biddle - How Stupid Are You Willing to Look for Apple's Amazing Magical iWatch?
Publication: Gizmodo on February 13th, 2013
Short Version: Smartwatches are dumb and they look dumb and Apple only follows everyone else and you'll look dumb if you wear this.

Comments

geoduck

I’m a longtime iWatch skeptic.
More precisely I’ve been a skeptic of the rumours that have been floating around. I am dubious pif JUST an fitness tracker. I’ve not been impressed by the idea of the iWatch just being a remote screen for an iPhone.

I will remain dubious until it is released and see what it does.

Dorkus Maximus

Well I definitely want one now!

wab95

Bryan:

I love my Breitling. It is a monument to engineering excellence and precision graced in titanium aesthetic beauty.

Nonetheless, when I’m working at my laptop (as I should be doing now) I take it off, set it on the desk and, when I need to check the local time, glance up at the Apple menu bar or look up Hour World if I need a time zone check on a colleague’s location. Its functions are easily replicated by my workstation.

One of the features of our age is the redefining of simplication. In the classical age, it was characterised by substantial investment of expertise to do one thing exceptionally well and reliably. But this still required that we have multiple things to do each of the vital tasks we needed, sometimes even physically moving to the location where that thing did its one exceptional work (like the old landline telephone). We now live in an age where, for many, simplicity is the aggregation of core needs around us and available at our convenience. With our smartphones, this aggregation of what is important is highly individualised.

Our problem, as consumers, is often recognising what is important to us (like photographs for which we will literally risk life to salvage from a fire), and how much simpler and safer our lives could be if those things could be available to us at our convenience, and in recognising how conditioned we are to accessing those things in ways that remain inconvenient, even if accessed by a single classical device that does that thing exceptionally well. It’s about modifying our expectations and behaviour, which at scale is changing our culture.

For many, that’s a prospect too frightening to embrace. For this frightened lot, change can never be forestalled long enough. For others, the prospect of hitherto unavailable choices and opportunities, and how these alter how we live, is the adventure of life itself. For these latter few, progress seldom can come fast enough.

jhorvatic

I take exception to Sam Biddle’s comment that Apple only follows everyone else? Excuse me? I don’t think so. When Apple follows, it follows through with remarkable products. Case in point, the iPod, the iPhone, the iPad. The Macbook Air, the Mac Pro. And nobody has matched these products yet.
I find it ridiculous that there are so many predictions of failure for a product that doesn’t even exist yet. Apple has not announced any iWatch. So how does something that doesn’t exist able to fail? Nobody knows the specs, the software, the hardware, nothing. So how can you predict failure without any facts? If anyone really believes that Apple will follow the likes of Samsung with there piece of crap they labeled a smart watch I also take exception to as well. That was a rushed effort to be first for an absolutely horrible product. And of course nobody wants that.

Holland

I haven’t worn a watch for nearly a decade, but I was one of the folks who originally backed the Pebble. I like it primarily because it keeps me *away* from my phone, which now stays in my pocket. The thing counts my movements, sending it to the phone to tally a daily total. It allows me to filter all the messages coming through to me - and I keep aware of all with only a glance. it points my biking directions, reminds me to get up an walk or drink water, etc etc.

As a data-gathering, data-filtering device, it’s great; it’s┬ábasically triage for my digital life. Data just flows out - I don’t have to manage it like a phone.

A nice side bonus: where my phone could be nearly dead by day’s end, with the watch as a filter, my iPhone is now ends it’s day with between 50%-70% power, on average.

And as nice as the Pebble is, I can only dream of where Apple could take such a concept.

On the speculators - thanks for this news piece, so i don’t give them any views for their click-bait articles.

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