Apple Watching (I’ll see myself out…)
Tonight I had the luxury of meeting with a good friend of mine. Tired after working another day in the service industry on my end, and for him another long day in the office, we met for fondue. Topping the end of a day with welcome conversations and good food.
But mainly unloading our geek thoughts from the latest Apple event.
We should meet women.
Our attention shifted towards the Apple Watch as we simply shrugged the new iPhone off.
As we talked I noticed something about the Apple Watch that really seems off: It isn’t rebuilding or defining a market. It isn’t a necessity.
It’s an accessory.
This isn’t the same Apple that built iTunes or the iPod.
This isn’t the Apple that reinvented the smartphone in 2007 with the iPhone.
This is an Apple who for the first time in recent memory is forced to compete on the merits of its products in a market where a reinvention is met with the shrug of speculation. Instead of making a watch we need Apple is moving to making products we can simply live without. That initial mystery of a new product that so defined the swagger of a late 2000's resurgence is fading as Apple evolves towards the predictable.
Which gives me room for hesitancy. After a decade where Apple revolutionized music, phones and tablets is the world ready for an Apple that can’t reinvent the wheel for every product?
As I see it we’ve seen and heard rumors about the Apple Watch for nearly as long as the Apple TV. The hype and mythos surrounding these fabled products reaches a pitched fever where a fan-base will take any grasp of rumor and make it a fact. That cycle is the very thing that can come to destroy these products Apple is now in process is making.
Looking at the Apple Watch its easy to see the mystic of the rumors triumphed over the reality we got.
We don’t need it.
Yet Apple is selling it.
Much as it now sells Beats headphones.
It’s not a bad device by any means.
Yet history has shown that first generation Apple product is usually the rough draft. Being released in a market where the competition is making equally compelling products at a rate that allows for relatively fast reactions from the consumer base.
It’s the speed that allowed companies like Samsung to go from this.
In less than a year.
It’s also a marketplace where old dogs like Motorola can make something like this.
The reality facing Apple is that in every direction it now moves it must make a compelling case to us consumers that we need its products. It needs to recapture that Jobisan swagger to sell me a product, idea or service. Even though we as consumers may like your phones doesn’t mean a guaranteed sale.
This next decade may be critical for Apple as it enters markets that don’t need saved. Markets that only need a fresh coat of paint. And consumers that are more than willing to look elsewhere for the next thing.
We won’t wait Apple.
You shouldn’t either.