Prognostications of Doom for the Apple Watch

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[Photo by Stephen Lam/Getty Images]

I was so surprised by an article on the Wall Street Journal I began writing a comment.  After a few minutes, I realized the comment was a blog post, but I posted the comment anyway.  This is a part of my new effort to write..write all the time…write everywhere, and get better.

So this isn’t meant to be a slick or clean version of my post, I am just giving you what I wrote for my comment.

Forgive the mistakes, and understand I think the author, Daisuke Wakabayashi did a fantastic job.  My insight or opinion was people are misjudging Apple, and misreading the importance of wearables.

I am a big believer, because one day I think wearables will transform the lives of those with disabilities.

The article was essentially about the Apple Watch and it’s critics.  You can read the article here.  My comment is below.

Russ Ewell 1 minute ago

I am certain this timely and well written article will be saved by Tim Cook. There has been and will continue to be naysayers and critics of the Apple Smartwatch. In my view, the negative feedback needs to be more carefully examined.

Daisuke Wakabayashi wrote, “According to research firm Wristly,” some 93% of the Apple Watch users they surveyed satisfied with their wearable. Now, this isn’t Gallup or Pew, but one can guess this will be the response of the majority of users. Interestingly enough, the individual in the article who was unsatisfied by his Apple Watch was able to sell it, in order to buy his Pebble Watch. Hard for me to believe he would have been able to do the reverse.

My point is all negative prognostications about the watch are premature, and as much as I like Fred Wilson, why is he being quoted, when he owns shares of Fitbit? My guess is no other high profile individual was willing to be quoted on such a risky call, except one with a…let’s say..bias perspective.

I do not own an Apple Watch. They are too expensive for the value they deliver. My guess is a number of consumers feel the same way. All first generation products travel through an early adopter phase, where highly motivated consumers are willing to pay any price to own the product. I believe this is what is happening with the Apple Watch, but we are surprised, because it isn’t what usually happens to Apple.

Why is Apple suffering through this difficult phase of only having early adopters buy their Watches. Simple. Apple almost never goes first. They wait until several companies attempt to produce a product, watch them fail, then take note of all their mistakes. Then they produce a product solving all of the problems and dominate the market.

This instinct to watch and wait comes from Steve Jobs. I think he learned this with the ‘Lisa,’ and especially with the Macintosh, where he had the right product with wrong timing and corporate support. So, when he returned to Apple, as has been done documented by many, he slimmed down the product line and waited. Jobs then tackled music, phones, tablets, and in his spare time animated movies. In my opinion, all of this was done by waiting.

What happened with the Apple Watch? Tim Cook didn’t wait. He saw Google’s Android Watch, the Pebble, and others. What went wrong? He didn’t wait for them to fail. He didn’t wait for them to hit rock bottom, so he would know exactly what needed to be done to make the right watch, at the right price, with the right capabilities.

Did Tim Cook make a mistake? No! He is not nor does he want to be Steve Jobs. I listened to his interview on Charlie Rose, and one thing is clear, he has a vision for the watch. I agree with his vision for the watch, because I see the vision for wearables.

At the moment people want the proverbial faster horse (Henry Ford), which is a different or better smartphone. What they don’t realize is they need something completely different. The world is changing. When we can make phone calls, send email via voice, and have our phone (I meant watch without the phone so this was an error in my original) give us turn by turn directions through a Bluetooth connected Smartwatch, everyone will say…I wish I had doubled down on Apples stock


Also published on Medium.

About Russ Ewell

Since 1994 I have been devoted to the research and application of innovative technology solutions to education. My passion for these pursuits has been driven by my experience as a parent of children with special needs. During the economic technological growth explosion of the 1990's I was lived and worked in Silicon Valley, and was fortunate enough to find a group of people with similar interests and passions. As a result I was able to launch a non-profit called Hope Technology Group whose mission became advancing the use of technology in education. We eventually launched Hope Technology School, which has used technology to build a fascinating and effective educational program that practices full inclusion. Around the same time, I was fortunate enough to develop and build an awarding winning program called E-Soccer with the help of great friends and excellent coaches. These endeavors have left me with a continuing hunger to learn more about the possibilites of education, technology, and inclusion.

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