This is less of a crisis and more of situation that Apple works hard to address. Adrian Kinglsey-Hughes on the complexity of explaining what Apple Watch actually does (among the less than insightful ZDnet methodology):
Apple loves to brag about sales figures for all of its devices except one – the Apple Watch. When to comes to this device, Apple executives all clam up, claiming that to divulge sales figures for this device would somehow give its competitors some valuable information.
With no numbers to chew on, the consensus is that numbers are bad. That’s not insightful analysis, that’s a dubious assumption. Bad numbers must be compared to something good, and if the rush to judgement is the iPhone, then every product has bad sales; Mac, iPad, et al. That’s not the case.
Watch is an accessory to iPhone so sales numbers must, by definition, be less; yet it has sold more than the original iPhone or iPad, so there’s that.
So why is Apple having a problem selling this bit of shiny kit, when it’s not had any problems moving hundreds of millions of units of other shiny things?
Again, faulty analysis leads to faulty assumptions. iPhone is a mature product with a distinct and definite need for the masses. Watch is a new product that works only as an accessory. They should not be compared because they are not the same.
The problem, as I see it, has nothing to do with the technology itself, or the price of the Apple Watch, or for that matter the fact that its functionality is so tied to having an iPhone nearby. It’s much more subtle than that, and it could be something hard for Apple to address.
The problem is that it’s hard to explain concisely what the Apple Watch does.
Again, faulty analysis. The Watch use case or value proposition is very easy to explain, but it takes much longer than an iPhone or iPad. Watch usage is either, 1) simplistic; time and a few notifications, or, 2) complex; many apps, multiple alerts et al. And the latter requires far more effort to setup and manage– for an accessory– than the iPhone requires out of the box.
Almost every other hardware product that Apple has released over the years has been something well-defined and easy to describe in a few words.
Kingsley-Hughes’ list of product descriptions is a good one, but each of those are standalone products with very specific use cases and distinct value propositions. Watch is, despite the device’s size, more complex, but not necessarily less useful, as anyone who owns a Watch will tell you.
From there on it’s the typical Kingsley-Hughes polite screed, verbiage designed to annoy Apple’s legion of fan folks, while giving fodder to ZNnet’s decidedly pro-Windows, non-Apple readership.
Watch is an accessory. A complex, somewhat complicated accessory with a long list of uses which go beyond simplistic terms. He says a Mac is a computer, but that’s simplistic because a Mac has many, many uses. Ditto for iPhone. It’s a smartphone, but usage goes beyond just a phone. Watch is an accessory, a filter for the iPhone’s many notifications and alerts, plus it doubles as a health tracker.
Was that so hard?