Few companies have more rabid
fans customers than Apple. Seriously. McDonald’s, maybe. Not even Google has more customers. They have users. But their customers give them money. They’re called advertisers. Even Microsoft doesn’t have as many customers as Apple. So, why is it that Apple’s customers love the company’s products but the legion of critics criticize every new product until it becomes a bonafide hit?
That’s what critics do. As a Mac, iPhone, iPad, Apple TV and now a Watch owner, I can tell you the same thing that pretty much every Apple customer can tell you. These products are fun to use and other products are not. To some critics Apple’s biggest failure in the 21st century is Watch. Apple won’t say how many Watch units have been sold so without real live actual numbers, the critics criticize Watch as a failure. Of course, Samsung doesn’t say how many Galaxy-whatevers it sells each year. Amazon doesn’t say how many Kindles or Fire tablets it sells each year, but somehow Apple is different.
With no real sales numbers Watch must be a failure. Until you use it for awhile.
Every time I drop into the Apple Store there’s some customer and an Apple associate setting up a Watch. Elsewhere there are customers buying another Watch band. Some survey takers point out that their numbers say Watch is doing just fine and owns more than 50-percent of the nascent smartphone industry at exactly the same time as Swiss watch makers are going into a depression.
What makes one like what has been called Apple’s worst new product?
Unlike an iPhone or iPad or even a Mac, the use case or value proposition of Watch takes some effort because it does far more than tell time. What’s important to understand is where Watch fits into Apple’s product line. No, it’s not a full-fledged product like Mac or iPhone. Watch is an accessory to the iPhone.
Here’s my list of why Watch should not be on anyone’s list of worst Apple products ever.
- Time – it’s a watch, but the value isn’t just time, it’s complications (a watch person’s term for the little doohickey extras)
- Alarms – if you use your iPhone for alerts and alarms then you will love this functionality because it leaves the phone in your pocket or bag
- Weather – starting with temperature, of course, but weather conditions can be a complication, too, and that makes getting info much easier and more convenient than with the phone
- Scores – if you track teams there are dozens of sports score apps for iPhone which also have a notification Watch function; beep, beep, score.
- Stocks – works like scores because certain iPhone apps track stocks and those stocks– going up or going down– can be part of a notification to your Watch.
- Tracking – fitness is all the rage and Watch works in concert with other iPhone apps to deliver steps to track your exercise and calorie burning
- Health – not much there yet but heart rate but some iPhone apps can alert you when the rate reaches a certain high or low point.
- Apple Pay – how much easier is it to point your wrist to the payment terminal than digging through a pocket, bag, or backpack for an iPhone.
- Navigation – the turn-by-turn navigation with little buzzes for direction takes some getting used to
- Apple TV Remote – how cool is that?
- Replies – whether email or text or just answering the phone, these little extras add up to a good way to keep in touch without much effort.
See? What’s not to like about that kind of list? The issue is just as it was with iPhone in the beginning. It takes awhile to set up, learn to navigate, and try out various options. That’s how accessories work. Today. I’m willing to be that Watch circa 2017 will be more standalone, with more functionality built-in.