My Photo

Ordering Information

Tomi on Twitter is @tomiahonen

  • Follow Tomi on Twitter as @tomiahonen
    Follow Tomi's Twitterfloods on all matters mobile, tech and media. Tomi has over 8,000 followers and was rated by Forbes as the most influential writer on mobile related topics

Book Tomi T Ahonen to Speak at Your Event

  • Contact Tomi T Ahonen for Speaking and Consulting Events
    Please write email to tomi (at) tomiahonen (dot) com and indicate "Speaking Event" or "Consulting Work" or "Expert Witness" or whatever type of work you would like to offer. Tomi works regularly on all continents

Tomi on Video including his TED Talk

  • Tomi on Video including his TED Talk
    See Tomi on video from several recent keynote presentations and interviews, including his TED Talk in Hong Kong about Augmented Reality as the 8th Mass Media

Subscribe


Blog powered by Typepad

« The Comprehensive App Economics Blog 2014 - Yes Peak App is apt name - Sheer disaster industry with only one sector making money | Main | Lets Discuss the iPhone 6 Models - Apple now in 'me-too' mode only following the leaders »

September 09, 2014

Comments

adi purbakala

Thank you tommi.
Very good.

Do you think non watch band like xiaomi miband or sony fitness band have better success rate?
(lighter, and more fahion)

abdul muis

Tomi,

Great analysis, and I want to add something here. Apple is REALLY LOST without steve jobs. The new guy, Tim Cook, just perplexed on how to make iphone more prestige, and do this: "Australian born designer Marc Newson has been hired to work in the creative heart of Apple under design guru and friend Jony Ive."...... LOL. Big LOL, seeing that headline, I think Apple is done.

I also think that following android manufacture on 4.7" & 5.5" screen size is a big mistake. It should be done years ago... Right now, this move just means VALIDATING that android doing the right things, and also making the buyer of non-flagship (last year) iphone user to switch to android. Just because iphone 6 for Men & iphone 6 for Women is too expensive for them, and apple just validate that big is cool, and this user will rather use/buy US$200-400 (non-subsidise) 5"-6" android rather than use/buy last-year 4" iphone 5S for teenager, or last-2-year 4" iphone 5 for teenager

abdul muis

they really need to follow your advice and re-introduce the iphone 5S, 5C, 5 in size not designed for teenager (4").

JohnG.

Completely agree. This thing has no reason for its existence other than replicating sub-optimally part of the functionality of a modern smartphone. It doesn't address any new real needs. Its only hope would be to come packed with health-related sensors that would generate the type of data and support the type of apps that simply don't exist in the smartphone world. Besides, it is ugly,,,

So Vatar

Tomi, I agree with your analysis, the Apple Watch will sell but it will by no means sell in huge numbers. I don't understand what Apple was thinking when they made having an iPhone 5 / 6 mandatory to use the Watch. Self limitation? Lack of imagination?

Now we have to endure a few days of hype around the Apple Watch by media outlets around the globe. But soon it will be back to business as usual. A life without the Apple Watch.

One addendum: Does anyone know if the Watch is water resistant? If not, just forget about it.

Tomi T Ahonen

Gosh guys, you are the best. Thanks for those fast comments!

adi - I think this iHype will benefit all smart wrist-device makers so yeah, all those others will thank their stars that Apple helps re-ignite the stagnant market where almost nobody in smart wrist-devices is turning a profit on their investment. The low-end players benefit disproportionately, as Apple helps identify now some needs but most who think that is 'worth something' won't spend 350 US dollars for that. But the cheap Chinese makers can greatly benefit.

So Vatar - brilliant comment! Brilliant. Why didn't I think of that? 350 dollars if its not waterproof, that is a deathnail.. and I didn't see immediately any mention of that. Maybe it is, if not, gosh, huge mistake

Keep the comments coming

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Janne

How to measure Apple? With the watch they are making an effective fashion and a design statement, not so much a business. There needs to be an Apple watch, so they made one, even pieces of gold. Apple plays with the emotions, creates a desire.

The watch is a bit awkward form like glasses are for those who don't really need them unless for a purpose. In the end we'll see an all sapphire jewelry like satellite device, or translucent parent devices.

Liron Segev

the biggest mistake Apple made is not having the iWatch available at the launch (BlackBerry made the same mistake at the Z10 launch). Right now the iFans all want one. By next year, lots more options will be available on the market.
I can't believe there is no mention of the two most critical components for a wearable device: Waterproofing and Battery life. These are all deal-breakers.

Mrdowntown

Tomi
Any links to similar dead-on-arrival predications about Android Wear?

E.Casais

Typo:

"The smartphone will look silly if we try to use it as a phone and holding it to our ear."

You surely mean "The smartwatch will look silly..."

"A phone can be rather easily operated on many functions single-handed."

Only for devices less than approximately 4.3". Phablets and large-display phones just cannot be used single-handedly. Except _during_ phone calls -- but typing a number or searching through the phonebook already requires both hands.

As for the criticism on smartwatches: you have good points, but there are a few functions that it could make sense to offload to a dedicated device like a watch.

For instance, payment by close proximity (e.g. in buses, subways, etc) or identification (e.g. electronic doors). It is more rapid and easier to just quickly place your wrist to a sensor while walking through a turnstile than to fumble in your pocket and hold a large, eminently "droppable" smartphone or phablet to the reader. In that sense, having a "slave" device to the smartphone is acceptable.

On the other hand, running apps or video-calling through a smartwatch look indeed like a silly proposition.

New Start

Tomi never explained how to measure a failure. How many units should the watch sell in 2015 so that it wouldn't be a failure?

Obviously Apple is not trying to start with something like the current iPhone sales. Maybe they will plan to start with the same kind of sales Apple had in 2007 with the first iPhone? That would make sense.

In any case we didn't get numbers from Tomi explaining what would be a failure and what wouldn't.

TT

Some time ago I too was surprised that Apple decided to release a watch but now I see it more as an entry to wearables business. The watch is a first step in a journey to a generation devices, which I have no idea what they'll be and how they're going to be worn but which all serious companies needs to be part of.

It's like Google Glass. Completely douchey and laughable thing right now but a step towards a contact lens with similar features.

tz

They need a "dumb phone-watch". I don't have a smartphone (I have an LG Glance w/ extended battery - lasts a month standby or longer than the record senate filibuster connected), but have several tablets (all can make internet phone calls). Or maybe a feature watch. I always have a bluetooth headset (typically blue-parrot can't hear the rock concert around me). I might be interested in a watch-phone that would just do the phone part (with my cell hotspot).

1. The screen will be too small to do anything - unless you look like you are about to swoon with optics so you can see a retinal screen a few inches from your eye.

2. It needs to tether. So it is watch plus... Even google glass has to connect somewhere. If I need anything additional, why not use whatever it is I need to tether it to as I've already bought it, or something far cheaper and better. (See "Palm" below). If I have an iPhone with decent screen, why would I want to show pix on a watch? Or Audio/video? Samsung gets it "If there is a TV in the room...".

3. Forget any sane UI. Crown replacing pinch? Laugh or cry? You need voice or something equivalent. Hey, maybe morse code! Samsung at least admits you need a keypad.

4. Since losing the already uncomfortable watch decades ago, I don't see myself wanting to put a piece of plastic, metal (hey, copper can turn your skin green so maybe they can give iTattoos), or most things.

4a. It isn't thin, flexible, light, or anything else. They would have been better off to do a "remote display" - stream from the tether device and send control. The notification area on my wrist in a superlightweight would work. A smaller iPhone on my wrist doesn't. Maybe an aux camera/mic - but the iPhone will be in your pocket. Google Glass but on your wrist and cumbersome.

5. I have a 7" amazon kindle hdx for media consumption. It fits in my pocket, and is my "phablet". Spot-on for screen size My alternate is a Samsung Galaxy Note 2014 (so I can actually cut-paste and use an onscreen keyboard w/pen).

Here is the problem and the miss. Remember the Palm (pilot)? It was a remote, a peripheral. It stored clips, and didn't try to be a main computer.

eddie

To sum up the article. Smart watches are redundant (though less usable, practical, powerful, etc than smart phones) and pointless and thus won't sell. I agree.

So Vatar

Makes me think what I'd like form a wearable:

1) Lots of sensors to track what I am doing, what my condition is (sports tracking, health tracking, etc. Like pulse, steps / movement, body temperature, etc).
2) Proximity unlock (replacing car keys, house keys, office (key) cards etc). Also used to provide additional log in credentials for corporate systems or even private computers.
3) May be proximity payment function (I'd need to be convinced that it is secure first).
4) May be a very simple output / indication function (alert, vibration, LED).

Such a device needs the following:
1) Linked to my personal computer device (smart phone) via a secure and stable connection. Auto reconnect after out of reach.
2) Some storage to collect data until smart phone is in range again (think lap swimming where the wearable records my exercise data while the phone is in the locker)
3) Must be water proof
4) Must work for a long time without charging (debatable if charging once a day is okay. Maybe "self charging" with solar or motion energy).
5) Must be comfortable to wear, small. Can be a fashion statement.

Note: I do not need a display (I am happy to use my smart-phone's display). I also do not need time displayed (watch).

There is no wearable device on the market today that comes close to my wishlist. There are wearable devices on the market today that are closer to what I am looking for than the Apple Watch. See Jawbone, Fitbit, etc.

So yes, I think that wearable devices will have a future. I am just not seeing how the Apple Watch in its incarnation as described today helps the cause. I think Apple missed an opportunity to redefine a market.

RottenApple

Wow, I never expected Apple to make the same mistake Samsung did with their Galaxy Gear (i.e. depend on a smartphone) but here we are.

What were those morons thinking? Are they really hoping that some fools switch from Android to an iPhone just to be able to use this stupid toy?

The past has clearly shown that interest in smartwatches is lukewarm at best, so if you want to sell it, make sure you can target the widest audience imaginable but this sure looks like a crude attempt to create further ecosystem lock-in.

Tomi T Ahonen

eddie & RottenApple - I also posted edited Tweets of your comments now.. thanks!

Keep the comments coming. Very smart stuff and seems like we have no Apple fanboys here defending this iGadget? WTF?

Tomi Ahonen :-)

AppleTurfer

The only thing missing from your analysis is that the Apple Watch is clearly leaps and bounds ahead of anything else right now. Far better looking, changeable straps to suit different tastes (surely will spring up a 3rd party market for even more).

Ultimately, though, I agree in that Apple did not meet the bar to have me spend ANY money on a watch, let alone $350 and up. My iPhone ended my need for a watch.

I also disagree with comparing a smart watch potential to that of mobile phones. Apple will have the customer base to sell a million or so which isn't a bad business. Flop compared to smartphones? Unreasonable. It will be a wild success compared to Samsung watches, or any other smart watch. But, that's a very low bar indeed.

Looks like I'll be keeping money in my pocket this year, my iPhone 5s will take me through another year

Vikram

Tomi is mistaken in thinking that the purpose of this device is to somehow replace phone features, in which case he is right that a watch-size device cannot replace.

But that isn't the purpose of this device. This is clearly geared for specific notifications, and personal 2-way interactions like the heart-beat sending etc...

Also it has the NFC capabilities for payment so it is a wearable and sensor device that has certain sets of data gathering.

Just because it won't reach iPhone size doesn't make it a flop. Nothing will bring in revenues like the iPhone.

Rather it is more likely an iPod sized business that has unique technologies that add to the Apple ecosystem that other companies won't have in the wearable space.

This is a device that will sell more iPhones - that's the real value in this area.

adi purbakala

@sovatar

It understandable. Because if you own old iphone, meaning you not up to date, then you dont buy iwatch because you poor man. So, the iphone 5/6 mandatory perfect clear.

adi purbakala

@rottenpear

Apple afraid samsung successful alone. Apple afraid call fool. Apple not innovative again.

adi purbakala

@vikram

You dont understand fashion. You can not wear same fashion for 1 year, and change little in next year. Fashion mean wear not same dress/cloth every day. This reason that tomi think apple iwatch will fail fashion. This iwatch more to hobbiesist.

adi purbakala

@applepr.

Microsoft first tablet try leap and bound. Current Microsoft surface leap and bound too. Problem is not leap and bound, but like using the wrong tool in the wrong time in the wrong place.

Apple iwatch also akward not right device

AppleTurfer

Great analysis Baron. Tomi loves Apple so much that he declares their product a flop never bothering that the same analysis applies to all smart watches. I sure want want, just not at those prices. Let's me believe they will sell as not everyone has my financial constraints. The Galaxy Gear I wouldn't wrap ear if it were given to me.

I did have a hard time believing many if the proffered use cases. If I need to have my iPhone anyway, I'm not going to be zooming around on a map on my watch. I'm going to use my phone. Am I really going to send my heart beat to anyone? Even when I travel, I'd have no desire for my wife's heart beat on my wrist.

The things I miss most about wearing a watch would be fulfilled by wearing a watch and I can do that for $50. I could get a health tracker for a lot less than $50.

I really thought Apple would do better at coming up with a reason for a smart watch to exist. They came up with the coolest smart watch by far, and the most attractive, and it will have the most support. I just don't see the WHY yet for ANY such device.

Google glass is hyper dorky and creepy, not to mention expensive. At least you can see the WHY of it. I didn't buy the first iPhone either, but the why of it was crystal clear.

Apple better hope that it really does have a few million cult followers. As favorably disposed to Apple as I am, I do not see a bright near term future for this product.

RottenApple

@Baron95:

"Apple needs to play in the wearable space - thus Apple Watch."

Ok, let's just assume this is really true. But then the device as produced is still questionable.
The iPhone and iPad were both things that didn't require any prerequisite ownership of other Apple devices - they work just as well with a Windows PC.

No, in my eyes the big failure here is to REQUIRE an iPhone in order to make it work. So this is an item that's being exclusively marketed at people who are already Apple users.

Why not make it a standalone device to offer at all the potential customers? Now they need someone who already is a satisfied Apple customer AND interested in gimmicky fashion items.

If you ask me, smartwatches as an accessory to a smartphone are DOA - that was pretty much proven by Samsung's Galaxy Gear. They need to be standalone devices to have any chance of long-term success. Otherwise they'll really go the way of all fashion - they die off faster than anyone can look. Once it's no longer cool its status will be reduced to the useless item it really is.

Unlike the things designed by Steve Jobs (what is useful for its USER), this one looks like typical corporate garbage where the primary motivation was not to give the user something interesting but to secure the corporate bottom line (those who want to buy it are irrevocably tied to Apple products for everything else.)


Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

Available for Consulting and Speakerships

  • Available for Consulting & Speaking
    Tomi Ahonen is a bestselling author whose twelve books on mobile have already been referenced in over 100 books by his peers. Rated the most influential expert in mobile by Forbes in December 2011, Tomi speaks regularly at conferences doing about 20 public speakerships annually. With over 250 public speaking engagements, Tomi been seen by a cumulative audience of over 100,000 people on all six inhabited continents. The former Nokia executive has run a consulting practise on digital convergence, interactive media, engagement marketing, high tech and next generation mobile. Tomi is currently based out of Hong Kong but supports Fortune 500 sized companies across the globe. His reference client list includes Axiata, Bank of America, BBC, BNP Paribas, China Mobile, Emap, Ericsson, Google, Hewlett-Packard, HSBC, IBM, Intel, LG, MTS, Nokia, NTT DoCoMo, Ogilvy, Orange, RIM, Sanomamedia, Telenor, TeliaSonera, Three, Tigo, Vodafone, etc. To see his full bio and his books, visit www.tomiahonen.com Tomi Ahonen lectures at Oxford University's short courses on next generation mobile and digital convergence. Follow him on Twitter as @tomiahonen. Tomi also has a Facebook and Linked In page under his own name. He is available for consulting, speaking engagements and as expert witness, please write to tomi (at) tomiahonen (dot) com

Tomi's eBooks on Mobile Pearls

  • Pearls Vol 1: Mobile Advertising
    Tomi's first eBook is 171 pages with 50 case studies of real cases of mobile advertising and marketing in 19 countries on four continents. See this link for the only place where you can order the eBook for download

Tomi Ahonen Almanac 2009

  • Tomi Ahonen Almanac 2009
    A comprehensive statistical review of the total mobile industry, in 171 pages, has 70 tables and charts, and fits on your smartphone to carry in your pocket every day.

Alan's Third Book: No Straight Lines

Tomi's Fave Twitterati