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July 12, 2016


David Dunham

FWIW, I plan to skip a generation just like I do with my phone. Surely I don't need a new watch every year, especially since watchOS 3 is going to improve my watch for free.

You could be right, but I think your interpretation is wrong. It would be if other happy owners are like me.


And how many Swiss watch owners will replace their watch each year? And wow, I make my iMacs last more than three generations.

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi David, Piot and John

The smartphone owners replace their phones every two years. It will now come two years from Apple Watch and this is a far smaller replacement rate and slower rate - EXACTLY as I predicted. Because the new sales have stalled, there is not a demand for Apple Watch 2.0. It will sell LESS than Apple Watch 1.0. And the ever diminishing demand means, its far too expensive to redesign and market Apple Watch 3.0. Most who fell for the myth of a market for Apple Watch apps will have gone, there is almost no viable market beyond the few diehard iSheep who would buy anything made by Apple - and because this is a tiny subset of existing iPhone owners, the market shrinks to insignificance.

You want to hold onto your delusions that this is 'good news' haha, go ahead. I was here in 2014, I will be here in 2017, we'll see. Those who promised a huge Apple Watch future are in hiding now, I am not. I will be here. You guys know perfectly well, that this data is bad for the future of the Apple Watch. But feel free to hold onto your desperate delusions. It does not have a 2 year replacement cycle which a smartphone DOES have. You can't use an Apple Watch as a REPLACEMENT for an iPhone or other smartphone. It is a useless heavy nasty geek-identifying bracelet that most will stop wearing. It turns out to be a cruel iTax on iSheep on a short-lived stupid fad. Wear your Apple Watches with pride as long as you dare, I doubt most who even own one, will dare to wear them daily by 2018 haha.

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi Thatisperfect

Good luck with your nerdhood. You're exactly the type of iSheep who were taken advantage of with the Apple Watch. And you don't even know it. I will of course happily keep your comments here on the blog as evidence in the future of some of the most delusional iFans that once exited.

As a MASS MARKET there is no future in smartwatches and the Apple Watch will be a rare Apple failure, inspite of the occasional iLoonie like you. Please do buy more of those lovely bands before they too will go out of style

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Wayne Borean

Heh. Got some pretty interesting comments.

As to the iWatch, I don't see it as a failure. It is not a mass market item, it is a specialty item that will do well in certain markets, and have no penetration at all in most markets.

But it doesn't need mass market penetration to be profitable. I don't know how successful it will be long term, but I'm willing to bet that iWatch v3 will be released.


Any metric when compared to the total install base of iPhones is going to be small. Apple Watch brought in an estimated $12B - that "B for Billion" dollars. In other words, the Apple Watch would be a Fortune 500 company.

Not bad for an iPhone accessory. Not bad for ANY TYPE OF PRODUCT - EVER.


"Apple Watch will be two genations, the second generation will not sell as well as the first, and then Apple will quietly shut down this silly cul-de-sac of tech innovation."

Or perhaps it will linger on as a profitable, but niche market that never reaches the business scale of phones, tablets or computers -- like Apple TV.

"And how many Swiss watch owners will replace their watch each year?"

I have had the same Swiss watch for 25 years. Had it revised for the first time last year. This is what I expect from an "appliance": durability, robustness, and little to no need for maintenance. And long, very, very long operating times on a single "charge". On all these counts, smart watches of all kinds fail.

John A

As a tech geek I have been looking at smartwatches of course, but I dont realy see a point to replace my Citizen watch with any Android or Apple watch. I carry the phone with me in most cases anyway. I can see a value in sportbands for people that work out and training and so on.
But in general I think its a small nich market. I read that Oppo or OnePlus had a smartwatch ready for the market but they cancelled the project. So I guess smartwatches will not be the next big thing after smartphones.



"Any metric when compared to the total install base of iPhones is going to be small. Apple Watch brought in an estimated $12B - that "B for Billion" dollars. In other words, the Apple Watch would be a Fortune 500 company."

Tomi is right, this was a scam to squeeze some additional money out of the hard-core iSheep crowd who seem to have lost touch with reality - and as it looks, even the majority of these wasn't convinced ultimately. This type of thing only works once, the second generation is only needed so that it won't tarnish Apple's reputation. The third generation, on the other hand, can be quietly dropped, because next year nobody will care anymore.

crun kykd

The Newton was the first handheld GUI personal computing device. It was ahead of its time and failed. The necessary technology just wasn't there. Fast forward to today, and the category took off. The iWatch is repeating history needing technology that simply isn't there yet. It's Tim Cook's Newton.


Not everything that fails does so because it was ahead of its time. Sometimes stuff just fails due to profound disinterest by the intended customers.

So tell me, what revolutionary change would make a smartwatch more useful than a smartphone? It got all odds stacked against it:

- the screen is too small to comfortably do more complex things.
- wearing it at the wrist severely limits how you can operate it.

The Newton was a good idea, but what made smartphones the success they are is not that they are mobile computing devices, but that they provide mobile internet access. Smartwatches would need something similarly revolutionary but that won't happen because the form factor imposes too many limitations.

Smartwatches are a niche product and they will forever remain so.


"The Newton was the first handheld GUI personal computing device [...] Fast forward to today, and the category took off."

The Newton was a PDA -- a category that had existed for years, before it was launched, with similar software services.

It was not a modern "computing device" -- it did not have built-in Internet connectivity; nor was it a "smartphone" -- it did not support voice calls over wireless networks.

The Newton main innovation: it was the first handwritten-recognition driven GUI device intended for a large public. It was also the last -- how many successful handwritten-recognition driven GUI PDA, tablets, computers, phones or whatever gadget have you had since the Newton days? Precisely zero.

During the same period, Palm released touchscreen pen-drive GUI PDAs which buried Apple on the market. IBM even developed the very first communicator form-factor smartphone -- with touchscreen pen-driven GUI and PDA features. Touchscreens, first with pens, then with fingers, went on to become very successful GUI for a range of electronic devices.

In other words, the category represented by the Apple Newton _never_ took off. It was a technological and user-interface dead-end.

I remember when colleagues in the University lab brought the first Newton. There was a lot of excitement, and indeed the device was intriguing. After a few months, the couple Newtons disappeared in a cupboard; to the surprise of everybody, accustomed to the robust, intuitive GUI of the Mac, their usability was terrible.

Apple did gain valuable insights from the experience, but it went another direction with the iPhone.

However, I am intrigued by all the investment that Apple put on speech recognition UI, whose importance and actual usage seem to have plateaued ever since the introduction of Siri.

Somehow, from handwritten recognition to speech recognition, Apple seems to be fixated on automatic human input processing -- but the impact has been arguably limited so far.


@E. Casais:

"However, I am intrigued by all the investment that Apple put on speech recognition UI"

I am not. If you happen to watch a bit of Science Fiction on TV you will notice that this is the main input mode of computers there. It's also something that, if it really works, will make access to computing a lot simpler, if you just can talk to it instead of typing your commands (or pressing buttons on a touchscreen.)

Of course it will be many, many years to get this into a state where it really works, but someone has to do the research now, don't they?


It looks very much like Microsoft SPOT was to smartwatches what Apple Newton was to PDAs: early endeavour, dead-end fundamental technical choices, dubious usability, commercial failure.


"ARM Holdings is a joint venture between Acorn, Apple and VLSI. Nobody uses those darn ARM-processor anymore."

ARM architecture, processors and products existed _before_ Apple got interested in them.

"Well we know that Steve hated the stylus. Everything else still carries up to today."

Your ignorance of technical history shows. Stylus was _the_ user interface for touchscreens for a very long time (as long as resistive displays dominated).

It was an extremely successful interaction mode; saying it is a failure is as absurd as saying that traditional phone keypads were a failure. Besides, styluses are still in use (e.g. Samsung Galaxy Note).

"Handwriting recognition was the Achilles heal."

It was _the_ major interaction mode on the Newton -- and incontrovertibly a failure, from a technical and usability perspective.

"That is still today a very difficult thing to do. Nobody has succeeded with it well."

Yeah, that is _exactly_ what I said earlier. It looks like you agree with me that the choice of handwritten recognition was the wrong choice in fundamental technology and a dead-end.

"Commercial failure? Hmmm... Yeah. Steve "killed" the project"

...after Palm had wiped the slate clean in the PDA market, and Nokia had commercialized its Communicators -- PDA with integrated Internet connectivity and wireless telephony, which the Newton did not have.

"and created the iPhone that changed everything"

...released in 2007, a _long_ time after the very last Newton model.

But before that, in 2005, Apple went on to produce the ROKR E1 with Motorola -- wrong technical choices, poor usability, commercial failure. Again. It took time before Apple got it right with mobile, personal computing devices.

I do not deny that Apple has talented engineers and marketing people. But assuming they never do anything wrong and all their ventures are stunning, "magical" realizations of unerring technical ingenuity is rubbish.

Apple learned the hard way, through trial and error. Handwritten recognition and lack of integrated connectivity were misguided fundamental technical choices for the Newton. Apple is no stranger to stumbling into technical dead-ends: see Hypercard (completely wiped out by HTML which was inherently distributed across the Internet, and still, Hypercard had great features) or AppleTalk (wiped out by the standard Ethernet).

"Apple has this strange thing that nobody else has. It is called stamina."


Microsoft exhibits as much stamina as Apple -- just look at how persistent it has been in gaming and mobility, for instance.

Now, if you are saying that Microsoft does not display as much excellence in its engineering endeavours as Apple, I would agree -- but this is a different argument, it has nothing to do with stamina.

As for smartwatches, apart from all discussions about fashion features and dependency or autonomy wrt smartphones, there seems to be one aspect that is deadly: battery life. It is at least an order of magnitude too short. The comparison is with _watches_ and, well, the comparison is damning, no matter what smartwatch brand is under consideration...


Is this Rocwurst again? It sure sounds like the same iTrollish nonsense his other sockpuppets have been trying to spread.


@Wayne Brady:

"What other product are you comparing the Apple Watch to? Certainly no other smart watch. In this marketshare oriented blog, the Apple Watch aught to be recognized as the winner it is. On the RUMORS that Apple was working on a watch, the Android crowd, including Samsung and Hauwei and Google, rushed in to sew up the market. But unlike Apple, they are pathetic at MAKING markets. Apple took it's time and then from the first moment, swept away the competition. "

Yeah, whatever. It shows that in order to sell a useless product you need a customer type who would buy such shit by name alone, damn its uselessness. Too bad if you just need to 'have' it in order to stay cool. The downside of this is, once the coolness wears off, the majority of buyers will be gone and jump onto the next 'cool' item they need to have so that they aren't considered losers. And if one thing is obvious, it's that the coolness factor of smartwatches won't last long. Once the initial rush is over, it will be back to Rolex etc.


@Wayne Brady:

I did not say that the Apple watch was a flop. What I did say was that it's a mostly useless product and that the potential customer base for smartwatches has a built-in Apple bias.

'Normal' people, i.e., those who buy moderately priced smartphones, will never even consider wasting money on such a thing. In addition, in all the discussions here, the Apple camp has been drooling over the prospects while the Android camp showed a uniform and profound disinterest in smartwatches in general.

"And I do not remember the "Apple Watch is a Flop" crowd calling any of the Android Smartwatches flops BEFORE the Apple Watch was released."

Flop or not, they showed a clear trend, namely what I just wrote. It was very clear from the outset that this product group would have problems finding its customers - EXCEPT the Apple crowd, for the precise reason that they just HAD to own the latest iGadget. And even for Apple that's not good long-term prospects, because one-time curiosity does not guarantee repeat business. It was a nice one-time cash infusion, nothing more, nothing less, and that's precisely what Tomi predicted, even though he may have underestimated the curiosity factor a bit (which, btw, I did not. The story went precisely as I expected - some decent first generation sales which made it very clear to most people that this isn't a thing they had to upgrade.) It also shows no signs of a growth market and as a result will inevitably evaporate.

Abdul Muis


"And luxury cars are not a perfect analogy for iPhones because luxury cars are far more exclusive, expensive, unreachable for most than iPhones. Apple has proved AGAIN, that they can sell premium products against direct, commodity priced competition. That's no small feat. "

This is ONLY true if iPhone is better than premium android phone. UNFORTUNATELY for you, iPhone is not better than premium android phone. The reason that iPhone so far can sell at premium price is because of marketing.


@Wayne Brady:

There was no 'feat' in marketing the Apple Watch. Unlike its customers the Apple management is not stupid, they know the sheep attitude and unlike Steve Jobs Tim Cook is perfectly willing to play along and sell a product whose entire reason for existence is to milk those sheep dry.


Correct. But what do you expect from someone who has consistently shown that his horizon does not extend beyond Apple products...? :D

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    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 Helsinki 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 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

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