People have been getting upset about Apple, their products, and their branding since the Steves started that little company.
This time it revolves around the so-called Apple Watch (not intentionally a pun, BTW). Many of my timepiece-collecting friends are up-in-arms about the $10,000 price tag of the luxury model. “Seriously? Are you going to hand it down to your grandkids?” was a common variant of the same criticism.
As expected, Twitter got involved with a bevy of sarcastic quips. This one was arguably the best I’ve seen:
But here’s the thing:
The Apple Watch is not a watch!
It is not a timepiece. It will not replace the Rolex… Heck, it won’t even replace the Timex I’m wearing right now.
To repeat: it’s not a watch.
While I realise that they might be misled by the name of the product, I assure my horologist friends that this is a clever marketing ploy. The Apple Watch is not intended to replace the timepiece on your wrist, any more than it is intended to be ceremonially handed to your son on his 18th birthday.
Apple’s brand-machine is hard at work making it cool to wear a device on your wrist. It isn’t any different than when Swatch introduced their product to a new generation of kids who, like today, didn’t wear timepieces.
In the 1980s, the problem was one of fashion. Boring watches made of leather and gold didn’t fit the pop-colour aesthetic of a new-wave generation. Along came the bold stylings of, what essentially, was a plastic watch that for all logical reasons should have cost $10-. But it sold for $50-. And you were encouraged to own and wear more than one.
In 2015, young people (actually, most people), don’t wear watches, because their mobile phones tell them the time. What better way to capitalise on this by creating a new market that puts all the modern conveniences of a smart phone into a wrist-wrapped product!
it really is a clever marketing ploy to call it a watch. And the reaction from timepiece aficionados reveals its success.
Apple doesn’t care if you never use their watch to tell time. And they certainly don’t want you to hold on to it for perpetuity. They want you to buy Watch 2, then Watch Air, and so on. These products are already lined up in some incubator at Cupertino.
So for those who are getting upset at the $10,000 item, don’t worry about it: it’s not intended for you. The world is filled with useless garbage for millionaires. A $2.7 million iPhone is available for the discerning shopper. It is a gross waste of money for a product that will also be obsolete in a year.
The same goes for the cars, boats, diamond-encrusted photos of dogs, and other useless rubbish that oligarchs waste their ill-begotten money on to show off their lack of taste.
And as consolation for those bemoaning the $349- price tag, I remind you that in a year, when the next-gen version comes out, you’ll be able to get this one for less than a hundred bucks.