Business Management

Rant: Apple and the relentlessly negative media

‘Why the Apple Watch is a Newton-like failure’

‘Why the Apple Watch is flopping’

‘Apple Watch: Apple’s new failure’

One of the odd consequences of the rise of the web in media is the determination to fill web pages with drivel. Today a news writer on a website might churn out half a dozen stories a day or more and it’s inevitable that some will be weaker than others. Add in the demand for strong opinions, linkbait and SEO friendliness and you have an unpalatable cocktail.

Writing in this way breeds an obsessive short-termism and periscope-style view of the world. Every event no matter how small is scrutinised and zero perspective is applied. And Apple, being the number-one brand in the world, gets a ridiculous amount of rubbish written about it.

Think about it. The Apple Watch was a failure. What sort of failure would that be? Could you measure it in sales unit perhaps? 

Strategy Analytics estimates Apple sold four million Watch products in the second quarter. That’s a lot of units when you think most buyers will already own a watch of some kind.

Is it a pipeline thing?

Well, Pacific Crest Securities suggests that 2015 sales will be 10.5 million and 24 million in 2016. That’s a lot of watches, isn’t it?

But no, these figures have been revised downwards from even larger numbers. Ergo the Apple Watch is a failure.

Is it a market share thing? Strategy Analytics gives Apple about three quarters of the total smartwatch market. That’s pretty good, isn’t it, when everyone else is launching a product and youre just down your first one? Ah but it’s a nascent market so you can’t have that.

What about revenue?

Most watchers think $1bn in revenue to be a conservative guesstimate for Apple Watch. Well that’s a revenue figure that many mature public companies you know about never reach. Not bad, huh?

Of course we’ve seen this desperately revisionist approach before. The media obsesses over declining sales of iPads, conveniently forgetting that the market for people buying that sort of premium product has been saturated already.

We should salute success and acknowledge that Apple remains amid a golden run of hits, unsurpassed by any company ever. If you want to take a better informed view than the media of what’s going on it might be better to use your eyes. In big Western cities look at the iPads and Apple Watches. It won’t take you long to see them and in an hour you might be counting in dozens or even hundreds.

That’s some failure, the kind the rest of us would aspire to.


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Torquemada, not his real name, has been casting a jaundiced eye on the technology world since the Sinclair C5 was causing as much excitement as the driverless car today, a 64K RAM pack could turbocharge performance, and Alan Sugar was the equivalent of Elon Musk.

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