Cook’s vision is that of a frail ordinary intelligent human being; Jobs had the insight that is given to a very few. The Apple Watch would never have passed Job’s scrutiny for the simple reason it is not a “must have.” It is like a piece of jewelry. Nice to have. Not a necessity. It also splits the Apple family into groups.
The appeal of Apple products were that they were things people needed that were better than other things that were out there. Its computers, its iPhone, and its IPad seemed to be in that category. Jobs knew if he made it better or at least made it appear better the crowds would come. But first it had to be something that was needed.
Yet Jobs knew it was more than the item being needed and better, it also had to have a cachet. The people had to think that having an Apple made them part of the “in” crowd, that they were a notch or two above others who had those non-Apple devices.
One thing he did was to ensure that those outside the Apple club would be unable to discriminate among Apple users. No one looking at a person using an iPhone knew if it had 8 gigabytes of storage or 64 gigabytes. Everyone in the club wore the same uniform whether you scraped and saved to get the iPhone with 8 gigs or you used petty cash to buy the much more expensive 64 gig one.
Here is where Cook made two major mistakes. No one needs an Apple watch. It does not do anything the other gadgets can do. Worse it depends on them. So rather than making our lives less complicated which is the idea behind modern technology it adds to its complexity by giving us another thing to worry about. Where did I leave it before taking a shower? Did I plug it in? Should I wear it to the beach? It just doesn’t go with this bracelet!
That was bad enough but it was not the major mistake. People will accept a little extra aggravation if there is something that makes it worthwhile. For most people the benefit of the Apple watch is just not there.
The way the Apple watch has been promoted it does something no other Apple product has done. It has made people capable of discerning between the peasant owners of the watch and those better off. The peasants can own the watch at the low end price. Wearing that watch shows you couldn’t afford a more expensive one. That’s not something people like to advertise.
The type customers who made Apple into what it is are the ordinary Joe or Flo who knew that no one could tell the cost of their gadget from anyone else’s. They could look like they were “a somebody.” None would have rushed out to show he or she could only afford the peasant’s model. When they opened their Apple laptop in Starbucks it didn’t shout out that they had the least expensive mode. Now when you show your peasant’s watch you are showing that you are on the bottom rung of the Apple economic ladder.
Apple was aware of this when it came out with it the peasant’s offering for a mere $400 and then put out a range of more expensive ones up to the many thousand dollars gold edition. Why didn’t Apple recognize it was running over untried ground introducing a “class” element among it buyers? Making these different levels to someone outside is something that it never did before.
Apple should have recognized It was making an accessory rather than a necessity. It should have understood that people do not like to show off their inability to afford the best if they do not have to do it. It seems that the brain power at Apple has receded or that the not-so-genius CEO brooks no dissent.
Now with the watch if you wear the peasant’s model what image do you portray? Why would you want to do that? Better to stick to the iPhone if image is your thing, which was always a calling card of those using Apple products.
I think that is why the invisible Apple watch has become the go to watch. I don’t see it everywhere. It’s competitively priced; it never gets lost, damaged, or need charging. Best of all there is no class distinctions among those wearing them.