Watching the wrong fight: Microsoft Band vs. Apple Watch

Macalope

It’s a no-holds-barred cage match between two smartwatches!

Oh, come on USAToday, that is the dullest fight ever. What’s on ESPN3? Ooh, competitive bonsai pruning!

”Microsoft outsmarts Apple Watch” (tip o’ the antlers to @JonyIveParody)

Matt Krantz has picked a winner but he doesn’t really seem to understand what’s at stake.

Microsoft is ramping up production and distribution of its Band smartwatch—capitalizing on the popularity of the device before Apple has shipped a single watch, the company announced Tuesday.

Aaand how many have they sold?

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Previously, the Band was available only at Microsoft’s stores and at Microsoft.com in limited quantities. The Band will also be sold in the United Kingdom.

The United Kingdom?! They’ll sell literally dozens there!

The aggressive expansion of the Band comes a month before the Apple Watch is expected to be shipped.

Wonder how many countries the Apple Watch will be in when it launches. Oh, that’s right, nine, including the United Kingdom and China. Why does the Macalope ask questions he knows the answer to?! It’s crazy!

Chances are Apple might sell a couple more Watches in China than Microsoft sells Bands in the UK. Possibly. Just a hunch.

And while consumers don’t appear to be excited about the Apple Watch, the Band has been an unexpected hit for Microsoft.

The funny thing about that link to a survey that’s been floating around is that it shows exactly the opposite. An astounding 31 percent of American consumers are interested in buying an Apple Watch. Yes, 31 is less than 69 but 31 percent is huge. It’s nuts. One might be tempted to call it a metric crapton of American consumers but it’s the U.S. so it’s oddly an Imperial crapton.

Now, about that “hit”...

Microsoft hasn’t disclosed sales numbers...

So lame! They stole that from Jeff Bezos! That’s his signature move, baby! Everyone knows that! He should sue.

...but the product has been constantly out of stock in Microsoft Stores and available only for consumers who put their names on wait lists.

Uhhhhnkay. That might be because they only made a limited number of them in an attempt to get OEMs and software developers to use their platforms.

Or, it might be because everyone has one. Everyone.

Look at your wrist. That’s right, even you have one. You open your mouth to scream, but nothing comes out.

Apple’s stock faltered after showing its watch last week.

Hey, let’s look at stock prices! That’s a fun game to play! So, how much is Apple’s stock up since the company announced the Watch in the first place? Meh, just 30 percent. Probably not worth mentioning. Neither is the fact that Microsoft’s stock also dropped after the Band was released. And it’s down 8 percent since. Nope. You don’t need that information. All that’s important is that one data point that helps prop up this bombastic argument.

The point is not that the Band is a loser product and the Watch a winner. It’s that the stock price is a stupid metric against one product.

In some ways, Apple is executing like the old and dominant Microsoft and Microsoft is executing as the resurgent Apple in the smartwatch race.

It’s a wonder sentences don’t just summarily explode in a flurry of flying letters and punctuation when they’re packed with so much wrong.

It’s a major reversal in strategies. This time, it’s Microsoft that has announced a product, made it immediately available and then boosted production and availability.

Microsoft sold tablets and smartphones for years before Apple did. The only problem was they sucked.

Is the Apple Watch going to crush the Microsoft Band? That’s not really the point. For starters, they’re different products. The Apple Watch is a fashion product. The Band is... not. But more importantly, the Band is barely even a product, per se. It’s more of a reference for Microsoft’s platforms, which are what they’re really selling. The Macalope will not be surprised if Microsoft makes their own Microsoft Health-based apps for the Apple Watch if they can.

But, please, keep writing 1995’s headlines today.

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