The Macalope: The iWatch failure tour


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Has there ever been a bigger failure than the iWatch in the history of, well, anything?

Contributing to Forbes, if not the state of our discourse, Haydn Shaughnessy writes “iWatch, The Distraction That Will Drive Apple’s Stock Down” (no link for Forbes, but tip o’ the antlers to the Jony Ive parody Twitter account and Oscar Parker).

The rise of the iWatch has been sudden and dramatic enough to be convincing, almost.

What rise are you talking about? How can a device that doesn’t even exist yet “rise”?

Regardless, Shaughnessy, like our entire genius pundit class, knows exactly what the iWatch will be and how it will be received.

If [the watch] does [happen], it will be seen as a low-value, insignficant project for the world’s greatest tech company, one in fact that a start-up (like Pebble) could have thrown up onto a crowdfunding site.

Hey, laugh at Shaughnessy if you will (and you will), but it’s not like pundits were wrong in any way about what the iPhone would be like before it shipped.

Wait …

An iWatch will fall flat the minute Tim Cook holds up his wrist to show it to the collected tech-scribes in San Francisco.

The Macalope doesn’t even know what to say about the mindset of someone who’d type that, let alone publish it. There’s a special kind of hubris in deciding you know exactly what something you’ve never seen looks like.

The iWatch will attract derision if Cook poses it as anything other than a hobby and right now he needs to be fixing big stuff not playing in the sandbox.

Because Apple’s so fundamentally broken that the last thing it needs to be doing now is working on new products.

Hello, Forbes? Is there an adult there the Macalope can speak with?


So how did the iWatch rumor emerge? Because an ex-staffer took a guess, after reading the runes around Apple’s patent applications and general activity. And the Apple-watching community is so starved of real news that it bought into iWatch instantaneously.

Well, all those record-breaking quarters get tiresome after a while.

Shaughnessy goes on to question the recent estimates by a CitiGroup analyst that, based on the current size of the watch industry, an iWatch could be a $6 billion business for Apple—which, granted, should only be read accompanied by the sound of bong bubbles. The two things are completely incomparable, if only because no one knows what an iWatch will look like or do. Has the Macalope mentioned that recently?

This is not an Apple product that will satisfy critics.

Apparently he hasn’t mentioned it enough to get through to Shaughnessy.

Also, this assumes facts not in evidence. Is there a product that will satisfy Apple’s critics? Doubtful.

To date nobody has explained how this wearable technology will fit into this category of innovation. On the other hand, iTunes in the cloud, fixing Siri, competing in maps, finding another complex product-service problem that will unlock long term revenues. As Google Glass might be.

Catch that sleight of hand? “The iWatch will fail because no one has explained how wearable technology is innovative. But Google Glass is awesome.”

Or the acquisition of major content suppliers like Disney, rather than giving money back to shareholders.

Acquiring a content company is innovative? Where’s that bong bubbles WAV file?

So many people seem to know exactly what the iWatch is, yet at this point it’s as unreal as this analysis.

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