If it bleeds: Making Apple Watch headlines


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If you prick the Apple Watch, does it not bleed? And should you then not put “APPLE WATCH BLEEDS” in the headline, ignoring all else about it?

Surely this is the only responsible course of action.

Writing for Re/code, Dawn Chmielewski delivers the “Apple Watch verdict a year later: Half of those surveyed think it’s a dud.”

Let’s see if we can spot where where the surprise twist comes in this piece. Please remain strapped to your seats at all times as this ride takes a sudden turn.

More than half of those surveyed by the advertising technology company Fluent said they considered the Apple Watch a flop.

Is that right?! That certainly is damning. People must surely hate the Apple Watch. What a piece of crap!

But hang on to your breakfast and any vestige of hope you had for online media!

That sentiment — expressed by the majority of the 2,578 adults in the U.S. who responded last week to an online survey — reflects how the device is perceived by the tech press and industry insiders, many of whom have been pessimistic about the Apple Watch from the start. Asked whether they considered the Watch a successful product for Apple, 53 percent responded “no.”


Here we are, all the way into the second paragraph of this piece and we can’t even remember the people we were when we read the headline a billion years ago. Surely were all wearing big flannel shirts and listening to Smashmouth and some third ‘90s trope the Macalope can’t think of right now.

So, to be clear here (and, yes, extremely sarcastic), you didn’t ask them for an opinion about their experience with the Apple Watch. You asked them a business question, one they answered based on what they read in the media, which has been screeching “APPLE WATCH FLOP” headlines literally since before it shipped. What are people supposed to think? That the Apple Watch is actually selling about as well as the iPhone and iPad did at this point in their life cycles, that Apple owns the smartwatch market and that people really like the device? You know, the truth? Pshaw!

But Fluent’s survey also offers a more nuanced picture of Apple’s first wearable device…

One we couldn’t fit into the headline. Digital ink is so expensive. And then there are the word limits on publishing digitally. Not a lot of people know that every article goes to a digital printer to be typeset before it gets published to the Internet and, yes, these are all lies there is no reason for this behavior other than ginning up hits.

A significant majority of Apple Watch owners — 77 percent — consider the smartwatch a success and about two-thirds said they plan to upgrade when the next version comes out.

If you own an Apple Watch, you’re likely to think it’s a success and plan to get the next one. Why? Because you really like it.

Some 92 percent of consumers were satisfied to downright effusive about the device — and appear to be recommending it to their friends, Wristly found.

Again, we wish we had room to put these things in the headline. We regret that none of the many good things about the Apple Watch could be represented and that we only had room for literally the only bad thing. It’s all very unfair and just a product of the system. Out of our hands, really.

Surely we won’t do the same when it comes time to report the iPhone SE.



We are totally going to do exactly the same thing to the iPhone SE.

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