Guilt by association: The Apple Watch versus smartwatches


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Today in “Fun With Headlines” we learn how you can damn an entire category where Apple is having some real success. It’s easy, just leave Apple out.

Writing for the very nice people and, yes, it’s just people, please don’t look into that corner office because OH MY GOD IS THAT AN EARWIG IN A SUIT WHAT KIND OF KAFKAESQUE NIGHTMARE IS THIS over at Business Insider, Steve Kovachs tells us “Smartwatches are still going nowhere.” (Tip o’ the antlers to Joshua Goddard.)

Smartwatches? As in all smartwatches?

Well, yes.

Well, no. Not at all.

Turns out one is actually doing quite well. And you’ll never guess who makes it.

Unless you guessed Apple in which case you totally guessed it. OMG, how did you do that?! You probably read the first paragraph is how.

Just three years after we reached the peak of the hype surrounding wearables and smartwatches, two of the most important companies in the space reported diverging results.

Short story: Fitbit’s results stink, Apple’s are great.

So, Kovach doesn’t deny the Apple Watch’s success, he just continues to treat it as some other thing than a wearable or a smartwatch for some reason. Which is fine if you don’t care about misleading headlines, since no one other than Kovach does this. And, yeah, let’s just say Business Insider has not exactly been at the forefront of the battle against misleading headlines. Unless you count walking around after the battle and picking up pieces of dead headlines in a macabre effort to sew them together and make all-new and even more misleading headlines.

Overall, we’re going nowhere

Maybe on average, smartwatches and wearables are “going nowhere” because only Apple is going somewhere and it’s hard to pull along the dead weight of Fitbit and Android Wear.

Kovachs positions Google’s opportunity as being in getting people who “don’t want a geeky-looking device like the Apple Watch”. The Apple Watch is “geeky-looking” because it’s square whereas Android Wear devices to date have just been the size of tuna cans which is not geeky-looking at all when you strap it to your wrist. However, now that they’re getting them a little more down to the size of a traditional wristwatch, there’s another problem with Android Wear devices: they aren’t as distinctive as the Apple Watch, which you can now see regularly in the wild. Well, not like forests, but restaurants and such. The Macalope hangs out in the woods and, truth be told, there aren’t a lot of deer wearing Apple Watches. Except for Sylvia and she’s always been an early adopter.

Despite what the Kovachs of the world believe, wearing an Apple Watch is sliding quickly down the “geeky” scale and right into Normal Gulch.

Another way to write the headline for Kovach’s piece would have been something along the lines of “Apple Watch only smartwatch finding success” but, then, that probably violates the Business Insider style guide.

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