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I don’t get it: Selling the Apple Watch


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The Apple Watch sure is an enigma, particularly if you close your eyes, put your hands over your ears and sing “Escape (The Pina Colada Song).”

Which is, incidentally, what the Macalope would like to do, escape the Pina Colada song. Alas, no one escapes the Pina Colada song. Like death, it comes for us all eventually.

Writing for the very nice people and conventional wisdom generation machines and serial misunderstanders at Business Insider, Kif Leswing doesn’t get it.

“Apple can patch bugs, but its biggest Apple Watch problem can’t be fixed.” (Tip o’ the antlers to Philip Speicher.)

Apple’s new watch made lots of headlines on Wednesday—but for all the wrong reasons.

If there is one undeniable truth that is known throughout the universe it’s that Apple never shipped anything with any flaws in it while Steve Jobs was CEO.

Yes, it’s time for some Steve Jobsplainin’!

“Part of the hardest thing about coming up with new products is to figure out a really cool set of technologies that you can implement it with and make it easy, but also figuring out something that people want to do,” Steve Jobs, the late Apple CEO, once said.

The Apple Watch certainly wasn’t initially delivered with a clear message, but it’s also starting to seem very likely that Apple has had a clear idea of where it’s going with the Watch. And it’s right in front of Leswing’s face in the second image embedded in this piece.

“Leave your phone at home…”

But, instead of just reading Apple’s ad copy, let us quote more famous people.

Clayton Christensen, a Harvard Business School professor, calls this the “jobs to be done” theory.

Sources have been quoted. We have achieved an almost dissertation-like level of seriousness. Let the raging against the small machine begin.

So what’s the Apple Watch Series 3 with LTE’s job?

Seinfeld voice: “WHAT is the DEAL with the Apple Watch?! Is it a Watch made of apples?! I don’t know!

People are weird. They’ll complain all day about how our smartphones are dragging us down by demanding our constant attention (and how this is generally the fault of Apple for having invented the modern smartphone). But then when someone ships a device that lets you leave your smartphone at home, they don’t get it.

The Macalope has an iPhone SE so he’s not likely to leave it at home even if he does buy an LTE Apple Watch, but he can definitely see how you might want that option if you own a Plus-sized iPhone.

…at least one Wall Street analyst has suggested that Apple has lost its ability to find new jobs to be done.

At least one Wall Street analyst doesn’t get what Apple’s about with the Watch. Could be as many as 4,000. We just don’t know.

It couldn’t be because we’re being as obtuse as a 179 degree angle, is it?

Here’s the marketing copy Apple has on its website:

“Answer a call from your surfboard…”

Are these really jobs that consumers are trying to fill? “Hardcore surfers who want to answer pressing business calls in the ocean” seems like a niche.

Surfboards?! Skateboards?! Snowboards?! Who am I, Norrin Radd? Tony Hawk?! Some famous snowboarder, if there is such a thing?!

Crazy theory: it might be just an aspirational example. You don’t actually have to be a boarder of any kind. Or a runner or a mixed martial artist or a ninja lion-tamer who dabbles in interpretive dance.

You could just be someone without pockets.

…most people don’t buy $400 gadgets because the cellular chip is so technically impressive.

In their keynote, Apple spoke about how cool it was they could get an LTE chip into what is probably the smallest smartwatch on the market (does anyone else have anything that comes close to the 38mm Apple Watch?) so that must be how they’re marketing it.

Please, tech companies, don’t talk about tech during your keynotes. It’s very confusing for pundits.

There’s no guarantee Apple’s idea of the Watch will resonate with customers, although it’s actually done pretty well so far, despite being declared a “flop.” But just because you don’t get it, doesn’t mean Apple doesn’t get it.

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