Wrist watching: The Apple Watch’s success story

Not bad for a flop.

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The Macalope has seen a lot of Apple “flops” in his lifetime but none were deemed so floptastic as the Apple Watch.

Oh, boy, what a flop. The floppiest flop that ever draped languidly over a wrist. A veritable bunny of a flop.

We should all know this by now but for the newer students in the class who might have transferred in from Apple Doom 101, the reason the Apple Watch was roundly declared a “flop” was that it didn’t immediately sell in the same kind of numbers the iPhone was selling in. As the Macalope noted six years ago about the yard stick pundits use for Apple:

Everything they sell must “become a cultural phenomenon” or it’s a “flop.”

Well, about that…

“Apple Watch Is Now Worn on 100 Million Wrists” (Tip o’ the antlers to @JonyIveParody.)

Is that enough of a “cultural phenomenon” for ya or have we moved the goal posts yet again? Of course, the 100 million Neil Cybart claims there is his estimate but it’s an educated estimate. The real number is somewhere in the 100 million ballpark.

Let’s call the ballpark Flop Field.

Not everything Apple makes is a breakout hit. The Touch Bar had some promise but, unlike the Watch, Apple’s failed to improve it much in the four years since it launched. The HomePod is okay but not a real measurable hit. The Apple TV seem to be the drunk uncle of Apple’s product offering, wandering aimlessly through the electronics area of Costco yelling for his wife. Who is actually at Target.

But the Watch is a certifiable hit. And, as Cybart notes, it’s only getting more popular.

The 30 million new people that began wearing an Apple Watch in 2020 nearly exceeded the number of new Apple Watch wearers in 2015, 2016, and 2017 combined.

It’s now Apple’s fourth largest installed base after the iPhone, iPad and Mac. It was never going to sell in the same numbers as the iPhone, if only because it relies on having an iPhone in the first place to use it. Cybart estimates that at the end of 2020, about 10 percent of iPhone owners also owned a Apple Watch.

The Apple Watch is popular because Apple developed a vision for what it should be: a high end health, fitness and communication device. And it executed on that vision, driving it forward with each release.

The Macalope’s not naive enough to think that pundits are checking wine blogs to check on what whites go with crow, but it’d be nice if they were.

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