Ive reportedly wanted to position the watch as a fashion accessory, but some Apple leaders envisioned it as an extension of the iPhone. Eventually a compromise was agreed, and the $349 watch was tethered to the iPhone, with Apple creating a $17,000 gold version and partnering with Hermès.
I don’t have a WSJ subscription, so I’m liking to MacRumors’ article about this. This jibes with what I’ve been saying about the Apple Watch from the beginning. It always seemed that the Apple Watch was a vanity project for Jony Ive, given his interest in watches, and the fact that a disgustingly priced gold model was released. I still remember the look on Tim Cook’s face when he announced the price of the gold model.
The company sold about 10 million units in the first year, a quarter of what Apple forecast, a person familiar with the matter told WSJ. Thousands of the gold version are said to have gone unsold.
I’m surprised that Apple forecast 40 million units, because, if I recall, the rollout to different countries didn’t occur very quickly. However, I’m sure Apple is satisfied at how the Apple Watch turned out.
I find this bit interesting:
According to sources who spoke to WSJ, Ive pushed for the Apple Watch to be made despite disagreements from some executives, who questioned if a device so small could have a killer app that would compel people to buy it.
That is certainly the weakness of the Apple Watch, or at least it was at the beginning. It’s a new product category, but it has been clear over the years – especially the first few models and watchOS versions – that Apple did not have a clear vision for the device, but was just trying to see what worked.
Even now, the Apple Watch is a bit of an odd device. While it is very useful, and I wear one, it doesn’t have any “wow” factor. Sure, I can get notifications, unlock my Macs with it, even make calls without my phone handy (I have the cellular model), but it is still just an extension of the iPhone that, if I didn’t write about this stuff, I probably wouldn’t use.