Revising My Stance on the Apple Watch

Last week I wrote a not-so-nice piece about how Apple had “lost its way” with the release of the Apple Watch Edition. While this was precisely how I felt at the time, now that I’ve had time to reflect, research, and understand why the Apple Watch Edition exists, I’m revising my stance.

How I Feel Now

One of the reasons I railed on the Apple Watch Edition so hard was because I felt it showed a fundamental shift in the culture that Apple had worked so hard to cultivate over the years. My argument was that Apple had spent a lifetime becoming a company that was considered an accessible BMW-esque brand for the majority, and the Apple Watch Edition showed they’re intention to abandon their core user base in favor of designing for the 1%.

The exclusive gold watch is a marketing exercise. It bathes the lower-priced watches in a golden light, and makes the entire line aspirational. [source]

I read an article that detailed how the Edition was merely part of a bigger plan by Apple to make the Apple watch more appealing to the majority, rather than an just an unnecessary extravagance. The article points out that the Edition casts a golden halo over the entire line and aims to make the entire line more desirable to people from all walks of life.

I’m Still Not Buying an Apple Watch

The fact remains that the Apple Watch still isn’t a compelling product to me, and I don’t see myself needing or wanting one anytime soon. However, every now and then Apple is going to make a product that isn’t for me, and frankly, that’s ok. Apple is beginning to offer a far more diversified portfolio of products than they have in the past, so it stands to reason that some of them would fall short of being a must-have for me personally.

That’s not to say that the Apple watch won’t become a product that I want or need in the future. The fact remains that I’m still unclear on the story of this product, and I don’t believe Apple is done writing it either. Once we have a clearer picture of what this product is and how it will help or change the way we do certain things, there’s no reason to give it a damning review.

My Immaturity Shined Through

Another thing I’d like to address is my analysis of Jony Ive. Let’s be clear… I don’t know Mr. Ive, nor do I know anyone who knows him personally either. That makes me completely unqualified to pass judgement on him, his demeanor, or his thought process when designing products. I’m not the only one that jumped on the Ive Bashing bandwagon, but I might be the only one to realize how childish and unnecessary it was.

Also, I played a card that I swore I would never play, the “Steve Jobs would never have…” card. It’s easy for us fanboys to play this card because we know there’s no way to disprove it. What we fail to realize is there is no way for us to prove its validity either. None of us know what Steve would’ve done. There’s a chance he may have had input on this product in some way, but we don’t know, and Apple certainly won’t tell us. The truth is that Apple is doing its best to honor the memory of their iconic founder, while at the same time doing everything it can to escape the shadow he left behind. It’s not fair to judge Apple’s decisions based on Jobsian logic. Apple is Tim Cook’s company now, and we should be supportive of that. After all, he gave us bigger iPhones, and that’s something Steve actually said he didn’t want to do. Think about that.

Lessons I’ve Learned

I’ve learned very valuable lessons over the past week. From this point forward I’m going to keep a more open mind about the products that I review, and I’ll make an honest effort to look at the big picture rather than jumping to premature, myopic conclusions. To anyone I offended with my comments, I apologize, and I promise to do my best not to produce such low-class material in the future.