With news that the new Apple Watch Sport costs just $84 to manufacture, despite the $350 price, Apple has truly struck gold yet again. People are lining up to buy the thing, and yet, it seems Apple is more interested in selling these hotcakes to Beyonce and Drake than to you. In fact, despite all the hoopla around it, and polls showing that up to 25% of consumers are interested in buying one, we mere mortals won’t be getting ours until June 2015. So we just have to ask, can Apple do no wrong? How can millions of people be pre-ordering an expensive gadget that’s been shown by reviewers to do very little?
The truth is, Apple has won the right to foist unproven gear upon the masses by scoring design wins over and over and over again, but sometimes, it really isn’t until the second or third try that its products actually make sense for consumers to buy. Take the first iPod Touch – nice concept, but without built-in speakers, it couldn’t be used to share music and video. Or the first iPhone, which was a total dog in terms of performance, had no apps, and had terrible battery life. And we’d say that the whole hard drive-based iPod line was a miss, despite the fantastic sales, given how huge and fragile it was. It wasn’t until the iPod Nano came along that Apple finally gave consumers a cutting-edge device that could still sell well today (despite Apple abandoning the iPod Nano line because its price dropped too low, turning it into a commodity). Then again, sometimes Apple just gets it right. We’d say the current iPhone 6 is simply the pinnacle of smartphone design, unlikely to be topped any time soon by anyone, Apple included.
Ultimately, the Apple Watch is a prototype for a product that someday will change the way we live our lives. Today’s version (or should we say June’s version, assuming you’re not Beyonce), in our opinion, just isn’t that product. If you’d like to help Apple test its concept, feel free to get in line, otherwise, wait until 2017 and you’ll probably find an Apple Watch truly worth owning.
Full Disclosure: Here at The Tech Buyer’s Guru, we’ve been Apple shareholders for a long time, dating back to the 1990s, when it was a huge loser, and more recently in the 2010s, when it’s been a huge winner. So when corporate profits are up, we are happy. That doesn’t mean we think what’s best for shareholders is best for consumers. In fact, here’s our advice – take the $350 you were going to spend on the Apple Watch, buy a few shares of Apple stock (as of May 1, 2015, you’ll get just under 3 shares), and we can almost guarantee you that you’ll be happier with your purchase a year from now than you would be if you bought the Apple Watch. How do we know? Apple stock has gone up in price 50% since May 1, 2014. Can’t say the same for the iPhone 5S!