Until Monday I was “that guy” fully believing Apple wouldn’t introduce a “watch” – maybe some kind of wearable (I had imagined a slap-wrist bracelet thing with Apple awesomeness) – but not a watch. I felt that (a) some kind of “remote extension” to the iPhone/iPad made a ton of sense but (b) “nobody” wants a watch. And then team Apple strutted their beautiful stuff, and I thought “gee willikers, at $99 that could just be a hugely adopted mainstream device.” But when the $349 price tag appeared, I scoffed and hemmed and hawed (note: no, I didn’t actually haw).
I woke up this morning thinking a little different. At $349 they might just have created another phenom.
At $99, I’ve realized, it may have been ready for mass adoption, but then – the masses may well have not adopted it. It’d be up for comparison with the various crud coming out of generic manufacturers. But not at $349.
What I believe Mr Cook and his cadre have created, at this much higher price point, is another high-falutin product. One owned by those with disposable income, enough that they’d “toss it away” on a “gimmicky” product. One with built-in scarcity.
In other words: they are re-creating want in a product, maybe even almost-need to those who can’t just have it.
Unlike the iPad, whose value I saw upon announcement, the Apple Watch is not so clearly framed in my mind. I can’t yet visualize how I’d use it on a day-to-day basis, which always slows down my likelihood to adopt.
But, I can now see the want that consumers will inevitably feel. The pride with which the early adopters will strut down the streets, wearing obviously too-short sleeves to ensure that everyone around will see they were first. And one day it’ll drop to $299, then eventually some much more accessible price, perhaps even as low as $99 for a Watch Mini in a few years. Smart.