What it is: Analysts claim the Apple Watch is a flop because Apple hasn’t released sales figures yet, but what’s really a flop?
The problem with analysts is that nobody tracks the accuracy of their predictions. Just because somebody appears on the financial segment of TV doesn’t mean they know what they’re talking about. Since Apple released the Apple Watch, pundits have claimed it’s failing and a flop. Yet they fail to define exactly what is a flop.
Let’s look at some real flops. Microsoft introduced the Zune music player in 2006 to compete against Apple’s iPod. On year later, Apple made the iPod obsolete by releasing the iPhone. Although the Zune attracted a small following, it never displaced the iPod and with the introduction of the iPhone, the entire music player market faded, taking the iPod and Zune down with it.
In 2010 Microsoft introduced the Kin phone to compete against the iPhone. Two months later they killed the Kin.
In 2002 Microsoft introduced the Tablet PC, yet sales remained soft until Apple redefined the tablet market with the introduction of the iPad.
The Zune failed not because it wasn’t any good, but because it arrived too late in a market that whose days were numbered one year later with the introduction of the iPhone. In this case, failure occurred because fewer people wanted a dedicated music player.
The Kin failed because it was far too limited compared to the iPhone.
The Tablet PC failed despite an eight year head start in the tablet market. Once again, sales were soft for years despite little competition from any other non-Windows tablet manufacturers. The biggest problem with Tablet PC designs was that they were expensive and heavy with almost no software designed to take advantage of their tablet form. Although manufacturers continued selling Tablet PCs despite sluggish sales, the Tablet PC design never caught on. In this case, the Tablet PC failed because few people bought and used them and few developers wrote software specifically for them (including Microsoft).
Failure can come in multiple forms:
- The product is good but the market is gone (Zune)
- The product isn’t any good (Kin and Tablet PC)
Now using this criteria to define failure for the Apple Watch, we can see if that the market for wearable computers is still growing so it’s not a dying market like the digital music player market. Also developers are creating apps for the Apple Watch (including Apple) and interest remains high among niche markets like the heat and medical field. So for now, the Apple Watch cannot be considered a failure in the same vein as the Zune, Kin, or Tablet PC.
When critics claim the Apple Watch (or any other Apple product) is a failure, chances are high those critics won’t define what failure means. After all, the last thing they want to face are facts.