Apple's mistake in naming this device the Apple Watch

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by lockerc18, Mar 11, 2015.

  1. lockerc18 macrumors 6502

    May 17, 2012
    IMHO, I believe Apple made a mistake in naming this device the Apple "Watch". Sure, you wear it on your wrist, just like a watch. And it can function like a watch. In fact, it is extraordinarily versatile at that. But calling it a "watch" creates a set of expectations about it which are the default in most people's mind. Those expectations are based on what people want from a watch, and this device is so much more than just that. The result is that potential buyers can be disappointed in it, because they expect it to have the same characteristics as a watch, even though, it really isn't one.

    I've been picking away here about battery life, for instance. Watches need much better charge life than 18 hours, on the order of days or weeks or months, and potential buyers are already primed to expect that because it's called a "watch". But this device doesn't have that kind of charge life. Why not? Because it has so many more functions than just as a watch, and those need lots of power, and space inside the device is limited. So, the battery doesn't last as long as a standard watch does.

    If Apple wanted to create a new category with this device, they should have called it something else so that people don't expect it to be comparable to actual watches. When they introduced the iPod, they chose a new name for it, and that created the brand category that made Apple the company that it is today. The same is true with the iPad. But this is not the case with the Apple Watch. By naming it a "watch", Apple has put this device in direct competition with "watches", and that handicaps the perception of the device.

    I can understand that Apple wanted to make the device familiar and comfortable to buyers, and calling it something they already know about does that. But that also creates the expectation that the device will be similar to those things users are comfortable with, which this device largely isn't.

    I don't know what other name would be better than "Watch". And obviously, that name train has left the station, so it won't be changed. But suppose this device had been called something else, like the Apple "iFriend". Sure, that's pretty icky. But that would have avoided all the baggage that a "watch" brings to the expectations of the device. And, it would have created a new brand category at the same time. Apple could still have said that "your iFriend is worn like a watch", and get that usage metaphor into people's heads. But the context of it being just like a watch wouldn't be there. What would be there is something entirely new.

    I don't know why Tim or Jony didn't call me up to talk about this before they announced this thing... maybe next time.
  2. Caseynd macrumors regular


    Jun 17, 2008
    ND, USA
    Yeah, maybe the iWatch was taken, but you would think they could have come up with some other possibilities?
  3. Rogifan macrumors Core


    Nov 14, 2011
    No matter what Apple called it people would be complaining about battery life. What do you call something worn on your wrist? A band or bracelet? That doesn't seem right either.
  4. JayLenochiniMac macrumors G5

    Nov 7, 2007
    New Sanfrakota
    So Apple made a huge mistake in naming their phones "iPhone" as its way more than a phone?

    They didn't call it iWatch because it's not an iDevice. Nobody buys a $17,000 iDevice.
  5. MacDawg macrumors Core


    Mar 20, 2004
    "Between the Hedges"
    There was a tremendous amount of ridicule and skepticism when Apple named their tablet iPad... that seemed to have passed and worked out pretty well. I don't think the name Apple Watch is gonna have a negative impact or connotation at all. I think calling it APPLE Watch serves as the differentiator from a typical watch :)
  6. dontwalkhand macrumors 603


    Jul 5, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    Same with the Nintendo Wii.

    Apple Watch is an OK name. We already have Apple TV, AppleCare and other "Apple names" too. It's not too foreign of a name.


    But remember the $17,000 device won't do anything without an iPhone.
  7. lockerc18 thread starter macrumors 6502

    May 17, 2012
    iPhone was a different case. Really, it was mainly an iPod with calling capability. And Apple wanted people to realize that it was a phone, ostensibly first. But, yes, that naming sure did work.
  8. Mr. Buzzcut macrumors 65816

    Mr. Buzzcut

    Jul 25, 2011
    I'm just happy the iDevice era seems to be over. Yet you guys cling to it. If Apple had seen into the future, the watch would have been the perfect iPod and the music player could have been named something else.

    I don't think calling it watch limits it in any way. It's the marketing and comparisons drawn here that box it in to that way of thinking.
  9. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I don't have a problem with it. Apple has moved away from the iXXXX nomenclature since Jobs passed away. So not seeing it called the iWatch isn to surprising.

    The name is a bit generic but its no worse then the iPad as previously mention which was ridiculed quite a bit.
  10. Julien macrumors G4


    Jun 30, 2007
    Also there is speculation that Apple has decided not to use the i nomenclature on new products going forward. The i was originally for the iMac and meant internet access. Oddly Jobs wanted to name it MacMan. Could you imagine the PhoneMan and PadMan?:eek: I guess we could have then had WatchMan:D

    Too many other companies try to cash in on the iName. By using Apple Product it is clear it's an Apple product and just rid of the outdated i reference.

    EDIT: maflynn posted while I was typing.;)
  11. samcraig macrumors P6

    Jun 22, 2009
    It's a watch. I don't have any issues with Apple calling it a watch. Even if time telling isn't the "primary" feature for some/most/all - it's still works as a double entendre. By looking at notifications and other information - you are "watching" something. You watch your health. You watch your txt message come in, and so on.
  12. NeutralGeek, Mar 11, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2015

    NeutralGeek macrumors regular

    Mar 11, 2015
    Great point. WATCH something or many other things, not only TIME, in that thing. Though you do or can do that with an iPhone or iPad as well. So Apple is saying, WATCH it here instead of .... And in the future, :apple: Watch will have a lot of things to WATCH not you would see in an iPhone or iPad. Maybe related to fitness or health etc.

    :apple: SmartWristWatch, naaaah. :p iWatch will be too cheesy and boring now.
  13. kettle macrumors 65816


    May 12, 2002
    England, Great Britain (Airstrip One)
    Continue with that line of thinking but add Tim Cook saying how long he's had to wait to make a phone call from his wrist watch…

    I don't just think the name is wrong, I think that maybe the iPhone 10 should be a self-contained device worn on the wrist.

    I think they're too soon - and because of that the product is a failure regardless of how well it sells.
  14. NeutralGeek macrumors regular

    Mar 11, 2015
  15. kettle macrumors 65816


    May 12, 2002
    England, Great Britain (Airstrip One)
    what's your estimate for how long until an iPhone can be self powered and on the wrist?

    because it's not magic - it's just not possible yet.
  16. Yr Blues macrumors 68020

    Jan 14, 2008
  17. NeutralGeek macrumors regular

    Mar 11, 2015
    ... "yet". When it happens, iMagic, someday.
  18. kmj2318 macrumors 68000


    Aug 22, 2007
    Naples, FL
    I don't think it matters. It's a watch. I'm happy that they are moving beyond "i". Any product can use the i prefix, and it lost it's appeal. It's starting to sound like a toy. No brand can call there item or website :apple:SOMETHING.

    I think they made a mistake in having both the entire product line, and a collection within the category both be called Apple Watch. Every single time I want to refer the the specific Apple Watch, I just say SS version. There really should be some suffix to the SS Apple Watch.
  19. Mabus51 macrumors 65816

    Aug 16, 2007
    It's not an iDevice. Apple knows it's a niche category much like the Apple TV. Hence Apple Watch. Also don't expect annual hardware refresh with it, they gave it a replaceable battery. If it was going to have an annual refresh it most likely would have been called iWatch. Even if the iWatch name was taken, Apple would have bought it out like they did with Cisco and iPhone.
  20. mbhforum, Mar 11, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2015

    mbhforum macrumors 6502a

    Jun 23, 2010
    Apple's mistake in naming this device the Apple Watch

    I would have called it Apple Wear. Oh wait, taken :).
  21. Rachel Faith macrumors regular

    Rachel Faith

    Apr 24, 2007
    People have a damn good reason to complain about the battery life.
  22. whtrbt7 macrumors 65816

    Jun 8, 2011
  23. betabeta macrumors 6502a

    Jun 28, 2013
    Seeing how iconic the iPhone is, I would have called it


    iPhone Watch.

    People love iPhone, and it's really an extension of iPhone so why not, you have to have an iPhone to use it, so it's really an iPhone watch.

    And, at some point it will be a stand alone phone, maybe 3 years or so.
  24. tresmith macrumors 6502

    Jul 25, 2014
    I actually gave this subject some thought because I and alot of other people thought they were going to call the watch the iWatch following the normal Apple nomenclature and I was surprised by the naming of the Apple Watch.

    My guess is that Tim Cook went with "Apple" in naming the "Apple Watch" to differentiate the Steve Jobs era of products which use "i" in their names and his, the Tim Cook era of products which will use "Apple".

    I've just concluded that Tim Cook wants to put his stamp on the future products of the company and distance himself from Jobs and Jobs' shadow, so he's dropping the "i" from the new products developed under his leadership and replacing it with "Apple". It's the reason why he called the new pay service "Apple Pay" instead of "iPay" and why he calls the new watch "Apple watch" instead of "iWatch".

    I understand the reasoning but I still think it was a mistake because the "i" designation is sexier and has more cache than using "Apple". In my opinion, Tim should have called latest Apple offerings, iPay and iWatch because if my guess is right then it will only serve to devalue the product.
  25. papa8706 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 24, 2010
    I think this was part of their subtle plan to try and separate this from their phone and tablet line. They are trying to sell this as a more fashionable watch, and while I have my reservations, naming it the iWatch would only make it sound cheaper and more cliche

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