John Gruber's thoughts on Apple Watch

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by Rogifan, Sep 16, 2014.

  1. Rogifan, Sep 16, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2014

    Rogifan macrumors P6

    Rogifan

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    #1
    Long piece but interesting read. He believes the software is far from finished. Gold watch is definitely 18-karat gold, not gold plated. He thinks the stainless steel and gold watches will be very expensive. He says the watch bands are gorgeous and the digital crown has the most amazing feel of any analog controller he's ever used. He also wonders whether Apple may allow people to replace the chip inside.

    http://daringfireball.net/2014/09/apple_watch
     
  2. gadgetguy11 macrumors newbie

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  3. JayLenochiniMac macrumors G5

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    #3
    He's predicting $999 and $4999 for the stainless steel/sapphire and 18K gold/sapphire models, respectively? Interesting.

    Hahaha, on further reading, he's describing this forum exactly:

     
  4. Rogifan thread starter macrumors P6

    Rogifan

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    #4
    Yep, pretty much. :D
     
  5. ancns macrumors member

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    #5
  6. iSage macrumors newbie

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    #6
    I'm thinking Apple will only sell the Sport in the Apple Store. The stainless and gold version will be sold through jewellery and watch places. The Apple Watch and Watch Edition are really jewellery pieces that happen to have computers in them.
     
  7. Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

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    #7
    Fantastic article. Even if the details are wrong there's obviously a lot of truths in here.

    I too thought of a trade-in program for the gold phone. I think that's the only way they can compete with traditional mechanical watches on the high end.

    No matter what happens, though, he's right that the tech press just won't get it. I'll have to start looking up fashion blogs go see what the people in these markets actually think.
     
  8. Patriot24 macrumors 68030

    Patriot24

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    #8
    A lot of people dismiss John for various reasons, but his insights are some of the deepest and most well-informed out there.

    I will say that I gasped a bit upon reading the bit about the price, but I think he's right that we are setting ourselves up for a shock if we think the pricing structure is going to be alike anything we've seen before. I had previously speculated price points in the afterglow of the keynote, all of which feel remarkably wrong now (read: insanely low-balled).

    I agree that obsolescence is a big question to be answered. I'm still not convinced that we're going to see a yearly release cycle on these.
     
  9. MarcoCapa macrumors regular

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    #9
    In my opinion ( and hope) 999 is too much for 316l steel and sapphire...
    Many watches have this feature nowadays in a price range well below 349$....
    I think more about a premium 100$...
    Price decreasing next year like iphone...
    Edition watch is another story....
     
  10. swingerofbirch macrumors 68030

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    #10
    I thought this was the most interesting line:

    And if I’m wrong, and Apple Watch’s computational hardware is in fact only slightly ahead of existing smartwatches, and that WatchKit is really just a glorified notification display system for iPhone apps, then Apple is in deep trouble.

    I do not think Apple is in deep trouble.​

    He took a hard line in saying the Apple Watch had to be more than what a Samsung Galaxy Gear can do before the product came out, and he's sticking to it.

    He's normally Apple's evangelist, so it's an interesting take.

    I do think Apple presented the watch really weirdly. His musings on what it could be or might mean are more informative than what Apple actually said the watch is.
     
  11. mtmac macrumors regular

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    #11
  12. LandoVol macrumors member

    LandoVol

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    #12
    So which one is the $349 model? The sport? I thought the apple watch was cheapest then sports were a bump up and then the gold ones were for whoever could afford those.
     
  13. kerosene macrumors regular

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    #13
    There's something Gruber hasn't quite picked up. When he compares steel and gold versions of Rolexes with Apple watch versions, there's a huge difference that cannot be overlooked. Rolexes are always very expensive, while the Apple Sport watch is starting at $349. So if you're buying a gold Edition Apple Watch it's no different from a watch next to anybody could wear except for the material. Doubtful this will be overlooked by the people who have the necessary pocket change to afford luxury watches, and who like that kind of bling.

    Will the Apple Watches functionality be that convincing that they'll still go for it? It's a big bet Apple is taking.
     
  14. mtmac macrumors regular

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    #14
    Remember the Jony Ive quote about this upsetting the Swiss watchmaker market? If the pricing does go this way, then I could see that happening. It does make it a more interesting marketing ploy if this is indeed the way they go. Pricing it too low wouldn't make it appeal to the high end buyer. However making it an object of excess would draw more attention, and thus drive more sales to the other two.

    It seems odd though that apple would place their SS model first on the left of three, if that wasn't the entry level product, but I did wonder about the 9 hours of manufacturing time and the attention to detail on the SS band.

    If they do price it this way, I agree the gold watches will be sold in jewelry stores, and the the other two in apple stores. The gold one may not even be available online on their own site then.

    I do hope if they do decide to go to an upgrade program rather than a smelting program, they continue to come out with more styles. Sure there's a lot of styles, but it's all of the same watch. I would hate to see them never come out with a round version as they are limited to producing new boards that go into the gold versions. If this becomes one platform that they continue to upgrade that would be acceptable as long as they are open to new platforms. I don't mind it is as thick as it is, but I would if it always remains as the only model as thick as it is.

    Apple does have the resources to not just produce yet another computer device. We have gotten accustomed to a computer taking over music and phones, but this would transcend that. Apple could become a tech company that adopts it ecosystem into a variety of everyday items. Sure there's been the occasional computerized refrigerator and such, but those are mostly gimmicks not fully integrated into the products. Apple may now not just be a tech product, but happen to be a jewelry provider featuring their ecosystem. If the pricing goes this way, how could you not see them as that? Sure the $350 is for the computer, but the other $4,650 or $9,650 is for the jewelry. At that point, the computer is clearly secondary, almost insignificant part of the purchase.

    I never would have wanted a gold version anyway. However, anyone can obviously see the allure of Apple wanting to go this direction. It also not only explains why they brought on board the type of people that they did, but also why those people would want to come on board as well.

    Certainly we would all like to see them at lower price points. However, most have balked at even $350. That price doesn't sound so bad when someone else is anteing up ten grand for the same thing in a different housing.

    The digital crown may be the jog wheel the original iPod had back when it was introduced. Other smart watches have an incredibly low market share just like MP3 players did when the iPod first came out. The iPod was very expensive compared to the cheaper players, but it sold in huge volume.

    Sure Apple has made mistakes before, Lisa and Newton some of the most notable. I think Apple will have a hit on their hands with this one. Look at the downside, they are the wealthiest company in the world and if this fails they will still be the wealthiest company in the world. However, a lot more watches are sold than computers. It may make sense to buy some stock...
     
  15. Julien, Sep 17, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2014

    Julien macrumors G4

    Julien

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    #15
    This kind of supports the prediction I made in the Pricing Prediction thread that the Sport will by far be the bread & butter line and will likely be more extensive in model selection/prices. Here is what I said think the Sport line may look like. Also with the Watch starting at $1000 the Sport line may be a 3 memory option instead of 2 to fill in all the price gaps. The Sport might start at 4GB for $350.

    Just to expand on my theory, what if the Sport line is far more extensive and something like below?

    8GB 38mm $350, 42mm $450, Space Gray $400/$500
    16GB 38mm $450, 42mm $550, Space Gray $500/$600

    Now the Watch and Edition are smaller lines with 16GB only. Then the Watch could plausibly start at $750.

    All in wild speculation.
     
  16. Quu macrumors 68020

    Quu

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    #16
    I really cannot see a lot of rich people spending $4999 on an Apple Watch.

    This isn't a rolex people, this is a computer on your wrist that will become obsolete within 12 months. When you buy a proper time piece as a status of wealth you do so knowing that it will either be desirable for a very long time or even increase in value making it both a status symbol and a good investment.

    The day you buy an Apple Watch it will start to lose value and as each successive year rolls on it will be worth less and less.

    I was given a gold rolex when my great uncle died. A watch that he had owned for decades, he had a modest collection of gold rolex watches maybe 12 or so. Many of them were over 50 years old. And they still worked perfectly.

    How long do you think the Apple Watch will function? Do you think the generation 1 Apple Watch will still communicate with the 2020 model of iPhone? Remember it requires an iPhone connection to function properly.

    And this is at a software level but even if we look at just the battery, most batteries go bad between 3 and 5 years. This watch doesn't use a watch battery you can't just go to a jeweler and get it replaced. It is probably glued in there and knowing Apple only authorised resellers will be able to do a change and for how long? I'm sure if you took a generation 1 iPhone to an authorised apple repair shop they wouldn't be able to replace the battery for you. That phone is 7 years old the Apple Watch has no greater chance of receiving longer battery replacements.

    All of these things work against the Apple Watch in the luxury high end watch range which in my opinion sits around the $1,500 - $50,000 range which apparently this $4999 Apple Watch is in.

    I think it will be a really successful product at < $400 but I do not think this super high end $4999 one is going to sell well. It's just a ridiculous proposition even for the stupidly wealthy.
     
  17. mennowijnen macrumors newbie

    mennowijnen

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    #17
    I you want a gold one for sure you have the money, if you are usual user you will get a cheaper one.
    Thank for sharing.
     
  18. Julien macrumors G4

    Julien

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    #18
    Here is what you are missing. Rolex makes 100% of it profits off high end watches. For Apple the profits of the Edition will be below negligible on its balance sheet. The Edition is a show piece. An analogy might be the NSX. Acura/Honda does't need to sell many NSXs because:

    1) The NSX brings people into the showroom and helps with the mass sales of other models.
    2) Each unit has a high profit margin.

    Apple knows that even if it sales only a few Editions they will still be on high profile celebrates wrists. This will help dive sales of the Sport. People will notice celebs wearing the Edition and this will feed the need for celebrities to have it.
     
  19. Quu macrumors 68020

    Quu

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    #19
    I think it will be a really successful product at < $400 but I do not think this super high end $4999 one is going to sell well. It's just a ridiculous proposition even for the stupidly wealthy.
     
  20. MonkeySee.... macrumors 68040

    MonkeySee....

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    #20
    love it :p
     
  21. Julien macrumors G4

    Julien

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    #21
    That's because you are thinking like a normal person with normal money. Neil deGrasse Tyson made any interesting observation. He said the lowest amount of money he would stop, bend down and pick up was a quarter. He then calculated that it was (can't remember the exact amount) was about comparable to $50,000 to Bill Gates.

    Now dropping a quarter (or even $20 if your are poor wealthy:eek:) on the latest fashion sound like less than chump change. If you don't believe in 'stupid wealthy' look here.
     
  22. acctman macrumors 65816

    acctman

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    #22
    huh are you serious, why would the watch need 16gb? it's not storing photos, movies, or anything other than the OS and some health data that is pretty much passed over to the iPhone.
     
  23. Julien macrumors G4

    Julien

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    #23
    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  24. bransoj macrumors 6502a

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    #24
    You can store music on the watch as well cant you so need some space for that and i think you can store photos as well.
     
  25. Rogifan thread starter macrumors P6

    Rogifan

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    #25
    On Apple's site it says it takes 9 hours to produce ONE link bracelet. It says the Milanese loop is woven on special Italian machines. The leather in the modern buckle band is coming from a French tannery. The leather loop quilted band is using handcrafted leather from Italy. And the classic buckle is using leather from a tannery in the Netherlands. It seems Apple clearly put a lot of effort into making really high quality bands. I'd be curious to know if all the assembly is done in China or if that's just final assembly and some of the bands are produced elsewhere?
     

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