The Apple Watch - How Is It Doing?

Continuing my obsession with the Apple Watch, a device I don’t own and don’t intend to own, I’m curious how its doing.

I read a report yesterday that suggested the early sales are disappointing and that a respected research firm has cut first year sales projections to 15mm watches although Morgan Stanley still has their estimate at 36mm watches.

But more than how it is selling, I am curious how it is doing with those of you out there that bought it.

If you own an Apple Watch, please complete this short survey. I appreciate it. I will post screenshots of the results as they come in.

Take Our Survey

Comments (Archived):

  1. William Mougayar

    You certainly seem to be obsessed with figuring out the Apple Watch thing :)Did you see Stratechery’s post from yesterday, “Apple Watch and Continuous Computing”…

    1. JamesHRH

      Consistently impressed by his analysis.His comments on Siri are bang on (wrist, cloud,Google). I totally believe he has ‘used Siri more in the last 2 weeks than in the last 2 months’, with the Watch.I am not a IVR believer, but Siri is likely a big part of the Watch long term.

      1. John Rhoads

        These comments are particularly relevant in countries where people speak to text more frequently and it is more culturally normative.One such a place is China, Tim Cook has spoken about how his trips to China have influenced his thinking on the watch.Also, China isa massive market with a surging middle class and a fierce competitor in Xiaomi. It’s not all about “US” all the time.

        1. JamesHRH

          Great post and a great PoV reminder.

  2. ShanaC

    Well, how was the bike ride?

    1. fredwilson


      1. ShanaC

        good! (I had nothing to say about apple watches)

    2. Matt A. Myers

      The important questions of life. 🙂

    3. Chimpwithcans

      I’m guessing it was Android-tastic! 🙂

  3. LIAD

    Everyday I waited for the iPhone to come out in England. I suffered.Everyday I waited for the iPad to be released. I was in pain.Everyday I waited for Nest to be available. I was jealous of those who already had one.The same goes waiting for certain books to arrive, music albums to be released, movies to hit the cinema, new cars to be delivered, or myriad orders to hit my doorstep. The list goes on and on.Not so with the Apple Watch. No desire. No jealousy. No fascination. No appeal.In my survey of 1, I hold to my initial viewpoint of……….MEH.

    1. JoeK

      Old age does that you …

  4. Twain Twain

    Not going to buy one despite “Oohing and aahing” over it when it was first announced.I tried one on in store last week and just am not into that form of wearable tech; that and anything that obstructs vision, e.g. Google Glass, Occulus Rift, MS Hololens.I want wearable to be as unobtrusive as a button on my shirt.

    1. Marissa_NYx

      Like turning each button on your shirt into wifi hotspots 🙂 great way of attracting a fan club.

      1. Twain Twain

        Haha, yep.I could go further and say it’d be SO cool if wearable tech was as seamless as the stitches on our clothes.This is possible. Material science of hybrid polymers that can conduct is going to get us there.The crazy stuff I’m hoping will happen!

        1. Marissa_NYx

          The fashion folk are already working on it . I heard some of them talk about a new gen of wearable tech fabrics at the Womens Entreprenuers Festival in Jan this year. Perhaps Fred will survey us all in a few years about our favorite type wearable tech clothing or state – imagine beaming up Google maps on your clothing or having Siri talk to you from the soles of your shoes, just like on Get Smart. Or something even more creative.

          1. Twain Twain

            They already do this type of quantified self T-shirt.

          2. Marissa_NYx

            Very cool. Thanks for sharing.

  5. andyswan

    We are seeing signs that our “low” projections were on point or even a little high.Original projection:

    1. William Mougayar

      What does your Like Folio crystal ball say about the Shopify IPO?

      1. andyswan

        We don’t cover IPOs yet William sorry.

        1. William Mougayar

          ah, it’s been priced, and it starts to trade today on the NYSE, symbol SHOP.

          1. awaldstein

            i wish them well.I seriously hope they take some of the capital and focus on their product.So smart for targeting and nailing a segment. Product is not where it should be.

          2. William Mougayar

            1st large/significant Canadian Tech IPO for a long time…So, they are symbolic in many ways.I hope their mini millionaires and Canadian VCs who benefited re-invest in many more startups in Canada. Sad part (for Canada) is their biggest VC beneficiary is a US one (Bessemer, owning about 1/3), but that’s part of a bigger problem.

          3. andyswan

            We will begin coverage on it near their 1st earnings report.

    2. Matt Zagaja

      Interesting methodology. I think it’s cool, but wonder why constrain or believe that the target market is new iPhone buyers and not also existing iPhone users? The watch came in “off-cycle” from the iPhone so that population would totally miss Apple’s most loyal cohort of upgraders that purchase every new product on release day.

      1. andyswan

        You’re not wrong. I don’t think our methodology is perfect (and won’t ever be… nature of the social data beast). But I think we did a good job of capturing the “enthusiasm level” of the most likely customer base, especially when you consider that some analysts spend a lot of money sending people out to survey folks that are waiting in iPhone lines…

  6. gregorylent

    no ties, no rings, no watches

  7. BlairMacGregor

    Hi Fred -With respect to the KGI sales projections you’re referencing, Morgan Stanley just put one out that seems to counter that. They are still predicting total units sold to be in the 30m range:…I’m not sure who will ultimately be right but I would take any projections of demand based on survey data, without there having been any retail availability (there won’t be any Apple Watches for purchase in Apple stores until next month), with a grain of salt.

    1. fredwilson

      thanks for that link. i will put it into the post. i was having trouble finding it

      1. LE

        For the purpose of what you do none of that prediction shit matters one single iota. The only thing that matters is if the product, in a timely fashion, gets good enough to change human nature and become valuable. No way in the world (at this stage that is meaning this month) there is any research that is going to come close to coming up with the answer to that. I don’t even have one on my wrist yet and you can’t really even buy one.

  8. William Mougayar

    The day Apple cuts the iPhone umbilical cord is the day I’ll buy one. Apple will need to realize that this Watch shouldn’t be an extension of your smartphone, but rather something else.

    1. RichardF

      hopefully the nexus watch will do that first

      1. William Mougayar

        yup. it might.

    2. Scott Kurnit

      I thought so too. But I have one – and the fact that it’s tied to the phone is actually brilliant. It’s essentially a tiny iPhone with much greater proximity than the “big” one in your pocket. I’ve been pleasantly surprised that the small increase in proximity of wrist over pocket makes a big difference. The fact that it is in sync with the bigger one (my pocket watch) is a good thing. Be careful about making judgements on things you haven’t tried. All of us who read Fred look into the future for a living. $700 for a look into what this will be… at version 3 or 4 means you should at least borrow one for a week and “feel” where this can go. This is a real deal product that when it’s 1/2 as thick and has 1 week battery life and has a better phone and more – we’re all going to have one. Apple has done a fantastic job on v1. V3 is going to change a lot of things. Get one.

      1. William Mougayar

        Thing is I can’t try it now, because I switched to Android 8 months ago. I understand Apple’s intent in terms of connecting it to the Apple ecosystem, but having the iPhone as a gateway to that ecosystem is frankly a burden. I’m not sure if it’s a technical limitation, or a marketing intention.You’re right that my statement is based on analysis and judgement, and not from first hand experience, but I need to balance users excitement with reading several reviews by people who have used it for a full month and not been so in awe, and even Loic LeMeur’s couldn’t stand to keep it on his wrist after he realized it was more of an annoyance than anything, specifically because it was clashing with the smartphone. Of course, the young and fashionable with disposable money from their parents are going gaga on on it, and I’m seeing older people wear it because it makes them hip.That said, totally agreed that the v2/3/4 will be that much better, and I can already tell where it can be going. You are kind to Apple, and I respect that. Some others (like me) expect perfect things from Apple and the moon, and they are curbing their enthusiasm for now.

      2. LE

        Agree. Not to mention that part of Apple’s strategy sometimes is to actually release a less than perfect product at first to keep it’s competitors away and laughing on the sidelines.

      3. PhilipSugar

        You’ve hit upon exactly why I don’t like it and I’ve tried:”It’s essentially a tiny iPhone with much greater proximity than the “big” one in your pocket.”I have come to the point I need less proximity to the iPhone, and in my peer set I think I am the best at limiting my use.I have to make people put theirs away, make rules, etc, etc. You watch couple’s and kids not connect because they have too much proximity to their iPhone, strangers are now really, really strangers.Now this was not always the case.You needed more proximity:To a phone: Remember payphones??To a computer: Remember going to the lab??To being available: Remember pagers??To the network: Remember driving to work??To where you were: Remember life before GPS??You can cite many more examples before and after.But just like food (you needed more, meat, more calories, etc) maybe we have gone too far.Who knows, I could be totally wrong, and have been before. Why the hell do we need Twitter?? (still don’t)

        1. awaldstein

          Apple products have always been about want not need. That there brilliance when they work.

          1. PhilipSugar

            The line between want and need starts to blur at a certain point. So I could just have easily interchanged the words in my post.But I understand your point. Apple products are about aspiration, no difference than say BMW.However, having over a dozen products and never having had one break (other than when it was broken) justifies the price in my mind.

    3. markslater

      bang on.

      1. William Mougayar

        I tweeted this the other day, “Mr. Tim Cook, Tear down this wall.”…

          1. William Mougayar

            Exactly. There is a Berlin wall between Android and iOS, and someone is going to tear it down.

          2. SubstrateUndertow

            Maybe Microsoft is starting to eye that interloping opportunity ?

          3. pointsnfigures

            Saw an interesting post somewhere about $MSFT. He said to short the stock continuously because they have lost so much talent, but buy stocks like $GOOG, $AAPL, $TSLA because talent is running to work in those companies. anecdotal for sure but interesting to think about.

    4. Phil Swenson

      the only reason the watch depends on the iphone is battery life. the battery life is already on the edge of acceptable, adding in cell radios + gps would kill it.Give it another couple releases and I think it will be untethered.

    5. SubstrateUndertow

      Extended battery in the strap and some true health-sensor accessories with the SDK to make them sing and BOOM!The present watch is a place holder waiting for the SDK/sensor/actuator ecosystem to arrive.The eco-system startup sequencing-complexity for this product is an order of magnitude more difficulty to jumpstart than were the iPod/iPhone/iPad. This time around it is much more of a chicken/egg timing problem as regards hardware/software/sensor/actuator development sequencing/synchronicities.This product is by its very nature a slow burn product cycle and I think Apple probably understands this reality as a “nothing ventured nothing gained” early market-capture risk-complexity trade-off necessity.Welcome to the test group !We’d like to thank all our customers for helping to finance this startup project 🙂

  9. Cam MacRae

    I’m a watch guy. I notice watches. Haven’t seen a single one in the wild.

    1. Joe Cardillo

      Same, been wondering what the average, non dialed into tech person thinks of it.

      1. Cam MacRae

        I’m not sure they do. Although I don’t discount that it might grow quite popular over time.

  10. markslater

    I bought it – wore it for 5 days and sent it back.Its not a good product – its not well executed – steve jobs would never have let that out of the shop. The reasons are too numerous to mention but i’ll save you all from a huge rant and focus on the reason i bought the watch in the first place.I am a runner. I am training for a half this sunday and amongst other things i am trying to hit a PB on my time. So when i run – i wear my iphone on my arm – listen to music and use runkeeper to track my progress. I saw the watch as a partial replacement to this with its fitness tracking technology. so i wore both. I did 10 miles on runkeeper and 9.7 on the watch. Fail. i could not easily access my time per mile (V important to me), my splits (v important) , steps per mile etc…..these re real and valuable metrics that i am gonna guess any semi-serious runner on here follows in some fashion. The watch is a horrible fitness tracker, the primary reason for my purchase – so i sent it back.Oh and bluetooth draining my phone, nightly charging, telling me to stand up at 11pm at night when i am sleeping…..This is not a “wait for the second version” type scenario – this is a back to the drawing board IMO. it needs to basically replace your phone (so it needs a radio etc) – as a tethered device, its a brick on my wrist.I am left questioning whether jobs would have released this as is. And i love mac products for the most part.

    1. William Mougayar

      wow. you and Loic had similar reactions.

      1. Dave Pinsen

        I wonder if Loic ever ate that croissant that was sitting in front of him when he interviewed Fred in Paris.

        1. William Mougayar

          ha…i think none of them touched their food if i recall 🙂

    2. LE

      steve jobs would never have let that out of the shop.Along those lines, the first thing that irked me (and I am still long on the product by the way) was the sales process.The website was to confusing for me to make a quick decision (not even layed out well I couldn’t even easily figure out the navigation) and the sales process in the store was not any better. To many choices, to much to think about. And no way to buy any and get immediate impulse gratification. Totally not Steve like.I decided to wait until they are in the channel and available and put off buying one (which I still intend to do).By my theories on the value of this product (authentication) distribution has to reach critical mass and obviously we are not even close to a dusting at this point.

      1. Dave Pinsen

        A startup you might want to take a look at: https://www.atlaswearables….Not sure if their band would meet your running needs, but curious what you think of it.

        1. Rami Alhamad

          I’d like to throw our hat in the ring here as well, check out what we do at: trainwithpush.comAs an engineer, platforms are 100x more complicated to build, you have to cater to such a wide variety of use cases and the fitness use case is particularly challenging. With a platform play, you have no choice but to compromise on certain use cases. I think Apple made the right choice and focussed on daily interaction vs fitness. For v1 at least, that makes a lot of sense to me. I can’t wait to get mine, I have to wait for few more weeks.

    3. LE

      The fitness tracker things that you are mentioning can be fixed in software they will get that figured out and working.

    4. Cam MacRae

      Also a runner. For what it’s worth, I’ve always found runkeeper to overestimate pace and distance. In theory they’re both using the same GPS, right? So perhaps the watch is making some corrections based on cadence. Either way, buy yourself a Garmin 🙂

    5. Jaco Pretorius

      For what it’s worth – RunKeeper is terrible at keeping track of how far you’ve run. I will do the same run 3 times and get vastly different readings each time. (In terms of distance)

  11. @billg

    15M watches in the first year isn’t trivial. Fossil, the world’s largest fashion watch company, ships 30M watches per year.

    1. rimalovski

      I don’t have one (yet), but 15,000,000 is a lot of units for a v1 of anything! To put this in context, I believe Apple shipped less than 5,000,000 iPhones in the first 12 months!

    2. Girish Mehta

      Agree. Even if they hit only 12m-15 m units….by any standards, except for Apple’s own, thats a significant number of units to sell for a category creating product at those price points in its first year.

    3. @billg

      According to an article in Apple Insider… Kuo’s estimate is only for Apple’s fiscal year which runs through the end of September. If so, this 15-million forecast does not apply to holiday 2015 sales, which typically represents 40-50% of annual sales for most watch companies.

    4. pointsnfigures

      at a lower price point too! (Fossil)

  12. David Schachne

    I ordered my 42mm watch about 40 minutes after it went on sale four weeks ago. I still haven’t received it yet. (It’s not due to arrive for a couple of weeks.) Fred, I will fill out the survey a few weeks after I receive it. I’m looking forward to using it primarily for health purposes and comparing it to Fitbit and other devices, although I’m excited to see what other utilities it has to offer me. Ultimately, I need to determine if it will simplify my life or, on the contrary, make it more difficult. If the latter, I will buy a Fitbit Surge or similar device. I acknowledge a multi-functional device like the iWatch won’t be nearly as beneficial (for fitness needs) as a specific purpose device, but I’m willing to give it a shot so I don’t need to own multiple watches. I’m not a hard-core runner like Mark Slater, previous poster, so it may suit my needs. Stay tuned.

  13. Twain Twain

    The Russian Prime Minister likes it, apparently.

    1. Matt A. Myers

      Apple could afford to send out 100,000 free gifts of the watch to have people believe it’s getting adopted, to get the adoption going..

      1. Twain Twain

        Right, they have a $194 BILLION cash pile.They could spend $100 million to gift 250,000 Sport watches to social influencers.

    2. pointsnfigures

      Maybe he can bomb the Ukrainians with it.

      1. Twain Twain

        Apple has hippy roots => peace, not war.And they’re not the ones building AI or robotics that Elon Musk is fearful will annihilate Mankind:* http://www.washingtonpost.c

  14. Slater

    I regularly wear the ipod Nano 6th generation on my wrist after purchasing a simple watch strap from amazon. People often mistake and ask if it is the Apple Watch. In effect it is – except I have been using it in this manner for the last 4 years. Its an excellent device with good battery life, the ability to listen to music/podcasts (which I love), take voice notes and use as a Nike+ tracker. Plus it has 20 different watch faces that light up when you switch it on. It doesn’t give me real time weather nor message alerts. But it does everything I need it to in an unobtrusive manner with excellent battery life. For workout enthusiasts its far better than strapping a smartphone to your arm or waist. This is the base that Apple should have gone with for the iWatch. Simple functions, great design and outstanding battery life. But they wanted to jump to the end before the beginning instead of starting simple and evolving. I parallel this with my own smartphone experience. I was using the Treo 600 and 650 the same way that we use iphones/androids today. For texting, listening to music, apps and web browsing; as opposed to voice and email which was the primary use case back then.

    1. John Rhoads

      Lol this is great!

    2. JamesHRH

      The real vital part of your post is your comment about sequencing.Jobs was an end state person, but what he learned from getting schooled by Bill Gates was that you can’t ‘jump right to the end.’The ‘i’ product line was perfectly sequenced.Of all the comments that cast concern over this product, this is the most damning, by far.When you show people the end point and they think it sucks, you are in a really bad spot. That is why you build your position in the market incremntally.Terrific insight.

  15. Jason Hirschhorn

    I like the watch, but it’s like early days of iPhone. Slick, needs more content an apps. I have not mastered the heath stuff yet, but I like the fact that it can remind me, its right there and the haptic alert stuff is cool. Shazam while riving. Seeing Slack messages. But still so early. The price point for a second mini device is a problem for them in my mind. The jury is out for me, giving it more time. And like many of us, I want it all early. Has it changed my life. No. Does it have promise to be fun and useful, yes.

  16. Matt Zagaja

    Still waiting for mine. I know some are bearish but I learned my lesson from the iPad, which I was bearish on when it was released. Didn’t buy until v2 and only as a “toy” because I didn’t think I’d use it much. I use mine constantly. Not sure about others but I find iPad is a way better tool to bring to meetings than the laptop which I feel “disconnects” me from the group.

  17. Armando Braun

    15mm watched first year projections disappointing??? We need to remember that the iPhone sold 5.4mm units during its first year, and reached the 15mm units towards its second year!

    1. andyswan

      Totally. I’ve oft repeated the line that the apple watch will be the most successful disappointment in tech launches in history.It was the analysts that got bubbly here.

      1. Armando Braun

        Agree. And there’s more, the iPad also sold 15+mm units during year 1, which was not only considered a success but it was also an independent device (you didn’t need to own a smartphone to use one)!

  18. Joe Cardillo

    Here is what I am trying to figure out, and is partially pieced together in some of the comments so far: what inevitability is the Apple Watch a bridge to?If it’s just another, slightly different and/or more convenient way to access apps that are built for a phone or iPad, it’s in trouble. If it’s rooted in the actual world e.g. on your daily morning jog or your walk from the hotel to ribs restaurant you can ask it to help you adjust your experience in real time, that is part of a huge inevitability. In 10 years (hopefully less) no one is going to care about screens for wearables, it’ll be holograms or some sort of augmented reality or overlay. If the Apple Watch is getting us towards that, I’d imagine it’ll be huge. If it’s just another product that re-approaches the app marketplace, it’ll likely sell decently and then fade out in a few years. Of course with Apple brand that might be enough to keep stock price high, but that’s not something startups can leverage.

  19. RichardF

    android wear for the win….because Breitling et al will need to bring out a smartwatch…

    1. Cam MacRae

      Breitling actually has a smart watch: B55 Connected.

      1. RichardF

        I didn’t know that! but having looked at it – it doesn’t appear to be as smart as an LG G Watch R (unless you are a pilot) but I guess it’s a start!

        1. Cam MacRae

          True, but neither the iWatch nor the LG are “watches”. I’m very glad Breitling aren’t trying to make an iWatch.

          1. RichardF

            I don’t know Cam, I love Breitling watches and initially I didn’t think I would be attracted to a smartwatch but I’ve just ordered one, so it will be an interesting experiment to see if functionality outweighs beauty!

  20. Susan Rubinsky

    I don’t have one and don’t want one, but I have two girlfriends who each have one. They both have big crushes on the watch, but can’t really explain why. I also went out on a date with a guy who had one. He says he can’t leave home without it now, but that he misses his Rolex and that he can’t wait until this technology comes inside a Rolex. I also went out on dates with two other guys who each wore a Rolex (Maybe a harbinger of my “type”. Maybe it should be an OKC question… but I digress) and each of them said in no way would they ever wear a “smartwatch” because they’d never give up their Rolex. I asked each one if it was in a Rolex, would they buy it?” The answer was Yes. I know, totally qualitative, but I suspect there is an untapped luxury market here.

    1. John Rhoads

      Takeaways: I now aspire to date more people with Rolex’s

      1. Susan Rubinsky

        LOL. So funny that it just happened. Either I tend to like Rolex guys or they tend to like me. Who knew such criteria existed?

    2. LE

      because they’d never give up their Rolex. I asked each one if it was in a Rolex, would they buy it?” The answer was YesFirst all of this is very interesting I wish more people would write with such honesty and personal anecdotes (as I often do).The way your dates view their Rolex’s is similar to the way that I view Porsche. I told a dealer this morning (while I was dropping off a car there for service) that I would only buy another 911 not a Cayman, well probably. Cayman is a perfectly good Porsche and in some ways even drives better than a 911. [1] But once your brain has “911” imprinted in it it’s hard to buy another Porsche model coupe. I suspect that is similar to what is going on in the brain of the men that you have dated. Nobody buys a Rolex to tell time or as a watch. Nobody buys a Porsche to get from point a to point b.I don’t wear a watch and have no desire to buy a Rolex. At all. But from my experience with owning Porsches as a guy I can tell you that it is worth the money. But not because it gets you from point a to point b.So I can see how your dates really don’t want to wear an Apple Watch. Lucky for Apple not many people can afford a Rolex or care to have a Rolex compared with the mass market.[1] And in fact they gave me a brand new (500 miles on odometer) Cayman as a loaner…driving about an hour back to work with it just didn’t move me in any way. And this was a new car.

      1. Susan Rubinsky

        Yes, I love your analogy. It is exactly the point. If you think it out even further, I’d say the Tesla would be tech’s version of the Porsche. Guys who wear a Rolex are not buying a Prius any day soon, but they sure as hell will buy a Tesla.

        1. LE

          What is interesting about Tesla is that I personally have no interest in buying a Tesla at all. One reason is that I was not raised having a desire for a Tesla I was raised admiring Porsche, Mercedes. (This was back when Mercedes was a big deal, not ubiquitous and not special like it is now by the way).Tesla hasn’t been imprinted in my brain. I have no, what I call, “secondary meaning” with it. I never lusted for one when I was young and impressionable. But Tesla (you are correct) is imprinted in the brains of the younger tech crowd (and I will admit much of the older Tech crowd as well, Fred as an example).What this means to Tesla is that there is a future upside for them. All these young people who can’t afford one now may very well want one in 10 years when they can. Just like I eventually made enough to buy the luxury cars that I wanted when I was younger. The seed was planted.As far as Rolex I wished I wanted a Rolex. You know why? Because if I did I would buy one and then I’d have a happy feeling from having a Rolex. Nothing wrong with that.As I like to say, “it’s not what people think it’s what you think that they think”.

    3. pointsnfigures

      I will not give up my Rolex for an Apple.

      1. Susan Rubinsky

        Smart move. A Rolex is damn impressive. The Apple watch looks like a Swatch to me.

        1. pointsnfigures

          Ha, mine is a 1962. Nothing fancy. Was the year I was born.

  21. William Mougayar

    The number of Apple Watch cartoons I keep seeing is staggering. Here’s a couple I liked.

  22. pointsnfigures

    Don’t have a watch, not interested in buying one. However, I have watched the marketing of the watch closely. I don’t think it resonates like other Apple marketing programs. The watch doesn’t make me feel anything in my gut. Other Apple ads have been totally inspirational and aspirational. iWatch ads feel very transactional and utilitarian to me.

    1. Brian Johnson

      Jeffrey-Having worn one for a few weeks now I think that is because, ultimately, nobody NEEDS this watch. Apple watch doesn’t yet know what its true purpose is.

    2. LE

      The value in this product is not in the brain party it’s in the benefit that it can provide for you and what you can do with it. At this point it is still not widely adopted and it’s a bit of chicken and egg. So it is not what it seems to be because it isn’t clear what you can do with it that matters.Tell me whether you would have any interest in buying one when you no longer have to remember usernames or passwords on websites. I can’t even begin to imagine anyone that wouldn’t see value in that type of benefit.

      1. pointsnfigures

        Can do that with my phone already.

        1. LE

          I wasn’t clear. I am not talking about logging in from the phone on legacy sites that you have already logged in on that know your password. I’m talking about desktop or mobile experience on sites that you have not logged in on before. So for example I sit down in front of a computer and I can login to a site that I don’t currently have credentials on. The fact that the watch is paired with my phone and that I have authenticated myself (and it’s strapped to my wrist) means that the browser can trust that it is me (assumes NFC watch vs. desktop or mobile) and so on.

  23. Craig Cramer

    I’ve been using watch daily since April24 and love it. Replaced 90% of what I did on the phone with what feels like 50-75% less screen time. That’s the “killer app” for me. What’s at least as interesting is the reaction I get. Every friend and family member has asked about it. These are almost all people who wouldn’t bat an eye if I had the newest iPhone. Plenty of strangers, with whom I wasn’t otherwise conversing, have asked me about it. So, apple has succeeded in creating awareness. The main reactions are curiosity, confusion (“what does it do? You can text with it?”), and delight when I demo its functions. As I said, I love it as its proven watch>phone for most functions. I’m still not sure how widely it will be adopted. Phone use is very ingrained at this point and the watch requires behavior change, which is always a challenge. These may especially be the case because the watch doesn’t do more than the phone. In fact, it does less, and even if what it does do it does better, at least for me.

  24. Dan Conway

    Three weeks in:Setting up rolling To-Do list/notes/reminders on the watch with the physical pulsing/taps is a game changer.The watch will have a major impact on business. Can see many niche watch apps that will be created as tools to enhance worker performance and a company’s productivity.It wins because I’m asking myself, “What if…”Early days.

    1. SubstrateUndertow

      There would seem to be a lot of potential for single use-case needs to drive sales in the long run.

  25. Humberto

    telling me to standup; passbook; step counter etc. is enough for me. i like it.if apple pay worked in Europe, the watch would be a total winner for me. everything else, is way too complicated.

  26. Bernard Desarnauts

    Fred, Your survey speaks for itself. The large majority of early owners, me included, do like it more now than at first. It’s amazing how quickly it became part of my daily life to the point where I don’t even get surprised by it much. When I get asked why I like it so much, I am a bit embarrassed to only repeat the same key themes – a) use my iPhone a lot less b) the activity/health is top notch and c) payment – I just get a kick at getting my coffee at Starbucks without pulling phone or wallet. I look fwd to lots more/better apps soon (and by the way the 1.01 update polished the experience a ton.Correlating your survey we just published yesterday a bunch of other insights coming from a small yet growing panel of users as part of our first product experiment. The findings are summarized here…Anyone in AVC community who has the watch is welcome to join our “inner circle” and get first dabs at the data + help us shape future questions.

    1. LE

      I just get a kick at getting my coffee at Starbucks without pulling phone or wallet.Wait until you don’t have to use passwords on websites…

      1. Bernard Desarnauts

        Or on TIVO. wasted 20 minutes to reenter my Spotify password etc.

  27. teddybeingteddy

    Fred you do realize you officially troll Apple? I’m personally fine with it, as you know I troll on Bitcoin. And I don’t disagree with you on the iwatch. Just ironic that an anti-troller is taking a stroll down troll lane himself… the dark side is kinda fun though, am I right??

    1. LE

      It is his blog and he is chief of police. Therefore he can never be considered a troll. For that matter even if any of the people commenting were to be considered trollers by other commenters (or casual readers) if Fred thought they weren’t trolling then they aren’t trolls but simply an accepted part of the community.

      1. TeddyBeingTeddy

        Well played sir…well played

  28. Keri Kandel

    While I don’t intend to get the Apple Watch b/c of the price point, I can say that I used a smartwatch (Samsung Gear Live) for a while with my Android phone. I got it free from my company to test the Smart Lock feature (which I loved!) and didn’t expect to like the watch. After a few weeks, I finally realized the value of having filtered notifications on my wrist and I also realized that this watch might be targeting the wrong crowd – men. As a woman, my phone is often in my purse so I miss all the notifications and even important phone calls since it is buried in my stylish bag. The first time I was hanging out with friends and my watch said “mom calling”, I thought “wow” because I usually play phone tag with her and this time I got to talk to her live.However, I hated that it required my phone to be useful. I couldn’t even use Runkeeper without carrying my phone…what’s the point? Maybe Apple Watch is better on that front. I haven’t checked but I agree with others that it needs to be more of a stand alone device to really command that price point and be useful.Constant notifications are annoying and it seems every app is trying to get their notifications on your wrist. I think back to web publishers launching mobile apps for the first time…they weren’t thinking about the unique context of a phone so they crammed their desktop experiences into an app. It took time for companies to adapt and embrace the uniqueness of the phone. If 15M Apple watchers are sold this year, these companies need to do the same with the watch and think about what is relevant for this context.

  29. gsie

    I’ve been wearing Apple Watch (AW) for a week. This is my first smart watch, but far from my first wearable. I’ve worn three generations of the Jawbone UP and a first gen Basis. While AW hasn’t blown my mind, it has delivered enough value to justify my purchase and make me optimistic about the future of this product and category.Software is my biggest complaint about AW. 3rd party watch apps are almost universally useless while Apple’s apps weakly hint at their full potential. AW companion apps for iOS are underwhelming. At best they are functional (Apple Watch utility). At worst they flatter the competition, as is the case for Apple’s fitness offering (Activity).The good news is AW is a well-made piece of hardware, a pleasure to wear. It does notifications well enough to justify its existence. I pick up my phone far less frequently when I wear AW (~90%). I also miss few if any important messages when I wear AW (a buzzing phone in my pocket often escapes my notice). Boosting the signal-to-noise ratio of mobile notifications this way improves the iPhone user experience exponentially.The other areas AW has a chance to be disruptive are fitness and behavior. Thanks to weak software and barebones sensors, I don’t expect anything amazing from the gen 1 AW on the fitness front. Behavior I’m more optimistic about. AW’s haptic feedback capabilities are impressive, so the value of those nudges seems mostly software constrained. So far, the current AW software has made me stand up from my desk more frequently throughout the day. Hopefully, it will soon impart other good habits.My overarching observation, thus far, is that AW is strongest when it complements the iPhone and weakest when it tries to stand on its own. I think this is a function of the limits imposed by AW’s form factor first, and a design/commercial decision by Apple second. In time, AW will capitalize on its strengths (at-hand availability, one-glance output, one gesture input) to remove friction from other key mobile functions: location, payments, messaging, identity, etc. With the exception of the functions detailed above (and anything novel), AW will offer incremental improvements similar to how iPad excels at some functions where the iPhone was merely capable (e.g. long-form reading and e-commerce). As an iPhone user who spends most of his waking life “plugged-in,” those many incremental improvements and few “killer” features quickly add up to a compelling value proposition for AW.

  30. Yinka!

    As a non-fan, I am mildly curious to see the current uptake. That thing IS ugly, especially the special editions. E.g. The custom gold edition with gold link bracelet given to Karl Lagerfeld: That fine glove deserved to be paired with a more alluring accessory. Apple should have considered focusing on the innards/OS while allowing interested industrial designers to create casings, which would probably have yielded some very interesting results.

    1. pointsnfigures

      that glove isn’t too cool either…..

      1. Yinka!

        That diagonal meshing, fine stitching and zipper detailing says otherwise.

  31. Dan Wick

    I was extremely skeptical of it when I ordered on day 1, actually middle of the night 1.Got it 2 months later. Beautiful packaging and unboxing. Form factor is better than I expected and the sport strap is very comfortable.It took me almost 2 hours to figure out how to get it set up and do even basic things like change the watch face. That was really frustrating. Normals would have no clue how to set this thing up, which I’m sure is why Apple encourages the in store set up. I see that as almost a *must* for normals.Almost a week in with it now and I have to say I really love it. The taptic notifications is something I’ve quickly become dependent on. It frees me from my phone and computer in that I only get notifications on it when VIP emails come in and DM’s in Slack.As Walt Mossberg said, there is not killer app yet for it. And the early apps I used on it are minimal extensions of notifications basically. Apps like Instagram that let you browser your feed on it don’t make sense to me. Marco’s comments on not even trying to build similar UI than your iPhone app is spot on.The health reporting is fantastic. It centralizes and streamlines passive data collection that I have been using a suite of apps in the past to collect. The heart rate collection without a chest strap is great.In summary, I like it much more than I thought I would and it really has evolved my thinking on mobile and screens in general. Mesh computing is a fundamental change in how “apps” should be built. It’s a good 1.0 product, but no way will this version be a mass market hit.

  32. Alex Iskold

    I returned mine. Wasn’t worth $400 for me. Didn’t love anything about it really.

  33. LE

    I want $100 for every person that would love to know what companies you are investing in so that they can get on board and invest in the same companies.Or people who would easily buy into the next restaurant started by Mario Batali or Joe Bastianich. Or will angel invest on the same terms and conditions as the Gotham Gal (I would..)Why? Because following what you are doing and what you think matters based on your history and what you have done correctly is a good bet. While not perfect, certainly a safer than normal “bet” or “gamble”, right?So now we have a major profitable corporation, Apple, who has been right more often than wrong and further has a zillion smart “best of class” people working there and has made a major investment in this product and stands to lose a great deal if they are wrong. Do you really really think they are so stupid and off the mark on this one? Possible but not likely.So from my perch I simply can’t understand why this is such a stretch at all. My guess is not whether you will bet on it but you are simply deciding how much of a bet to make. The thing is by the time it becomes a success, if in fact it does, then everybody and their uncle will be pouring money into it and the opportunity will have passed.Of course it’s entirely possible that your public attitude toward the product is not the same as your private attitude and you are just trying to scare off competition by making them think that you are skeptical and are not behind it. So the apparent mercurial attitude is simply disinformation. [1] I mean that’s what I might do..and have done.[1] To which you always say “you give me to much credit” for that type of behavior.

  34. SubstrateUndertow

    When will Fred own an AppleWatch ?My bet within a year 🙂

  35. Joe Lazarus

    I went to dinner with three people who own one the other night. All three are gadget freaks and Apple fans. I asked them to rate it 1-10. One gave it a 7. The other two gave it a 5. Doesn’t bode well for Apple.

  36. Mehul

    I don’t have one but living in Bay Area means that I have seen plenty in the wild on peoples’ wrists. The biggest fail in Apple watch, IMHO, is that it looks like a black rectangular brick with white, blue, and other shiny colored strap-on. For the all the talk about fashion and infinite watch dials, as an observer, it serves NO fashion differentiation and distinction. It is just a black rectangular blob with bright colored belt.I understand that they are trying to conserve battery and utility, but it means that as fashion accessory it’s a disaster. There is nothing unique or fashionable about it unless wearing anything Apple is a fashion to you.In addition, someone touched on this below, but Watch is a want and not a need. Fashion and Wants are impulsive/emotional purchases. It is about touching it, feeling it, trying it on to see how it looks on your wrist, feeling that haptic feedback and then making that impulsive buy that you may regret later on. The current sales process in Apple store fails at this miserably as w/o appointment all I can look do it look at AW software which has nothing unique about it beyond the crown – which in itself is not a wowzer it was assumed it would be. It doesn’t make me feel weak the way wearing an unbelievably fitting outfit would…

  37. David Wolff

    I have had one for a week and I do like it mainly because it’s a lot of fun to wear (I realize that’s not a very technical explanation, but it’s accurate). The Apple watch screen I use is both simple and information rich (calendar and weather, for example), and while I haven’t yet used many apps there is definitely a “wow” factor to the ones I have used (Siri for text messages works brilliantly, and the touch function of the activity monitor also works well). Three notes: 1) I have the smaller one which is elegant and sleek, definitely not the feel of a version 1.0 device, while the bigger one does feel a bit clunky and therefore 1.0, 2) the initial set-up is very un-Apple, in that it’s not user friendly, and 3) I have seen some out in the wild (NYC and environs), but they have had bright bands and one thing about my black sport version is that you wouldn’t necessarily notice it. Anyway, my two cents added to the survey!

  38. Craig Cramer

    I haven’t counted but it seems that a few negative feelings are people who tried AW and didn’t like it, but most are from people who haven’t tried AW. Conversely, most who have AW are positive. Obviously, makes sense in that one with a negative view wouldn’t buy it in the first place. But, some of those are outright dismissing it. At the very least, haven’t tried/negative should be discounted.

  39. Michael Makunas

    You are missing one very important question: “Has your apple watch even shipped yet?” Some of us are still waiting (mine is coming tomorrow).

  40. Boling

    I really like mine. Voice dictation/Siri is awesome. Sending texts is quick. I love the ability to quickly glance at my wrist for notifications. It’s much more fluid for me than phone notifications.So far voice dictation definitely feels like the most natural way to use the watch. Swiping/tapping on a small screen still feels a bit strange — although it’s very accurate…The ecosystem is obviously still nascent and some developers clearly haven’t given enough thought to their watch apps, but I can imagine a few really useful, simple apps for the watch already.

    1. LE

      That’s a good feature, siri from the wrist. I started to use siri for setting up reminders and appointments and it works pretty well. The ability to do that from the wrist would be great. Or to dictate and email notes.

  41. OurielOhayon

    15 million “only”. that means a lot more than all smart watches ever sold to date. a disappointment? personally i like mine although far from perfect

  42. Tal Lev

    From the AAPL stock perspective, I’m concerned b/c Android smartwatches with similar functionality and aesthetics sell for $38 on Wish. I see why Apple can sell laptops at 100% premium and iPhones at 50% premium, but I suspect selling a watch for 900% premium might be tough – yet an ASP drop to $50 will be disastrous for the stock. I can personally afford the iWatch, but find it absurd to spend $350+ on a gadget squared (a gadget for my gadget). I wonder what others think about the iWatch pricing and if it’s sustainable.

  43. Ciaran

    “I read a report yesterday that suggested the early sales are disappointing and that a respected research firm has cut first year sales projections to 15mm watches although Morgan Stanley still has their estimate at 36mm watches.”15mm watches at $549 would equate to as much in revenue as Swatch, the current largest Swiss watch company by revenue. Some disappointment.

  44. JamesHRH


  45. JamesHRH

    I like your line of thought.With the exception of “Apple is often not the first best’. Store – first & best. iPhone – first & best (although Androiders can argue that), iMac – first & best (style wise, at least).

  46. fredwilson

    Spot on

  47. Phil Chacko

    Gateway tried a store.

  48. JamesHRH

    I will take my medicine on this – not first & not technically the best.Of course, the lesson here is that it is not about the ‘product’ alone, but the product + the ownership experience.

  49. Bernard Desarnauts

    Makes perfect sense. Replace wallet, keys, remote controls etc. Not iPhone or PC

  50. awaldstein

    To compare the Gateway stores to Apple Stores with the Genius bars is a large stretch of fancy.To compare itunes to the strategic intent of what CREAF did is like saying that the a flat screen TV is not an innovation cause we all had tubes based TVs prior.This is stretching it….

  51. LE

    I don’t agree at all with the “could have done” part. That is like people who say “I could be a doctor and make it through medical school if I just studied harder”.

  52. awaldstein

    this is like saying that nobu was not an innovator cause we had sushi joints prior.

  53. LE

    Apple has the advantage of an extremely talented and dedicated labor pool which in a creative business can trump others even if they are holding other cards.I remember back in the late 80’s or early 90’s. when my former brother in law got a job at Sun Micro (which was no slouch as we know). Two weeks into the job he gets a call from Apple. Leaves the Sun job, goes to work for Apple. Just like that. I remember him laughing even about the idea of even working for IBM.