Tag: iwatch

Apple staff are inexperienced

iconStaff at the fruity Apple Cargo cult are starting to show their inexperience at flogging wearable fashion items like the iWatch.

A viral YouTube video shows an Apple genius demonstrating how to use the iWatch to buy stuff from Amazon. But he rapidly discovers that the watch is too small an interface to carry out a complex transaction.

He had done all the right things. He had set up the Amazon’s app with the ‘one-click ordering’ to make it look like the purchase only took a couple of presses of the watch face.

The only problem is that it’s a little too easy to ‘click’ when it’s on an inch-wide screen which you’re operating with your thumb.

The demonstrator says, ”Let’s take a look at Amazon ‘It uses dictation. ‘Xbox One’. So, there we go. Xbox One – I could buy it now with one click.’

‘I am just going to add it to my wishlist. OH NO! Wait, wait, how I cancel?”

Still the scale of the potential disaster is not that apparent yet because Apple refused to supply most of its shops with the iWatch.

Angela Ahrendts has told Apple Store staff that the Apple Watch is unlikely to be available for in-store purchases before June – but they should expect the usual ‘blockbuster launches’ in retail stores for future products.

In a memo to retail store staff, Apple’s retail head thanked staff for making the try-ons “unforgettable,” told them customer feedback had been “overwhelmingly positive” and that the online-only ordering period was likely to continue throughout May.

So at least some of them have more time to practice.




Apple launches iWatch with a whimper

Cadburys_Chocolate_Teapot_hi_resWhile the Tame Apple Press and analysts claim that fruity cargo cult Apple is going to make billions from its iWatch, it does not seem that Tim Cook agrees.

Apple’s normal distribution plan is to release a product with a great fanfare, create a shortage and above all encourage fanboys to queue up to give the television cameras a story which makes the product look popular.

This is not happening with the iWatch. The company has not revealed how many orders it has received in the run-up to the April 24 launch, a contrast to previous launches of iPhones and iPads. And Apple stores will not have any watches to sell.

What this means is that the pre-orders were probably not as high as has been claimed and Apple could not guarantee that the watch would create the lines snaking around stores.

What this could mean is that despite the hype, the iWatch is not going to do as well as expected. This would be a surprise to many in the IT press because it would mean that customers had suddenly developed common sense when it came to Apple products. This version of the iWatch is coming with little in the way of functionality and will require a battery change every 12 hours.

Gene Munster, an analyst at Piper Jaffray, who normally praises anything Apple does did his best to put some pro-Apple spin on the news/

“The smaller launch can allow them to see how it goes and it does remove some of the line expectation and risk. If they did it the old way and the lines weren’t good, that’s a bit of a problem.”

Munster still predicts more than 2 million watches will be sold in the quarter ending in June. FBR Capital Markets senior analyst Daniel Ives raised his 2015 estimate to 20 million from 17 million, based in part on online order backlogs.

Ives claims that it was not that the iWatches would sell badly but because Apple faces the question of whether confused consumers will swamp Apple Stores.

Perhaps a greater problem with Apple’s iWatch is that many consumers will release they have bought a nice looking chocolate teapot when they get it home and will vow never to buy something just because it has an Apple logo on it ever again.

Chinese make iWatch for $40

Screen Shot 2015-03-09 at 18.15.41China is already making cloned copies of Apple’s Watch for just $40 which look the same and appear to do the same things.

Knockoff versions of the Apple Watch can be found at Huaqiangbei electronics market in the southern city of Shenzhen, and others are being sold nationwide via popular e-commerce websites.

The fakes look exactly like an iWatch but have names like “Ai Watch” and “D-Watch,” they cost between 250 yuan and 500 yuan ($40 to $80). Apples effort will set you back $300-$15,000.

They run Android and have been adjusted to look like an Apple interface. Some use Apple-like icons on the home screen.

The copycats say that the hardware is a doddle, but the software is the tricky bit.

Apparently the sellers will get better over time and soon it will be impossible to tell the two products apart. But the fact that they can make such clones based on leaks, and pictures released on Apple, makes you wonder why it took Jobs’ Mob two years to come up with the same product for nearly ten times the price.

Their efforts were made easier when Apple dropped most of the expected functionality while keeping the price the same. Still you get what you pay for… oh.



Apple’s iWatch disappoints

tim-cook-glareOne thing that is weird about the Tame Apple Press is that if Apple makes a big cock up it really has nothing to say.

If Apple’s iWatch was even a little bit interesting, the press would have been over the top in its enthusiasm. There would have been a ton of coverage and lots of snaps of  the grimly smiling Tim Cook looking like an evil magician on his way to a baby boiling conference.

Sure there was the usual staged Nuremberg rally, where Apple staffers, fanboys and the Tame Apple Press cheered the arrival of the iPhone with the usual standing ovulation. But they would have done that anyway.

What was interesting was how muted the rest of the press coverage was. Warning signs tipped up when the Italian television news, which only reports bollocks like this,  gave the iWatch a token 30 seconds. Most of that 30 seconds was a free advert for the iPhone and hardly mentioned the watch at all. By contrast the iPhone 6 got 15 minutes when it launched and Prime Minister of Italy Matteo Renzi smuggly umming and erring his way through a 20 minute speech was covered verbatim.

A search through the wires this morning showed the usual suspects giving an uncharacteristically muted coverage. The News Republic did not even mention the watch, and instead talked about Cook’s tweet about not sleeping before the launch.

So why the disappointed response? Apple’s iWatch has arrived nearly two years behind its rivals and it basically has nothing to offer for its huge price tag $350 price tag.

Apple to enter this limited market had to really wow people with new functionality and it simply didn’t. Jobs’ Mob’s first real “innovation” since the death of Steve was an overpriced copy of what was already on the market.

What could have improved the watch’s chances was a killer app involving health care readings, but beyond a basic heart rate meter Apple could not get it to go.

Another thing which could have made it more interesting was it being independent from its iPhone.
However the watch needs the phone to function, meaning that if you are Christy Turlington Burns and you take the thing on your run you have to lug your heavy iphone with you. If you are carrying the phablet version of the phone that is really heavy. It might make you a better runner to carry all that weight, but since most iPhone users are carrying a few extra pounds anyway it is probably not a good idea.

So if you want the watch for sport, the iWatch does some of what you want, less efficiently, for three times the price of a sports product.

If you want the watch to complement your iPhone then it fails there too. Why do you need something on your wrist that your iPhone already has in your pocket?

All this does not mean the iWatch will fail. In fact it is a screaming indictment of modern civilisation that the iWatch will probably sell in reasonable numbers. Apple might be able to save the product in version two by getting the health functionality going. But they are empty sales. They are people buying something they don’t need, because it has an Apple logo. You can only get away with that so often.

But this is not the sort of product that even the Tame Apple Press wants to peddle. Instead they are wandering away whistling, not daring to point out this Emperor has no clothes on in case Apple blacklists them.

But smarter minds, who are worried that Apple has run out of ideas, are selling their shares. A mate of mine who has had them since the iPhone, dumped the lot when he heard that Apple had removed a ton of health functionality from the product. He reasons that ultimately Apple will fail because it has become too big and run out of ideas. The iWatch proves it.

Apple launches Mickey Mouse watch

Screen Shot 2015-03-09 at 18.15.41A vast audience is watching Apple right now tell us how wonderful the iWatch is but it has to be linked to an iPhone.

An Apple watch will tell Uber that you’re around when you arrive at SFO, and you can send messages to your friends to tell them what’s going on, provided you have an iPhone.

An executive showed us live how the other world lives – when he arrives in New York he’s staying at the W hotel and he can unlock his door and his watch is his room key. We’ve stayed at the W New York – you need an LED torch to find your room, the place is so dark.

When he goes into his room, the executive can use his watch to find out what the music is playing in his darkened room.

The demo is delivering messages like there’s no tomorrow and we’re beginning to wonder how long the battery on the iWatch is going to last given all of this activity.

Apple is trusting the Internet of Things (IoT) will be an Apple thing

To rapturous applause, Apple showed off apps and told us that the iWatch can save us all time.

Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, looking very ultra cool said that when the developer community was unleashed, we will all be surprised. There are plenty of apps for the Apple iWatch.

He claimed the iWatch will work for 18 hours and “at the end of the day”.

Apple is announcing three collections – one with colourful bands – the aluminium used in one of its collections is not “run of the mill” aluminium. The Apple iWatch sport is actually an alloy as light as aluminium but 60 percent stronger, Apple claimed. It’s a magnesium zinc aluminium alloy. It starts at $350 and has loads of bands.

Apple is not using ordinary stainless steel, it is using extraordinary stainless steel, no doubt carefully extruded through the marketing department. Apple is offering lots of different SKUs and the pricing is almost impossible to figure out. It’s even doing a solid gold watch starting at $10,000. April 10th will be the day when it all starts to roll out…

We’ll have more on this tomorrow.

Apple wants iWatch owners to stay cool

fobwatchOne of the biggest obstacles to using an Apple watch when they’re released is that the battery life won’t be very long.

And that’s prompted Apple to tell its developers designing apps for the watch to design them to be viewed for only 10 seconds or so.

It’s also told watch developers to keep distractions to a minimum – such as notifications pushed to users, according to Bloomberg.

The range of Apple watches, expected to be formally announced next week, at an event in San Francisco.

Analysts have estimated that sales of the watches, which certainly aren’t cheap, could be between 14 and 15 million during 2015. To use an Apple watch, it has to be linked to an Apple iPhone.

However, the jury is still out on how well smart watches will do. Short battery life will certainly limit their appeal, while many people will not see the advantage of having a smart watch as well as a smart phone, which also tells the time as well as doing lots of other things.


LG and Samsung make iWatch screens

Samsung HQ Silicon Valley - MM picLG Display and Samsung Electronics are to supply screens for Apple smartwatches when the shiny toy finally hits the shops.

The Electronic Times reported that LG Display will be the sole supplier of organic light-emitting diode (OLED) screens for the Apple watches that go on sale in April.

Samsung Display will also become a supplier for the next version of the smartwatch that is expected to go on sale either sometime in the second half of this year or early 2016.

No-one is confirming the rumour, but it makes sense and is probably true.

Apple has scheduled a special event on March 9, where it is expected to showcase Apple Watch. To have got this far in the production process, Jobs’ Mob should have sorted out its display supplier months ago.

The watch, which will let consumers check their email, pay for goods at retail stores and monitor personal health information, represents Apple’s only product introduction since the 2010 launch of the iPad.

The watch is likely to sell millions, but only because of the Apple logo. It has been shipped so late and with half of the promised healthcare enhancements dropped, because Jobs’ Mob could not get them to go.

Apple iWatch to arrive in March

two-applesA report said that Apple will start selling its much hyped iWatch in March.
That’s according to 9to5mac, which said the wearable gizmo will first be trialled in Apple stores in the USA – with training for staff slated for mid February.
The site said that Apple has been improving battery life on the product and intensively testing it.
But sources in Taiwan late last year said that there had been delays in producing the device as quickly as people would have liked.
And 9to5mac said that there could still be delays in developing software and in manufacturing the rather expensive machine.
The iWatch is set to be released in three versions, with the standard metal and glass model costing around $350.
No one is entirely sure whether the wearable market will ever take off.  Many young people don’t bother with watches in the West anymore, relying on their smartphone to tell them the time.


Reuters begins iWatch adverts

ef391361d47e87c2209be9fbaa094fdfThe once legendary news agency Reuters  has begun hawking Apple’s up and coming toy watch, which is being delivered two years behind the competition, and  without any killer apps.

Reuters ran a story this morning saying that “Apple’s forthcoming smartwatch poses a conundrum for advertisers: How to tap the enticing possibilities of the tiny gadget without overwhelming consumers with messages.”

Is it? Well not really. Some company mobile-marketing firm TapSense plans to release an Apple Watch ad-buying service at CeBit and since there is no way that Reuters can write a positive iWatch story this week it has had to run with this one.

According to Reuters: “The service will provide a first glimpse of how businesses can serve up ads on the watch, even though the gadget will not be available until later this year.”

Surely that is only a problem if the iWatch was “ground-breaking, new technology” which had not already been in the market place for two years and been greeted by a loud sounding yawn by the rest of the world.

But Reuters warns the same qualities that render the watch exciting to Madison Avenue, such as the ability to detect customers approaching a store and to zap an ad directly to their wrists, also risk alienating those customers.

Is it?  The iPhone has been around for years and it has never used that sort of technology. Instead what TapSense seem to be selling are interactive wallpapers on the watch dial with brand logos and personalised clock faces.

The watch’s main screen allows the display of several tiny icons, including for email, weather, time, and potentially a few favourite service and retail apps.

The start-up is exploring using Apple Watch’s location-based features to target new customers. Apple has not added global positioning on the Apple Watch, but apps can track location as the device is tethered to a smartphone.

Reuters admits that it is not clear if the iWatch will create a new mass-market category, Venture capitalist Fred Wilson caused a stir last week by predicting the watch “will not be the home run product that iPod, iPhone, and iPad have been”.

But with the mainstream press pushing non-stories to the great unwashed about the vapourware, it does have a chance of selling more than its rivals.


Apple seems to hold little hope for its iWatch

fobwatchIt seems that the fruity cargo cult, Apple does not have the same hope for its iWatch as many commentators in the Tame Apple Press.

Yesterday Apple made changes to its reporting process which aims to obscure sales results. For example the fading iPod will not be identified on the balance sheet, nor will sales from retail. Instead, store results will be distributed among the various regions (such as Americas and Greater China), and iPod will be lumped in with “other products” along with along with Beats headphones, Apple TV, and accessories.

However, this “other products” category will also include Apple’s much touted, rarely seen iWatch. Which means that Apple does not want to tell anyone how sales of the product are doing. Hacks would have to look at this year’s figures, and guess how much of the category related to the watch.

This is telling – it means that Apple, quite rightly, does not really believe that the iWatch will sell significant amounts.

Analysts tried to corner Apple CEO Tim Cook on the matter during an earnings call who tried to reassure them that the move “says nothing about our expectations” for the Apple Watch.”

Cook added he also does not want to detail Apple Watch numbers to give competitors any data.

As an excuse that does not work very well. Apple has largely depended on creating an image where its shiny toys were popular. To do that it needs to tell the world how many millions of a product type it has sold. This creates the impression of a company doing well, rather than peddling anything that failed to work.

Burying iWatch sales can only mean that Jobs’ Mob does not want the fact that it will only sell a million of them to the sort of people who would buy anything with an Apple logo to get out to the rest of the world.

Smart watches a danger to driving

fobwatchLegislation that makes it an offence to use a mobile phone while driving will also apply to the use of smart watches.

That’s according to the Daily Telegraph, which said today the Department for Transport confirmed using smart watches while driving will face the same sanctions as mobile phone use at the wheel.

It says the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) said that devices, such as the Apple iWatch is as dangerous to use while driving because it distracts motorists.

It quoted a representative for the IAM as saying smart watches could be more distracting than mobile phones because you have to take your hand off the wheel to communicate with it.

While the Apple iWatch won’t be available until next year, the IAM appears to think that the Apple tag will make them popular.  It wants manufacturers of smart watches to warn of the possible dangers.

Drivers distracted by phones or other gadgets face three on the spot penalty points and a £100 fine if they’re pulled over by the police.

Swiss watchmakers rubbish Apple’s designs

Swiss Watches the BrandThe Swiss watchmakers, who Apple believes it will put out of business, have mocked Jobs’ Mob’s poor design efforts.

Luxury giant LVMH’s watch guru and industry legend Jean-Claude Biver told AFP  that he expected a bit more from Apple and he was a bit disappointed.

Biver said the gadget, which will be released early next year, is not the “revolutionary product” it claims to be.

The timepiece, with its square touch-screen face and curved edges, lacks “sex appeal” and is too feminine, he said.

But Biver went a bit further and rubbished the abilities of Apple’s hallowed design team, saying it looked like it was done by students in their first semester.

With pricing set to start at $349, Apple’s watch will not be playing in the same league as the Swiss watchmakers who dominate the luxury end of the market.

Jerome Bloch, who heads the men’s fashion unit at Parisian style agency Nelly Rodi, said Swiss luxury watchmakers had nothing to fear and comparing Apple’s new device to many Swiss watch offerings was like comparing a Mini Cooper with an Aston Martin.

Biver added that luxury was eternal, it is perennial and  not something that becomes worthless after five years. Apple watches were “doomed to become obsolete”.




Kids think Apple is smug

blue-appleA survey claimed that only one in 10 American schoolkids are interested in the recently announced Apple iWatch.

The survey, conducted by Chegg, also reveals that Apple doesn’t hold the allure for college and high school kids it formerly had.

Seventy one percent of these students think Google is “cool” while only 64 percent think that Apple is “cool”.

And 29 percent think that Apple is smug.

They also believe that Apple has been hyped up the US press, with 24 percent believing the firm may have lost its edge.  Over half of those surveyed described the iPhone 6 as “more stle than substance”.

So what do the kids want?  Acording to the survey they want phones with better battery life, more memory, and that are waterproof and durable.

Chegg surveyed 1,586 college students and 446 high school students between August 30th and the Apple introductions earlier this week.

A survey claimed that only one in 10 American schoolkids are interested in the recently announced Apple iWatch.

The survey, conducted by Chegg, also reveals that Apple doesn’t hold the allure for college and high school kids it formerly had.

Seventy one percent of these students think Google is “cool” while only 64 percent think that Apple is “cool”.

And 29 percent think that Apple is smug.

They also believe that Apple has been hyped up the US press, with 24 percent believing the firm may have lost its edge.  Over half of those surveyed described the iPhone 6 as “more stle than substance”.

So what do the kids want?  Acording to the survey they want phones with better battery life, more memory, and that are waterproof and durable.

Chegg surveyed 1,586 college students and 446 high school students between August 30th and the Apple introductions earlier this week.

Apple eclipses Intel

Intel-IDF-'14-Copy-SizeAs far as we can see, Apple’s announcement of its iWatch put chip giant Intel in the shade yesterday.

Yesterday  was supposed to be Intel’s day, but as it doesn’t really have very much to say about anything except wearable technology, it didn’t really stand a chance.

We’ve noticed that Apple has received accolades from what our own Nick Farrell calls the Tame Apple Press. He defines TAP as uncritical media outlets – magazines to you and me – both journalistic people and publishers that swallow marketing pap and regurgitate it as if Apple, or Intel for that matter,  was capable of telling any kind of truth.

Let me tell you, from past experience, Apple chooses very carefully the journalists it invites to its launches. As, for a matter of fact, does Intel.

It was, I think in 1990, that Apple announced something or other in London and dragged along the late Douglas Adams to give a witty presentation that wowed us all. However, I noticed that after the event had finished, Adams was talking to the Apple spinner about his reward – quite a lot of Apple DRAM.

Intel tries to play a similar game but is really cackhanded about it. It’s not really very good at marketing. Back in the old days it decided to set its legal department in my direction, and in other directions too. Then, under the captainship of Andy Grove, Intel was a bully and we all know that bullies need standing up to.

The corporate spin departments of these computing multinationals believe they can manipulate, bully, or even exclude journalists from the scene.  Just in the last 25 years I’ve been personally told by the likes of Microsoft, HP and Intel that “I’d never work in this industry again”.

Intel has turned into Mr Nasty yet again,in the 21st century,  but the truth is that it has had little or nothing to say for at least the last six years.  Apple doesn’t seem to have much to say either unless you’re one of the famous fanbois that really must have something strapped to your wrist.

The truth is that commodisation of the IT industry has weaved its wicked way – Apple won’t even release its famous iWatch until next year. Intel getting into wearables is risible. And Microsoft is struggling to even give the impression that it has a stratagem.

The second decade of the 21st century just goes to show that these monsters of the late 20th century are just straw dogs, and the way ahead is way different from they think. Here’s what an Intel spinner had to say about yours truly, in relation to Mark Hachman:

“From: Francisco, Daniel J Sent: 24 March 1999 23:35 Subject: RE: more from Mike Magee on Compaq Merced Since we’re giving our two cents:) It’s really a juggling act. We’ve had some luck (ie, Mark Hachman, EBN, and PC World editors) with tough love approach, telling them they’ll get more access to us if they are more objective and less sensational/negative in their articles. The trick is actually not giving them the “special” access after we go down that path. In the case of Magee, his reporting doesn’t indicate that he values the exec access and the efforts to build a stronger relationship. Hachman was the same way when we started working with him. There is no value for the special access until it stops and is given to someone else. Then they realize the benefits of “working with us.” Hachman’s writing has come full circle. And following this last IDF and his ridiculous coverage, I’d be hard-pressed to lobby for Magee to come to future IDFs, especially on Intel’s dollar. Dan”

Dancing Dan Francisco – he’s a nice chap but still a corporate spinner after his INTC corporation experiences. Idiots.

iWatch will not save Apple or kill the Swiss

POPE-SWISSGUARD/WOMENThe Tame Apple Press was somewhat muted this morning as to whether the iWatch will provide the sort of technology which proves that Jobs’ Mob “still has it”.

Sure there were the usual free press releases in which the Tame Apple Press outdid itself.  Our favourite was Bloomberg which actually claimed that the Swiss economy would collapse now that Apple had put out its watch . Given that the Swiss economy is a little more dependent on Nazi and Mafia gold and its watchmaking industry was gutted by the advent of the digital watch, we doubt it will lose much sleep over Apple’s efforts in the industry.

However saner heads rushed to point out that the whole Apple spin on its new toy was completely off base.

As Tech Crunch eloquently put it “if Switzerland is fucked than the iWatch is too.”    It makes the point that the Swiss watch industry is not Apple’s target market. The real niche here is the  wearables space which is so limited that no one will admit how many wearables have sold so far.  It has been estimated that it could be as high as 90 million, but the Federation Of The Swiss Watch Industry said that it sold 28.1 million timepieces last year for a total of $23 billion. That’s an average of $836 a watch.

But it has known for ages that the wristwatch is a dying object. More than 60 percent of 18-34 year olds get the time from their phones and watches are rare in the wild and when you see them they are worn for a reason. The most expensive watches go to collectors, whose rationality is suspect, and the very rich. The mid-range watches go to folks who appreciate the artistry of a fine mechanical timepiece and the riff-raff will get the cheap gear. In this situation, the iWatch would count as cheap gear.

What Apple has forgotten with its iWatch is that people do not buy watches to tell the time.  They are either a fashion statement or a tradition. At the low end you buy a Swatch because you like the styling and the slightly wicked, slightly retro feeling of insolence that comes with wearing a watch with hands.  These are not mind-sets that want their watch to do anything and this is exactly why so far the wearables have only managed any interest in the sports diagnostic industry.

Normally this would not be a problem for Apple. After all Jobs convinced the world, that everyone needed a tablet when Microsoft and HP could not do so for years. To our mind, the tablet is still a product without an actual killer app, but Apple convinced the world they all needed one.

However, in this instance they are wrong. A tablet at least was technology which could work but hadn’t. A watch is retro-technology which has bolted-on new functionality which it is not really designed to do. As my wife pointed out the watch screen is too small to see or use and is counter to the same desire of consumers for phablets or things which are bigger and can be easily integrated with.

Given this, even the Wall Street Journal has its doubts as to whether Apple will be saved by its iWatch. Media outfits which are not members of the Tame Apple Press are still reluctant to declare the idea a lemon because Apple has managed to market its way out of trouble before and they look like idiots. But the Journal points out that the potential of the Apple Watch is “tough to gauge”. The device won’t hit the market until early next year, and a $349 starting price is at a bit of a premium to rival offerings.

The market for smartwatches is nascent and none of Apple’s rivals has yet cracked the code for delivering a product with the right mix of style and functionality, the Journal pointed out.

Unlike previous Apple products that forged new product categories, the watch is essentially an upsell of the company’s existing customers and only customers with an iPhone 5 or newer will be able to use it.  Although it is unthinkable that any true Apple fanboy would not have the latest iPhone, there are still a fair few of the devices out there.

The Journal also points out that it would take more than 55 million units of the Apple Watch selling at $349 to equal just 10 per cent  of the $197.4 billion Wall Street expects for Apple’s fiscal 2015 revenue.  In short, even if it does well, it will not be a game changer for Apple.

As cooler heads start to look at the announcement, it seems that Apple is leaning on the launch of its iPhone 6 and the iWatch is just a somewhat silly distraction. But that does mean that truly Apple has run out of game changing ideas that will continue its growth.

In time it will be the launch of the iWatch which will mark the slow slid of Apple into mediocrity. It is also worthwhile pointing out that the Swiss have not been defeated in battle since the Middle Ages and that is despite being armed with small but useful folding knives and pikes.