Dirk Knemeyer

Apple’s Watch Signals Decay of the Company

Apple’s Watch Signals Decay of the Company, March 10, 2015

More than anything, [the watch] signals the demise of Apple from the standpoint of being a real innovator. Of offering a trailblazing sort of unique solution in the personal computing space. The iWatch is their biggest announcement, the thing they’ve beaten the drum on the hardest since the iPad. What was the iPad, 2010? It’s been five years. They basically had no big announcements.

This one, this is the product that they’re really hanging their hat on. All of the hierarchy is genuflecting and acting like this is the greatest thing since sliced bread. It’s a really bad sign.

Again, I’m sure from a financial perspective, they’re still going to keep selling products hand-over-fist, but what we’re seeing is the real erosion of their position as the leader. Five to ten years ago whenever I would be in a meeting with a potential client, not everyone but most of them ostensibly, they’d say, “We want to be like Apple. We want our stuff to be like Apple stuff.”

Those days are going fast and there’s no sign of them coming back. At the same time, we’re seeing really interesting new things from Amazon, from Google, from some other companies. The things that are more likely to draw attention aren’t coming from Apple. They’re coming from other places which is concerning.

I expect the next big thing to come from, frankly, Amazon or Google. I think those are the two big ones.

Another problem with it too which flows out of what you just said is that the average person can afford it. One thing that, in the past, I liked about being an Apple user along with their great innovation was not everybody have their stuff. I’m increasingly shocked as I go through the world how so many people of all income brackets, of all levels of the socioeconomic strata are carrying around iPhones despite the expense of the device and/or despite the expense of the carrier plan.

That’s not going to be the case with the iWatch and the problem that they have is now they’re catering to presumably just more wealthy people. Watches like that market has a lot of really gorgeous high end well designed stuff. By comparison that the iWatch is a really clumsy, hacky thing.

I guess maybe they can hope that wealthy people want to differentiate themselves against the masses by being the once who are mobile computing with an iWatch as oppose to an iPhone, but if that’s the bet they’re taking, that’s a long one indeed.