back to article Apple's nonexistent iWatch to bag $17.5 BEEELION in first year alone – analyst

Apple CEO Tim Cook has been relentlessly repeating to world+dog that fanbois should expect new kit in entirely new product categories this year, and now one analyst has come out with a prediction of what at least one of those items could bring to Apple's top line in the first year of its existence: a cool $17.5bn. Morgan …

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  1. bex

    Tell me who

    Who actually wears a watch these days?

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Tell me who

      >Who actually wears a watch these days?

      Anyone who wants to know the time without fumbling in a pocket or bag. Watches are waterproof, easy to carry, and have a battery life measured in years - as opposed to the mere hours that phones last.

      In many workplaces it is not a good idea to check the time on your phone - some middle manager might assume you're faffing around on FaceBook or whatever - so a watch avoids the misunderstanding.

      Beyond the conventional use of telling the time, watches are in contact with the skin; fitness aids aren't uncommon today. With our ageing population in the developed world, there is scope for wrist-worn medical devices. If having a week's log of heart-rate data helps doctors prevent heart attacks, insurance companies might subsidise these devices.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Tell me who

      It's a Penal Tracking Device - you are supposed to wear it around your ankle.

      1. peter 45

        Re: Tell me who

        "It's a Penal Tracking Device - you are supposed to wear it aroud your ankle."

        For a second there i read penile tracking device and had a scary moment wondering where we supposed to wear it.

        1. Aybee

          Re: Tell me who

          "For a second there i read penile tracking device and had a scary moment wondering where we supposed to wear it."

          Didn't know where to wear?

          That's probably a senile rather than a penile moment, then. Don't be too scared, it comes to most of us if we live long enough.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Tell me who

      I do.

      You do realise that women are more impressed with the kind of watch you wear than the size of your smart phone don't you.

      1. Hollerith 1

        Re: Tell me who

        Usually women are attracted by the size of your smarts.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      It's

      It's not a watch it's a slave band.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Tell me who

      You would wear it if it's a light weight hologram projecting phaser shooting transportation device wouldn't you?

      Apple, are you listening?

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Tell me who

      Look around - probably about 80-90% of people. Probably about the same number as have a mobile phone.

      1. Aybee

        Re: Tell me who

        'Re: Tell me who

        Look around - probably about 80-90% of people. Probably about the same number as have a mobile phone.'

        Work in a watch factory, do you?

    7. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: Tell me who

      Is there some troll-bot that automatically starts this thread in the forum for every story that mentions the iWatch? Give it a rest.

  2. DavCrav Silver badge

    So let me get this straight. She can somehow predict how many units Apple will sell of a product that, not only do we not know what it is, but we don't even know which sector it's in. Bullshit.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      "Bullshit."

      People will buy it!

    2. jai

      Bullshit : Analyst prediction

      you say potato, i say tomato....

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Optional

        > you say potato, i say tomato....

        So, you're saying analyst predictions aren't bullshit?

        1. jai

          Re: Optional

          no no, quite the opposite.

          tomAYto/potAYto : tomARto/potARto : analystPREdictions/bullsHIt

          i was agreeing, they're all just different ways of pronouncing nasty vegetables that aren't as tasty as a healthy hamburger

          :)

  3. Robert Heffernan
    Pint

    Can't wait to not buy this one!

    The last thing I want is a damn watch. I have been given plenty of flash and expensive watches in my life and I havn't worn one of them. It's getting rare to see a guy wearing a watch who's not some kind of suit trying to look important.

    I can't possibly see a way to milk a dying market for $1Bil, let alone $12Bil let alone $17.5Bil!

    *Go home Tim Cook, You're drunk!

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Can't wait to not buy this one!

      Unless my maths are seriously screwed... that's about 6 million+ iWatches. Yep.. there's about 6 million suits just pretentious enough to buy one. They won't have a clue, but I can hear it now: "we're suits... we need the latest tech. You're IT. Support it!".

    2. Philip Lewis
      Coat

      Re: Can't wait to not buy this one!

      Really, you guys and you no one wears watches any more and other pointless blather ... it is patently untrue.

      Just because you belong to the set of people who choose not to wear one, does not mean that a majority or even a large minority don't wear one.

      As for "flash and expensive", I doubt you would even recognise an expensive watch, and that would put you firmly in the majority group!

      Icon: Mine's the one with a a reference 5712G-001 up the sleeve.

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: Can't wait to not buy this one!

        >As for "flash and expensive", I doubt you would even recognise an expensive watch, and that would put you firmly in the majority group!

        It's pretty easy: If it is being worn by a Russian politician, it is likely to be a very expensive watch.

      2. Aybee

        Re: Can't wait to not buy this one!

        'As for "flash and expensive", I doubt you would even recognise an expensive watch, and that would put you firmly in the majority group!'

        I expect you're right. Reckon I could recognise the sort of pratt who'd wear one, though. Fortunately, one of a minority. Though with good amusement value for the majority.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        5712G-001

        That's some very expensive jewellery - anon because I was sad enough to look it up

        1. DiViDeD Silver badge

          Re: 5712G-001

          Sorry, I just looked it up too. Seriously? 38 grand just to tell the time?

          Ah well, I guess it's worth it as long as there are other twats around willing to pay stupid money for it when your Timex comes back from repair.

          1. Philip Lewis

            Re: 5712G-001

            Well, actually I bought it while my 3700/1A was in for a restoration (not the Timex). And for those who don't quite understand, I have had the 3700/1A since I bought it in 1978. I would suggest you research how much I paid for it versus how much they are traded for at the moment, then figure out what that amounts to in %/year in value. You might be surprised what you find out.

            Buy well, and you can enjoy owning something rather nice and use it, then sell it 30 years later and have as much in hand as if you had never bought it and thrown the money in the bank. Buy junk, and you can throw it away when you are bored with it or it breaks, or perhaps hope for a few shillings on eBay.

            It is pretty clear which option I prefer.

            The same goes for cars.

          2. Philip Lewis

            Re: 5712G-001

            And many times that for a car without a roof and only two seats to drive at weekends in summer.

            Your point is?

            I am reasonably confident that should I ever be short of a quid, I will be able to redeem my watch (and my car) collection(s) for considerably more than I paid for them. In the mean time, I will enjoy the pleasures of ownership.

            And by the way, people with more disposable cash than you, are not twats because they spend (or invest) their cash in expensive items. Granted, there is the odd twat around, but they would be twats with or without their spending pattern.

        2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

          Re: 5712G-001

          That's some very expensive jewellery

          Plenty of folks will spend in the neighborhood of $40K on an engagement or wedding ring, and at least the watch has some practical functionality beyond the (not insignificant) rhetorical function of a ring. Or even on a wedding dress, which will only be worn once, unlike the ring.

          It's not my taste, and it's not what I'd choose to spend $40K on,1 but I'd hardly class it as "very expensive". When you're in a position to buy luxury goods in this price bracket, this one is actually not a particularly great ratio of exchange-to-use value.

          1I hate to spend that much even on a car, which obviously has even more utility, and generally offers more incremental functionality at higher price points than watches do. I'd rather gradually spend the $40K on books, tools, and other relatively inexpensive items that I'll get long-term enjoyment from. But that's just me.

      4. Blitterbug
        Facepalm

        Re: Mine's the one with a a reference 5712G-001 up the sleeve

        Dude, totally shot yourself down with that Patek Philippe reference.

        NB: I love watches, but not watch snobbery (in either direction, eg won't be seen dead with one vs won't be seen dead without a £40,000 one)

        1. Philip Lewis

          Re: Mine's the one with a a reference 5712G-001 up the sleeve

          I have quite a few time pieces, new and antique, cheap and not so cheap. That was the one I had on when I posted.

          Either you had to look it up or you know what it is. Someone who knows what it is would likely not comment. Someone who had to look it up has probably never seen one either. The reference (pun intended) was for the benefit of the first group, and to troll the second. After all, the thread is a response to a patently moronic statement, so anything goes really.

          Finally, "watch snobbery" would only work if the ones being snobbed (?) upon can actually recognise an expensive timepiece. Trust me on this, most people have no clue and don't want to know.

          1. Blitterbug
            Meh

            Re: Mine's the one with a a reference 5712G-001 up the sleeve

            Ok Mr Lewis,

            a) I'm a *huge* watch and pocket-watch fancier, but from afar. I love Patek Philippe & their history, and regard it as the premier crafter of timepieces.

            b) I could probably afford one.

            c) I would *never* buy one. Perhaps my take on these things is all wrong, but items of loveliness as they may be, I would not even dare remove it from a vacuum chamber for a quick fondle, not to mention how pretentious I'd feel wearing one.

            Make of that what you will, and label me appropriately as makes you feel best.

            1. Philip Lewis

              Re: Mine's the one with a a reference 5712G-001 up the sleeve

              @bitterbug

              a) Patek has a fine and well deserved reputation

              b) So could many people who do not own one. Like you, they probably never will

              c) Watches, cars, fine china, antiques, classic cars ... these are just things. Those interested in them, will make the effort to own and enjoy owning them.

              You probably wouldn't feel any different wearing a Patek or any of the more discrete top end timepieces. Trust me, except for people with an interest, no one will notice or care. On the other hand, were you to kit yourself out with a Rolex Presidential or some other hideously ostentatious watch, well aside from deserving gaol time for poor taste, you will probably feel pretentious and the bling will attract, well people who are attracted to bling. Not really the people I would want to attract personally.

              I don't have too many pocket watches. Very fine pocket watches can be had for quite small sums if you look around and buy well.

              1. Blitterbug
                Happy

                Re: Rolex Presidential or some other hideously ostentatious watch

                ... have to agree with you there...

      5. Robert Heffernan

        Re: Can't wait to not buy this one!

        My point being, those people who do wear watches, especially the "Flash and Expensive" ones, want a watch that is precision crafted, engineered by the best watchmakers the world has to offer, they are willing to spend 6 figures on a quality timepiece. They are going to look at a low 3-figure iWatch and wonder what kind of piece of shit that is.

        The regular joe has a smartphone, if they have a watch its comfortable and practical, and in a woman's case, its usually dainty too. no matter what, Apple is going to be extremely hard pressed to fit a LiPo, cpu, ram, bluetooth, digitizer, piezio, lcd and charger all into the size of a practical watch.

        1. Aybee

          Re: Can't wait to not buy this one!

          'My point being, those people who do wear watches, especially the "Flash and Expensive" ones, want a watch that is precision crafted, engineered by the best watchmakers the world has to offer, they are willing to spend 6 figures on a quality timepiece.'

          "... those people... want a watch that is precision crafted, engineered by the best watchmakers the world has to offer"

          What a load of b*ll*x!

          Those "precision crafted" watches are less accurate than £2 quartz crystal petrol-station-bought watches. They're sold to mugs who imagine that flaunting one says something about them. The truth is, it does, but not what they imagine.

      6. TheOtherHobbes

        Re: Can't wait to not buy this one!

        >5712G-001

        Pocket money. Try a Chopard 201 for the girls, or a Louis Moinet Meteoris for the boys.

        Too showy?

        If I had the cash I'd consider a Van Cleef/Arpels/Ven Der Klaauw Midnight Planetarium - although I'm not entirely convinced by a very expensive watch decorated in a font that looks worryingly like Monotype Corsiva.

        1. Philip Lewis
          Trollface

          Re: Can't wait to not buy this one!

          That particular Chopard has very definitely crossed the line between "timepiece" and "jewellery".

          And I "know" you just went here to get your choices and that you probably have never heard of these particular pieces. http://uk.askmen.com/top_10/entertainment/top-10-most-expensive-watches_1.html

    3. Gray Ham

      Re: Can't wait to not buy this one!

      "It's getting rare to see a guy wearing a watch ..."

      Maybe so, but it is quite common to see women wearing watches, and often worn as a co-ordinated accessory. So maybe Apple have in fact done a bit of homework on this one.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Can't wait to not buy this one!

        I'd actually say more people wear watches than do not...

      2. bex

        Re: Can't wait to not buy this one!

        The so called Iwatch unless is has little functionality will be pretty chunky, can't see many women wanting a big assed watch.

        1. Aybee

          Re: Can't wait to not buy this one!

          "... can't see many women wanting a big assed watch."

          Dunno. Know a few horse-fanciers who find asses cute. Some of them even have big arses.

    4. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Can't wait to not buy this one!

      >It's getting rare to see a guy wearing a watch who's not some kind of suit trying to look important.

      Your statement suggests you work in an office environment. Many people do not.

      Offices tend to feature clocks on walls and in the corner of every computer screen. Many other work places do not.

      Clear?

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Can't wait to not buy this one!

      Flash and Expensive?

      You do realise that expensive does not always mean flash?

      I prefer expensive and subtle.

      You on the other hand sound like you've never had a quality timepiece.

      1. Aybee

        Re: Can't wait to not buy this one!

        "You on the other hand sound like you've never had a quality timepiece."

        "Timepiece". Lovely word. Slides off the tongue of those marketing to those who imagine they're discerning; better than the average bear.

        Meanwhile, bears shit in the woods, just like ego-masturbators. And tell the time just as accurately and conveniently in a hundred ways available to all bears at little or no cost.

    6. Tromos

      Re: Can't wait to not buy this one!

      Why wait? Don't buy one today! Personally, I'm holding out for the "don't buy one, don't get one free" offer.

      1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: Can't wait to not buy this one!

        I'm holding out for the "don't buy one, don't get one free" offer.

        As a special introductory offer, if you send me no money today, I'll guarantee not to ship you three iWatches when they're released. (If I do ship you any iWatches, your entire payment of $0 will be refunded in full.)

  4. Hud Dunlap
    Meh

    what about the pebble

    Show me what it can do that the pebble doesn't already do.

    I wear a watch because phones and salt water don't go together very well. Apple is going to have to come up with something waterproof to at lease 10 meters.

    1. hammarbtyp Silver badge

      Re: what about the pebble

      "Show me what it can do that the pebble doesn't already do."

      Make money for Apple?

      After all that is all the cult of Jobs acolytes are interested in

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: what about the pebble

      Not all watches are for all people. I don't need a 'diving' watch for example and would not appreciate it's weight / bulk.

    3. WereWoof

      Re: what about the pebble

      Wasn`t there an App or hack to make your iPhone waterproof? (smirks)

  5. Asok Asus

    The iWhatEver

    I have some more "next big thing" ideas for Apple to add to the iWatch accessory line:

    1. The iCuffLink.

    2. The iSuspenders.

    3. The iWingTipBrogans.

    4. The iFedoraSnapBrimHat.

    5. The iBuggyWhip.

    6. The iRotaryTelephone.

    7. The i33RPMVinylRecord.

    8. The i8TrackTape.

    9. The iTieTack.

    10. The iBlackAndWhiteTV.

    11. The iConsoleRadio.

    12. The iCassetteTape.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The iWhatEver

      The one you forgot and perfect for you: iHaveTooMuchTimeOnMyHands

    2. Tromos

      Re: The iWhatEver

      13: the iThermal underpants (using Lithium Ion batteries with the patented iHeat short circuit technology).

  6. Nanners

    uuuhhhhh...

    Ridiculous. Apple needs to be working on a search engine to take down Google. Nobody is interested in a watch...from anyone.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: uuuhhhhh...

      Perhaps Apple should spend a bucket on a search engine with NO ADS - go heavy on content / hints from genuine users rather than just who pays the most. Google do Android - Apple do Search?

      Now that is giving something back - Google Ads cost businesses serious cash which only gets passed on to us as consumers - so when you think of Google profits it's coming out of your pocket.

      1. Nanners

        Re: uuuhhhhh...

        I don't understand it. A whole generation has been raised without watches at this point. Nobody wears watches but gangsters. A search engine is doable and fits nicely into their company identity. They have the storage and technology, all they need to do is devote themselves to a top of the line algorithm. We need an alternative to Google obviously. A watch just makes no sense.

        1. Nanners

          Re: uuuhhhhh...

          Jobs would have turned Google into his whipping bitch by now.

  7. Don Jefe

    Mythological Creatures

    Anybody ever seen a wealthy analyst? One who actually makes forecasts, not a fund manager or an exec at a business intelligence company? I've been dealing with analysts for decades and I've never met one that could even pay for the lunch you provide them when giving them an 'insiders perspective'. I've certainly never met a wealthy analyst.

    That right there should tell you they're full to overflowing with bullshit. I can pull a lot of information from a company's financials and have worked with some real fucking genius Wall Street darlings and nobody, absolutely nobody, can call numbers like in that report. It's not difficult, it's absolutely impossible.

    If it were possible to do that analysts could hire Larry Ellison for use as a bidet and Warren Buffet to walk their dogs. An ability like that would turn the analyst into the wealthiest person in history, and it would happen overnight.

    Well, Ellison and Buffett haven't changed jobs, pigs are still bound to the planets surface and an MBA is still a bigger waste of money than building a pork BBQ stand in Mecca or online ads in written in Braille, so I feel quite confident of the following. Analysts don't make a lot of money because it's free to write your own 'Corporate Accounting Porn'. People with lots of money generally don't pay for things they can do for free.

    So we're stuck with analysts and that sucks. What doesn't suck about analysts, especially analysts like this, is that no matter what system, methods or principals they are using in their calculations, their forecast accuracy will decrease in proportion to the number datapoints and level of detail in their reports. I think it's hilarious that people trained in statistics and probabilities regularly ignore the first and second rules of forecasting. Minimize the quantity of datapoints you're analyzing and don't make statements that trap you in a corner with highly specific numbers. That'll bite you ass.

    1. Ian 7

      Re: Mythological Creatures

      Loved that - made me chuckle on a damp and windy morning!

      I've never met an analyst in the wild so bow to your much greater experience with the breed (and you've confirmed my suspicions, by the way). I always remember this Register article from way back about analysts' predictions being 96% off the mark about Itanium sales - http://www.theregister.co.uk/2004/09/18/ibm_plots_idc_mistakes/.

      I did wonder if the article was heading into a bit of a logical fallacy, using the analyst's relatively good prediction about existing products in mature markets to give weight to her prediction about a new product in a highly immature and currently next-to-non-existent market. She *might* be right - the tablet market was next-to-non-existent when the iPad launched, after all. But I wouldn't bet any money on it, and I'm guessing she hasn't purchased a bunch of Apple shares on the back of her analysis either. No skin in the game, no credibility.

      1. Don Jefe

        Re: Mythological Creatures

        Although logical fallacies abound with analysts, the 'past performance is indicative of future results' thing you point out isn't a logical fallacy. It is absolutely the only reason people pay any attention at all to analysts.

        See, market analysis is a function of marketing, not, as many believe, a financial/investment tool. Those lunches I mentioned before and the really nice charts you give to analysts (that highlight, beautifully, what you want them to report about) and the really swanky penthouse you occasionally put them up in, because 'the President of Consumer Products' (or whoever) is tied up, so they can just stay in the penthouse until he gets free. It might take a few days, the room, food, drink and chauffeured limo are on us, have fun' come directly from the marketing budget. It's usually somebody from marketing that meets analysts as well, except for quarterly and annual regulatory filings.

        With that in mind, this next part should make a lot of sense. If your pet analyst talks about the things you want them to talk about (that's in the documents you give them) and gets your phones ringing with calls from other analysts and fund managers you owe them.

        Traditionally you compensate your pet analysts with some level of 'behind the GAAP veil', operations info that doesn't have to be disclosed on regulatory findings. It's really bad form (and highly illegal) to use that information for investment purposes. What you're supposed to do with it is embed it in your analysis reports and become the 'wizard of (x) market analysts' after people see how accurate you are. Analysts only have to do that a few times and they aren't analysts anymore, they are senior management.

        Finally, because providing that info is illegal, but everyone knows it happens anyway, the analyst has to have a reputation for being around 'people in the know'. Where it's plausible they've strung enough snippets together to make those wonderfully accurate forecasts. So the analysts are at the parties and trade shows and other events. Everybody is watching them to see if you can figure out who they've been talking with because while 99% of that analysts forecasts are worthless, if you can figure out the 1% that's based on confidential information you can make several fortunes in the coming months. Sure, there are still risks, but the best money is the kind with fewer risks, right?

        So all these big companies and rich finance types aren't buying $3,000 reports on the wooden toilet seat market from Gartner because they're heavily invested in toilet seats. They're buying them because the analyst who wrote the report was at the same party as the toilet seat company CEO last week and they're looking for clues/trends to see if that analyst may have some inside info about toilet seats they can make some side money with.

        Why do you think people like that O'Leary fellow from RyanAir just invested $15M in the company that makes '365 Nice Things to Say' desk calendars? Or the Executive Director of the World Wildlife Foundation just scooped up 300,000 shares of Pandamas, pajamas made from 100% real panda? It ain't cause what those companies do really gets them excited.

        Its all a big stupid game that exists only as a way around stock trading restrictions. But next time you're in your bosses office and some weird report is on his desk or your dentist has trade journals from some industry you know full well he isn't interested in it should make you think. Might not hurt to do a little looking into those things as well.

  8. IanW

    I recall a guy who used to do watches for Fossil (including a Sony branded one) saying the the worldwide market for watches was circa $1.2Bn per year, with 85% of that in watches over $500 each. So, the author sounds tremendously optimistic.

    The Podcast discussing this was 60 minutes long and I recommend having a listen: http://cubed.fm/2013/11/cubed-episode-011-the-smart-watch-we-wear-fasion-we-carry-electronics/

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You probably recall wrong or he was just BSing - that figure you quote is exceptionally low - the figure I saw for a couple of years ago was over $45bn and fairly sure Swatch Group SA have a turnover of around $9bn on their own and also fairly confident the Swiss watch industry exports around $2bn a month - yes per month.

  9. cs94njw

    The watch would need compass, altimeter, thermometer, 2 alarms, stop watch, timer, and not be something I have to charge every day for me to consider buying any Smart watch.

  10. Graham Jordan

    Watch? Hell yeah. Smart watch? Fuck off

    I wear a watch and I have no shame in saying they're my fashion statement. I haven't crossed the £1000 barrier on a watch but would sure as hell like to if I ever had any real money.

    Watches are awesome.

    Smart watches? That's what gets me. If you see someone wearing a digital watch they're generally 12 year olds who can't tell the time. Even with Apple branding a digital watch is still a digital watch regardless of if it has bluetooth in or not. And that's what I just don't get. It doesn't matter how much it costs you're still a fucking idiot if you can't read a clock face. And if one of the settings is to display time in said clock face then buy a real watch, stop being a mindless gimp and get some real taste about you.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Watch? Hell yeah. Smart watch? Fuck off

      Hey grandad - so a watch is only a watch if it has an actual clock face - let me guess it also has to be wind up / self winding - none of this quartz malarkey. And... let me guess you light your house with candles and ride a horse to work?

      Believe it or not people are entitled to choice - just because YOU may not want one does not mean plenty of people will not.

  11. Aybee

    It's OK, David Cameron is blocking search terms like 'analyst' from Google to protect the children.

  12. Johan Bastiaansen
    Angel

    Let's do the math

    I know, this is considered witchcraft by some, or at least cheating.

    If the iWatch sells for $299, it could total around $17.5bn in 12 short months, or around 58.5M pieces sold.

    If the iWatch will sell at what many vendors regard as the "magic" impulse-buy price-point of $199, that figure would drop to just under the iPad's inaugural $12bn, or nearly 60M pieces sold.

    Hey, that's very impressive magic right there, transforming 58.5M in nearly 60M. That guy with the fishes and the bread has nothing on you.

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