back to article Apple Watch craze over before it started: Wrist-puter drags market screaming off a cliff

Smartwatch shipments are in freefall thanks to slowing sales of the Apple Watch. Research house IDC says that year-over-year shipments were down 32 per cent in the past quarter, with Apple far and away taking the biggest hit as its Watch shipments fell an eye-watering 55 per cent from last year. Analysts say that the drop is …

  1. Salts

    Could be...

    People are just waiting for the new model, must be due soon...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Could be...

      yeah, but first they've got to fuckup the original with an update.

      1. Paul Barnard

        Re: Could be...

        Yep they did that yesterday. Half my apps are now not working. I guess the new one is right around the corner.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Could be...

      ...or is the screen too darn small to be of use?

      1. Grifter

        Re: Could be...

        Never. You're just wearing it wrong.

        1. Nolveys Silver badge

          Re: Could be...

          You're just wearing it wrong.

          The band is too small for me. I guess I just have a really big head.

    3. Version 1.0 Silver badge

      Re: Could be...

      Apple made a watch? I hadn't noticed.

    4. Mage Silver badge

      Re: Could be...

      No, people have realised that they are being mugged into buying a $25 gadget that's useless without an iPhone. There are models out there under $25 that are actually watches, work as phones on their own and have about x3 battery life, with micro SD and mini SIM holders inside.

      Cost of a phone is highly dependent on screen size, then the phone radio hardware and phone patent royalty. A small screen wristlet with bluetooth only is a really cheap thing to make.

      I'm amazed Apple are still selling any.

      1. ShortLegs

        Re: Could be...

        @Mage

        "No, people have realised that they are being mugged into buying a $25 gadget that's useless without an iPhone. There are models out there under $25 that are actually watches, work as phones on their own and have about x3 battery life, with micro SD and mini SIM holders inside."

        Got any links for one of these, I'm interested at that price.

        1. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

          Re: Could be...Got any links for one of these, I'm interested at that price.

          Try Alibaba - taking the usual precautions.

          If you don't mind paying a bit more but still 1/6 of Apple prices there are some quite highly rated ones on Amazon. I do wonder if these are being included in the statistics, as someone is making them but may not be communicating with Western consultancies. Cheap ones with BT3 (which would affect battery life) are under $25, more advanced ones with BT4 are closer to $50.

          Not something that I would buy, but interesting as a sign of possible things to come.

  2. Bob Dole (tm)
    Holmes

    Could Also Be...

    That the global market for smart watches was actually pretty small to begin with and just about anyone that wanted one already has it.

    I haven't worn a watch in over 20 years and I've yet to see a reason to put something like it on my wrist.

    1. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
      Pirate

      @Bob Dole ... Re: Could Also Be...

      There are some who don't like wearing watches. Ok, that's a personal preference. Some of us do like to wear watches and still use them to tell time instead of taking our phones out of our pockets.

      But the smart watch is expensive, not really a good time keeper and is more of an aux device to your smart phone.

      I suspect that the price will drop to expand the market.

      Or you could be waiting for the sub-dermal model ... ;-)

      1. hypernovasoftware

        Re: @Bob Dole ... Could Also Be...

        The Apple Watch keeps perfect time.

        1. Richard 12 Silver badge

          Re: @Bob Dole ... Could Also Be...

          No, while the smart watch might know exactly what the time is, it can't give you that information very easily.

          Mostly because the battery goes flat if they try.

          1. JamesMcP

            Re: @Bob Dole ... Could Also Be...

            My pebble Steel & Time Steel watches last @ 5 days a charge with pretty significant usage. My dad's classic Pebble, who mainly has it to keep from forgetting his phone or missing a phone call, gets more like a week of usage. If I run the new one down to the edge of power, it switches to a simple watch display that lasts another day or so.

            I like the fact I can turn up and down my thermostat without having to get out of bed.

        2. Katie Saucey
          Meh

          Re: @Bob Dole ... Could Also Be...

          'The Apple Watch keeps perfect time'

          For about 12-18hrs depending on usage. My TimeX s-l225 self-winder has kept good time for 40 years (it was a hand me down) and has never let me down, the only drawback is I can't use the now frequent "my watch/mobile died" excuse if I'm horribly late.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: @Bob Dole ... Could Also Be...

            "self-winder" ... aha the poseur's watch of 40 years ago from what I recall from schooldays. If one of us with non-self-winding watches were seen winding our watches someone with a self-winder would announce that they needed to wind their watch as well followed by a burst of vigorous wrist activity.

            1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

              Re: @Bob Dole ... Could Also Be...

              > someone with a self-winder would announce that they needed to wind their watch

              My friends dad had a self-winder. Turns out he didn't move enough and it kept winding down.

              (I'm with Esme on this - I don't like wearing wrist watches but on the (very rare) occasions that I wear formal/nice wear I tend to use a pocket watch. Specifically - one of my wife's grand-uncles pocket watches. I like a nice analogue clock/watch..)

        3. david bates

          Re: @Bob Dole ... Could Also Be...

          ...if you remember to charge it regularly...

        4. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
          Boffin

          @Hyper Re: @Bob Dole ... Could Also Be...

          "The Apple Watch keeps perfect time."

          Perfect time?

          Really?

          Time is relative.

          The clock chip in the watch is cheap and probably has a bit of skew.

          It works well enough because it syncs to the iPhone. Who also has a bit of skew in their cheap clocks.

          But it works ok, because it occasionally syncs with the cell towers which have much better clocks which are more accurate.

          Good base station clocks have both GPS and Radio antennas to connect to the radio clock signal from a known site and along with knowing their GPS coordinates they are able to sync properly to the time signal and then keep track of the time and its internal skew.

          And of course there are differences in terms of the types of clocks and their relative accuracy.

          I guess what you meant to say was that your iWatch keeps time well enough that your girlfriend doesn't yell at you for being late. ;-)

      2. Esme

        Re: @Bob Dole ... Could Also Be...

        I'm old enough to have worn watches when younger because that was teh best way to be able to tell what teh time was. When desktop computers with GUIs came along, there was less need for a watch in order to be aware of teh time, whilst at work. Once mobile phones came along, they killed all need to wear something on your wrist in order to tell the time.

        I CAN imagine myself wearing a wristwatch again, in one circumstance, and that's for an evening out. But there are plenty of cheap watches that serve well as costume jewellry, and frankly the analogue dials are prettier than the digital ones, IMO. Even better is a nice mechanical pocket watch - and yes, I have a couple of those. Functional, sufficiently accurate, pretty, and never need a battery. And a durned sight cheaper than an iThing.

        1. MonkeyCee Silver badge

          Re: @Bob Dole ... Could Also Be...

          I'm with Esme on this. I'm old enough that also needed a watch when growing up, although finding one that didn't make my wrist get uncomfortable was a pain, so I ended up with a sweatband with the watch on top. It was the 80s, so that was one of my lessor crimes against fashion.

          After a friend snapped his wrist after a small (1 foot) fall where his flailing arm hit a wall, and the watch nicely concentrated the impact onto a couple of bones, I stopped wearing them. Had one looped on my belt until I got to secondary, where the perv who taught geography did the same thing, so had to change that trick.

          Got quite good at reading other people's watches, or clocks, and then the prevalence of digital displays meant it was pretty easy to keep track.

          Pocket watches are cool, but my suits that fit are all 3 piece, so tossing a pocket watch on there means that I'm a little less likely to be mistaken for a waiter. Also means I get to wear my granddads rather battered brass watch, which survived WW2 and a couple of years of service after the war.

        2. I_am_Chris

          Re: @Bob Dole ... Could Also Be...

          I don't think I've ever worn a digital watch. Much prefer analogue dials. Including my Withings Activite pop fitness tracker I wear these days.

          Analogue watches are often fashion accessories with prices far above those of the Apple Watch. I have a Longines automatic which cost about twice an iWatch, but will last a darn sight longer!

    2. tirk

      Re: Could Also Be...

      I suspect that like the smartphone is not really a phone, the smartwatch will only become more than a niche product when there are compelling non-timekeeping application for them. Fitness apps seem to be the first of them, possibly touch to pay will be another, but I think we are still waiting for the "Visicalc moment" for mass use.

  3. Efros

    I doubt

    there was any long term market anyway, the number of teenagers I see wearing a watch is minimal, if they want the time it's just another excuse to pull out the smart phone.

    1. Geoffrey W Silver badge

      Re: I doubt

      Teenagers don't need an excuse to pull out their smart phones - They have them permanently in their hands anyway

  4. redpawn Silver badge

    iRing

    Like the little watches built into rings in the last century, a must have and a fashion statement coming your way for only $2999. This is what consumers are waiting for and explains slow Apple Watch sales.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      Re: iRing

      You ask, the internet answers:

      http://www.ablogtowatch.com/ring-clock-ring-watch-review/

      (SFW)

      1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

        Re: iRing

        You ask, the internet answers:

        Knuckle duster will be a better description.

        If you are with small fingers like me, it will spin freely on any of them. If you have the physique which comes with "I'll be back" said with an Austrian accent, you are likely to end up in A&E with your finger swollen and the guys there cutting the ring in half to get it off.

        1. ThomH Silver badge

          Re: iRing

          Which is not yet to have mentioned the most telling part of the review:

          I have seen two basic types of reactions. One, and there were rather few of these, were that of the unimpressed – but I guess they are just simply not as tech savvy as I and my fellow watch enthusiasts and nerds are.

          See? If you're not excited by a ring with a watch in it then, well, it's just because you aren't smart or knowledgable enough. The problem is definitely yours.

          I find this same attitude pervades the smart watch discussion.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    We have reached Barista saturation...

    No more man buns with spare wrists.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Person 1: Excuse but do you have the time?

    Person 2: I'll just get my phone out and check.

    Now, based on the above if Apple had marketed the iWatch or whatever it's called as an extension to your phone then I'm guessing it might have actually done quite well however at the end of the day there are few people that feel the need or want to wear watches when you have a smartphone with lots of information in your pocket at all times.

  7. Eddy Ito Silver badge

    I know two people who have smart watches and both got them for free. One got it free with a phone purchase and the other was a given it from a friend who in turn received it as a gift from his employer (also the smart watch maker) but he couldn't find a use for it and passed it on.

    1. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
      Devil

      @Eddy Ito ... YMMV

      I've seen a lot of people with them.

      Where it comes in handy... at airports when you need to go through the TSA pre line or when you board the plane. (US issue) There's an app that has the flight detailed Q Code now visible on the watch face.

      It does tell time (as accurate as the phone and the network)

      It does work well as an alarm for meetings.

      It does work well for those who want to screen their calls because their over sized cell phone is too hard to get out of their pocket / purse/ murse/ or backpack.

      Its also a status symbol to some who don't understand why some men where mechanical watches...

      Personally, I think the next watch I'll get is a CS clock that I can wear as a pocket watch and charge every night. Then I can become a walking ground station for GPS fixes. ;-)

  8. Keven E

    iTold you

    ..and after all those downvotes i got because i taunted the widespread lack of watch wearing these days.

    Markets just can't take all that *taunting.

  9. Captain DaFt

    Really? I mean really?

    That headline, plus the opening paragraph:

    "Smartwatch shipments are in freefall thanks to slowing sales of the Apple Watch."

    Nope. Looks like Apple Watch shipments are in freefall, but everybody else is doing fine. It's right there in the article's own graphs.

    1. Dazed and Confused Silver badge

      Re: Really? I mean really?

      Everyone else doing fine?

      Samsung probably don't even think it's worth tooling up for a production run of 600K

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Really? I mean really?

      Quite correct ... anyone remember the way smug Apple users used to say "there isn't a tablet market, there's an iPad market" - maybe the same's happening with "early ipeople adopters" having gone for iWatches followed bu everyone else finding better value alternatives

      1. DiViDeD Silver badge

        Re: Really? I mean really?

        Actually, I think it's the other way around. Early adopters had already owned a smartwatch for around 2-3 years before the Apple Watch even appeared. Despite the media hype of 'nobody ever thought of a smartwatch before Apple', they were very late to enter the smartwatch market and those people likely to need, or believe they needed one had already tooled up. Fashion victims are never going to sustain a product, as you can see from the chart in the article. Apple sold shitloads initially, but this quickly tailed off, while other manufacturers have been selling in smaller numbers and seeing their sales increase.

        1. werdsmith Silver badge

          Re: Really? I mean really?

          And you are right, since Pebble released its 3rd gen and smashed all kickstarter records again.

          I don't think anyone with a grain of intelligence expected smartwatches to sell in quantities like phones, yet they get all kinds of doom-speak aimed at them because they don't.

          Pebble have made a few dodgy decisions lately, but they have the right approach, making a watch which deals with the important stuff in a pragmatic way, and maintaining their place as a niche supplier.

          1. Rosie Davies

            Re: Really? I mean really?

            +1 for the Pebble mention.

            I got a Pebble Time Round about 6 months ago. Mostly because shiny but also because shiny. It's a lot more useful that I thought it would be and the 1 1/2 - 2 day charge period isn't really a problem - I'm generally near USB socket anyway.

            Plus, it looks like a watch and not some hideous, pustular blister growing out your wrist.

            Rosie

  10. Paul

    lenovo make a smartwatch?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "lenovo make a smartwatch?"

      Lenovo acquired the Motorola mobiles from Google so yes they do, they make the Moto 360 - note, they seem to be dropping the Motorola name but retaining (Hello) Moto

  11. The_Idiot

    The thing...

    ... for me, at least, with 'smart' watches is the use case. Which doesn't mean I'm about to go off on a rant about there not being on - but it means (and again, I don't claim to be able to speak for anyone but me) use cases need to apply to the user.

    Hmmm. I know i had a point here somewhere. Where did I... oh! There it is!

    See, i don;t need a watch to tell me there's an email waiting for me. Let's try that again. _I don;t _want_ a watch that tells me there's an email waiting for me. If I can be bothered, if i care, I can take my phone out. But - at the risk of too much personal information - I'm a diabetic. Offer me a watch that continuously monitors my blood glucose level? And sends an alert to me/ my email/ my duck billed platypus if it goes too high (or worse, too low)? OK, so maybe not my duck billed platypus - the b*st*rd never reads his bloody email anyway (blush). But yes. _I_ may not want a device on my wrist that listens to my phone - but _I_ (and some others) may _possibly_ want a device on my wrist that can tell the world things. Some things. And yes, I know there are some Kickstarter projects around glucose monitoring tech in watches, and the possibility of remote alerts. But they're not here yet - so _I'm_ still not interested in a 'smart watch'.

    Yet :-).

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: The thing...

      Good for you.

      And I'm pleased you told us all, because the world is all about you and without knowing your subjective preferences there would have been a void in my life.

      1. Alien8n Silver badge

        Re: The thing...

        @werdsmith actually they're making a good point about what they need from a smartwatch. Most smartwatches are being touted with "health benefits". And while it's useful to some to monitor things like heart rate for some the ability to monitor blood sugar and blood pressure isn't just a nice thing to have. It can literally save their lives. I personally have an interest in the health uses of technology due to having several friends and family who are diabetic so if there was a watch that could monitor blood sugar I'd be interested to see it.

        1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

          Re: The thing...

          I personally have an interest in the health uses of technology due to having several friends and family who are diabetic so if there was a watch that could monitor blood sugar I'd be interested to see it.

          I'd be very interested in a non-invasive device that could monitor blood sugar. Unfortunately, in line with elementary scientific principles, to measure blood sugar a device has to have access to blood. The snake-oil and genuinely very dangerous apps that claim to measure blood sugar levels without access to actual blood are total and utter bullshit. Quite how they are even allowed in curated app stores given this fact is some other matter entirely...

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    strange trend

    In a strange correlation with the rise of smart watches, i have become more interested in dumb watches.

    Over the last 5 years i have probably bought 3 or 4 of them, some quite cheap some quite expensive.

    I have also noticed that i am more and more drawn to the ones that do less and less (ie no date window, only the time). Maybe its the very fact that people are wearing no watch or a pixelated smartwatch that makes me want to be different. (I'm not, i have a very ordinary Android phone).

  13. tom dial Silver badge

    I have a Timex to tell me the time. It cost under $50 US and seems to be accurate to well within a second a month.

    I have a smart phone to make calls. It can serve also as an alarm, a fitness tracker, an email and web browser, a calorie tracker, and a lot of other things, limited mainly by the willingness of developers to provide software for this remarkable device.

    I did not, and do not, feel a need for a smart watch.

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      Wow.

      Interesting.

      I have several hobbies that I pursue and I did not and do not feel a need to take up the game of golf.

      1. PNGuinn
        Thumb Up

        "I did not and do not feel a need ..."

        Upvoted for your honesty and daring in coming out as being a nongolph!

  14. DerekCurrie Bronze badge
    Holmes

    The Anticipation Effect, As Usual

    The rumor mill chattering about the Apple Watch 2 has started. The Anticipation Effect is the result. Therefore, people decide to WAIT for the new. It's a very old story. It should be the first consideration when sales of a product go into decline. Kind of DUH.

  15. Lou 2
    Trollface

    Samsung more than doubles Digital watch Market share - Apple Tanks

    Samsung more than doubled their market share. Apple lost nearly 50%.

    Depends what side you are looking at?

  16. Big_Boomer

    Fitbit

    I can't remember ever seeing anybody wearing an iWatch. Fitbits on the other hand seem to be everywhere. Of no interest to me either way. Was always gonna be a small market compared to smartphone sales. I also believe that Joe/Jane Public are finally starting to get wise to "The Hype". Hopefully the manufacturers will now start developing stuff that actually makes a difference to our lives rather than just another useless bit of bling with the "right" logo on it.

  17. Alastair Dodd 1

    Lenovo smartwatch?

    Can't even find a lenovo watch for sale in the UK... weird.

    Assume the pebble is in the 'others' category which is surprising considering the interest in that seemed very high for their new model.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Lenovo smartwatch?

      "Can't even find a lenovo watch for sale in the UK... weird."

      You're not looking right ... Moto 360

  18. caffeine addict Silver badge

    There is good news for everyone else, however. Every other smartwatch vendor in the top 5 saw positive, albeit modest, growth in both shipments and market share.

    Modest growth in market share? Everyone else doubled (or tripled) their market share.

  19. The Vociferous Time Waster

    Yoinks!

    "People who don't get the point of wearable tech saying that wearable tech has no point."

    Sales have dropped because market of those who want it and can afford it has been saturated. Unless price drops there won't be much traction until the next generation and even then the refresh cycle will be longer than a cellphone because a lot of people aren't used to the idea of a refresh cycle on their watch.

    Wearable tech isn't about telling the time, it's about seeing messages discretely without getting your phone out of your pocket; it's about haptic alerts; it's about health data; it's about turning on your porch light with Siri when you get home late with a sleeping toddler in your arms; it's about paying for your morning coffee when you forgot your wallet and of course it's about making phone calls on your watch like Dick Tracy

    1. Ryan.T.Student

      Re: Yoinks!

      One slight problem with the Dick Tracy thing.. either you're going to have your arm at an awfully awkward angle or you're going to have people looking up your nose. Neither seems terribly attractive.

  20. Douchus McBagg

    previously burnt through two fitbits, so never again. one died from sweat, and another died from me being caught out in the rain. so much for shower proof.

    Some of the guys in the office have a Microsoft band1, and really rated it, so I've plunked down for a Microsoft band 2.

    I love the notification features. I can sit in a meeting and still be on top of emails, whats apps, texts, you name it, without being that rude that I'm staring/poking at a phone in my hand while someone else is hosting the meeting / having a conversation...

    plus the vibrate/caller ID on my wrist means I know when a phone call is coming in, as chief on the missus problems was she could call me, but I'd never pick up, as I'd never feel the vibrate in my pocket.

    that plus my Bluetooth headset/ear buds mean I almost never have to take my phone out for any reason other than typing or watching stuff on the train.

    also the good health/sleep/activity monitoring blah blah blah... stuff

    I've not worn a watch in years, and I will never wear a basic "time piece" again I think, but this has converted me. it's been a solid two months now and this things only off my person for charging. which is maybe once or twice a week, and it only takes 30-60 mins for a full juice up on a decent usb charger.

    left it at home charging one morning and was genuinely annoyed at myself. 1; for the loss of step data, and 2; connection to notifications, 3; able to know that someone is calling me and who it is. I wouldn't have cared at all if I'd left a "watch" at home.

    looks like hopefully the faddy iwatchers will drop off the market, and what's left will be actually usefull stuff for people.

    bought the missus a garmin HR+ or whatever. it's the heart rate monitoring one. its good down to 50m, so she can take it swimming, and the battery life is good. around a week or so plus. but it lost sync with her phone, and we've never been able to get it to connect back with the app. tempted to take it back and get her a Band2 as well, as it just does what it says on the tin with minimum fuss.

  21. GlenP Silver badge

    I do wear watches but...

    I do wear a watch when out and about as I do find a glance at the wrist a lot easier than pulling out a phone.

    One is a Casio Twincept (analogue face with LCD overlay) I bought I the US for $75 nearly 20 years ago. At the time having calendar and contact information on the watch was pretty cool and useful in the pre-smartphone days. Now it's used as my "don't care if it gets broken or damaged" weekend watch.

    The other is a Casio Waveceptor analogue-digital that replaced an Omega I'd had for over 20 years but which finally died. It's solar powered so never needs a new battery (or charging) and uses radio updates so never needs adjusting. It does the essentials of telling the time and date and has a stopwatch.

    I really can't see any gain in a smartwatch. When someone comes up with one that doesn't need recharging and has a proper analogue face with notifications (so back to the Twincept) I might thing again.

    1. Andy E
      Thumb Down

      Re: I do wear watches but...

      My experience is similar to your. After a number of Timex watches (almost as cheap to replace the watch as the battery) I opted for a Citizen eco-drive solar powered watch. It nicely does the job of telling the time. I also have an expensive (to me) dress watch for formal occasions.

      I can see a use case for smart watches for people with medical conditions or those sporty people who want to monitor some bodily function. They could also be a replacement for pagers I suppose.

      I've no experience of smart watches but I'd be interested to see how it works with e-mails. My personal e-mail addresses have lots of rules to filter out the spam and junk. But these run on the PC. My work e-mail on quiet days has about 100 e-mails a day. How you makke sense of this on a small screen of a smart watch with no filtering capability is something I would like to see.

      I guess the use case to compell me to buy a smart watch just isn't there yet.

  22. David Lawton

    I bought the first gen Apple Watch on launch day but got the cheaper 38MM Sports one, as i did not know if i would actually use it, but wanted one as i was curious so was less risky on a £299 one.

    Now i would not want to be without it, and if it was not for the fact i there will no doubt be a 2nd gen within 2 years i would be down the Apple Store buying the £900 38mm SS space grey one.

    I get that some people might not see the appeal or have much use, but every one is different and for me its great. Love using it for Apple pay in shops or getting in and out of the underground, 2 taps on the button and present to the barrier, no getting my wallet out in busy London or messing around with Oyster Cards and tickets.

    Its great at filtering the many notifications i get throughout the day, and i like to log how active i am so comes in hand there too. I've used it to answer calls and reply to texts when having busy or messy hands like in the kitchen preparing food. The discrete vibrating as direction cue's when using the sat nav for walking round big cities is handy.

    I've use it regularly for controlling music playing via AirPlay around my house, and i like glancing at it and seeing whats next in my calendar.

    Yes it does have a few gimmicky things like heart rate sharing, and drawing cocks to friends, but over all it can be a handy devices, and much more useful than a dumb watch which i had not worn for almost 20 years before getting a smart watch.

  23. tiggity Silver badge

    I have a cheap old casio wrist watch (20+ yrs old)- if it gets damaged cheap & easy to replace.

    It does what I need in that it tells the time and has an alarm that still works if power cuts / out in the middle of nowhere with no electricity, and is sufficiently waterproof for swimming / scuba diving / boating recreational use.

    Unlike a smart watch I do not have to worry about daily recharges as the battery lasts a couple of years (& I get plenty of warning of a waning battery as the LCD display gradually fades for a week or two when battery is on it's way out)

    A smart watch would be a bit of a toy / shiny bling, it would not manage a camping holiday with no electricity as my watch does & (for times when recharging is possible) being a pale imitation of what my phone achieves in the mail / notifications etc. arena.

    So, I could buy a smart watch or could put the cash towards something more useful / enjoyable (I could have a few days holiday abroad for the price of an Apple watch!)

    .. Though I'm one of those people that has all notifications / alert on their phone silent (bar voice calls from family members who are only likely to ring in emergencies which have non silent ringtone applied)- people text / email / hangout message my phone for general communication & I choose when to look at it rather than being a slave to every message in "real time" - I can however see the attraction of a smart watch for those addicted to instantly checking every notification, just that I'm not that segment of the market.

  24. Alan Denman

    Apple watch is top drawer stuff.

    where it stays when the novelty tufns into inconvenience

    1. Keven E

      Re: Apple watch is top drawer stuff...

      ...right next to the box of rubbers...

      Nicely done, Alan.

      I leave y'all with this...

      existentialcomics.com/comic/138

  25. Ryan.T.Student

    One of my fellow geeks at my place of work purchased an Apple Watch. He regretted it almost instantly as he very quickly realised he had absolutely no use for the thing. It's (as I'm sure has been said before ad infinitum) a solution searching for a problem, and so far the search has failed.

  26. PNGuinn
    Facepalm

    The problem's easily solved.

    And I'm sure the whole of Apple's "design" team is working on it.

    And before they patent it - I'll give 'em the answer:

    Make the b****y thing self winding.

    And when the fanbois keep breaking the spring .... "You're ........ wrong."

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Stupid gimmick with almost no point, barring a few niche uses.

    (and I say that as a tech-addict who loves stupid gimmicks)

  28. disgruntled yank Silver badge

    SJi

    Sir Jony ive? If he has been trademarked by Apple, shouldn't that be Sir Jony iVe?

  29. Potemkine Silver badge
    Holmes

    iDispensable

    when fanboys stop buying these luxury gadgets, it's a clear sign there's no real market for these items in the current situation.

  30. anthonyhegedus Silver badge

    I'm sorry but a watch for over £300? really?

  31. MachDiamond Silver badge

    How many is not enough

    Of course there were lots of sales right after it came out, stands to reason. What I always find strange is how The Media think that a product is tanking these days when it ONLY sells 1 or 2 million. I'd be chuffed to sell a million of something.

  32. Tikimon Silver badge

    "smart" watches sometimes a terrible choice

    Just throwing into the ring... I'm a multi-sport outdoorsman. I mountain bike, paddle kayaks, hike and backpack, play disc golf and so on. A computer watch would offer me nothing extra in these situations. It would also not survive most of these activities, especially if it rains which happens often enough. Finally, it would require extra battery packs to recharge on a long trip.

    My plain and rugged titanium field watch has survived all this for over ten years with one battery change, a new band, and a crystal replacement from being smashed onto a rock in a bike crash. The numbers even glow in the dark, woo. As far as fashion goes, it complements my image far better than a foofy "smart" watch.

  33. Richard Cranium

    Try it before you slag it off

    Many of the comments here might be summarised as "I've not tried a smart watch but they're crap".

    Well go out and get one, give it a fair trial with an open mind then come back and give a considered opinion based on your experience.

    I was a watch skeptic but, as a geek, when I saw a Sony android SmartWatch 3 for about a hundred quid I though it was worth a gamble but expecting it to be a 9 day wonder. I was wrong.

    I've read all the crap like "I can just use my smart phone instead", that's what I thought. I was wrong.

    I could ramble on for a few paragraphs about why its a game-changer but you'll just disregard that as it contradicts your opinion based on zero personal experience. Like me, you may find you were wrong.

    My advice is "buy an android watch" (at less than half the cost of the cheapest apple watch) and give it a fair trial, at least a couple of weeks, before you write off the whole concept. And yes, even iphone users can connect to Android Wear, you don't get the full experience but, for only a hundred quid chuck it in the bin if you don't like it. (BTW iWatch doesn't connect to Android phones - not that any Android phone user gives a sh*t.)

    The disposable battery on my old-faithful Casio digital watch needs replacing (after about 5 years). I've not used it for a year, I don't think I'll bother.

  34. JulieM Silver badge

    It's a nasty combination

    I suspect the phenomenon is the combination of two effects: Market saturation and Osborne Effect. Everybody who actually wants an Apple Watch either already has one, or is waiting for the next generation before parting with their hard-earned. The rest of the population can't justify spending that much money without a really compelling reason.

    The question people are asking themselves before deciding whether or not to buy a smartwatch is, What will I be able to do with it, that I can't do without it? And the number of people who think Look really cool is a satisfactory answer is limited.

    The next generation of smartwatches have to offer a reason, not so much why you would be better off with one, but why you would be so much worse off without one.

    Biomonitoring is certainly an interesting application for smartwatches, if it can be done non-invasively. Blood glucose level is obvious, but what about hormone level monitoring? Whether it's about trying for a baby or just identifying the few hours a month during which everyone not on HRT enjoys gender-atypical hormone levels. Who wouldn't want to know that? And the ability to monitor levels of endogenous v. exogenous opioids in the bloodstream ought to make addiction recovery as tolerable as possible. (Expect stiff opposition from those running "twelve-step" programmes; a three-week detox during which you can still go to work and after which you don't crave drugs, but can stop anytime if you did fall off the wagon, wouldn't be good for those earning money out of prolonging addicts' suffering.)

    Alternatively, the "killer app" could turn out to be a totally frivolous game that requires the use of a watch to play. Spend real money and time accruing points in a stupid computer game and posting my useless achievements on social media might well be the answer to the big question .....

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    forget quasi-medical apps, porn is the answer

    The existing BP, pulse and temperature apps on wrist devices and mobile phones are of questionable accuracy. Skin-contact testing for factors currently determined by blood test are a long way off. Even were they available the market for any specific blood test analog would be limited to the tiny % of the population who need that specific parameter to be continually monitored.

    The "killer apps" of many technologies have been and will remain porn and entertainment dating right back to cave art. The human psyche hasn't changed much in 30,000 years!

    To capture the mass market a smart watch needs a camera capable of discretely capturing "candid" images (the reason many places banned Google Glass) and a not very intellectually challenging game (q.v. flappy bird).

    1. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

      Re: forget quasi-medical apps, porn is the answer

      "and a not very intellectually challenging game (q.v. flappy bird)."

      Flappy bits?

    2. JulieM Silver badge

      Re: forget quasi-medical apps, porn is the answer

      I'm having difficulty imagining a real-life situation in which anyone could position their wrist for a "discreet" shot (note spelling; "discrete" means "not joined together").

      ..... However, what if you had an application that allowed you to share naughty selfies with people who don't have any connection to you on social media sites and live away from your present and past home towns, therefore are deemed strangers whom you will never meet? The more pictures you upload, the more of other people's pictures you get to see. And there's minimal risk of embarrassment, because you don't know any of the people who are looking at you -- and if your paths should ever cross in future, they won't want to admit recognising you in front of anyone else, because it would give away that they used the service. A bit like how asking "Can you smell weed?" is admitting that you smoke it, otherwise how would you know what it smelt like?

      As for the reason why this specifically has to be run on a watch, it's all to do with precision measurement of the popularity of individual uploaders' pictures, by means of accelerometers on wrists .....

      (For the purposes of avoidance of doubt in any future patent disputes, this posting in a public forum constitutes a Declaration of Prior Art, by the way.)

  36. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  37. J J Carter Silver badge
    Trollface

    Apple watch?

    Punters are buying it wrong!

  38. Slx

    I bought a Huawei watch and it's a really nice piece of kit and very classy looking. However, after playing with it for a few days I pretty much only use it for telling the time.

    I don't really think I will be replacing or upgrading it as I just can't see any purpose for it.

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