It begins. While the world has been speculating about Apple’s iWatch project for years, we’re finally starting to get some tangible information. And if what’s being said is true — and I believe a lot of it is — we’re going to see Apple do what they do best: make the first-movers look like fools.
That’s not to say the iWatch1 will be a huge success — nothing is guaranteed, not even for Apple. And this device sounds quite a bit more ambitious than some of Apple’s previous endeavors in pure consumer electronics. But I do believe that when we do see the iWatch, all the comparable devices will seem decidedly amateur by comparison.
We see this over and over again. Apple is rarely the first-mover in a space. MP3 players, smartphones, tablets, etc. But when they do move, they do so with a product that is best situated to actually succeed in the market.
The line of thinking is pretty simple: it’s better to be second and good than first and bad. Hell, it’s better to be fourth and good than first and bad.
This concept may sound foreign to some of us in the web space that are used to the notion of “beta” and “move fast and break things”. But when you have consumers actually paying for tangible goods, “beta” is poison. There is no actual prize for being first beyond a good pat on the back, from yourself, when the competitor’s better product is released. “I coulda been a contender…”
I’m still shocked each time I see Apple’s competitors clearly rush something out the door, almost like the real world version of the classic “FIRST!” blog comment. And I’m more shocked that they’re shocked each time they fail.
And who knows if it will actually be called “iWatch” — I’m sure Apple is considering the name, but it sure sounds like this device will be a hell of a lot more than a watch. Of course, the same was/is true of the iPhone… ↩