back to article Get an Apple Watch or die warns Tim Cook

After hyping his first new product as Apple CEO to death, it appears Tim Cook is feeling the pressure to make the Apple Watch a success. Sadly, that has not been the case and the expensive and not terribly useful wristwatch is expected to have sold just seven million units in its first year, against expectations of 30 million …

  1. Dave 126 Silver badge

    Let's be clear:

    The "expectations of 30 million sales." were not Apple's expectations, as far as we can know. It comes from "The Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty said the Apple Watch would reach 30 million sales in the first year, an extremely optimistic prediction. " [ ://]

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Let's be clear:

      Doesn't really matter it's the analyst's BS that drives a lot of the stockmarket.

      I don't think the actual number is that important – Apple outsold the competition by far – but the possible trend: are sales holding up or tailing off? After the initial hype of the I-Phone it was the ability to develop native apps and the creativity of the developers that made it so desirable. It may still be early days but I'm still waiting for the developer stories that explain the unique opportunities (and $$$) that the Apple Watch provides them. From a product development and innovation standpoint it still looks like Pebble is still setting the pace. Maybe Tim should dip his hand in the sofa and buy Pebble: probably a better bet than the Beats buy was.

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: Let's be clear:

        You're right that it doesn't really matter, but I feel that it needed spelling out clearly, because the sentence as written in the article was ambiguous, if not misleading:

        Sadly, that has not been the case and the expensive and not terribly useful wristwatch is expected to have sold just seven million units in its first year, against expectations of 30 million sales.

    2. Sgodsell

      Re: Let's be clear:

      Apple themselves have not given any sales numbers for their watches. It could be as low as 2.5 million watches to 4 million depending on which models sold. Not to mention how many of the bands sold.

      The other thing to consider is this watch requires a valid iPhone 5 and above in order to setup and use the watch. There is no GPS, so for exercising you still need your iPhone in order to get accurate health tracking when you go for a job, run, walk or cycle. Even third party apps require the iPhone, up until native app support was just added recently. This watch doesn't have full WiFi support. Considering it is an expensive accessory which still relys heavily on your iPhone. Then it's actual worth is definitely in question, especially with roughly 18 hours of battery life for a watch.

  2. Steven Roper


    I would rather die than buy an Apple product in any event!

    1. kmac499

      Re: So?

      Why only seven million sold .because as a watch

      It doesn't show the time all the time.

      It isn't waterproof

      It only runs for a day between charges

      when the battery is eventualy knackered you can't replace it,..

      Oh and it costs £350.

      Have a look in Samuels window at that price point and see what you can get for that money.

    2. chivo243 Silver badge

      Re: So?

      have an up vote, seems you received the same two down votes as I did ;-}

      1. g e

        Re: So?

        And another for a timely reminder of the bleeding obvious which people seem to need so frequently these days

  3. Kitschcamp

    Very widely reported when it was actually news... In September.

    Footballer named and even a photo of the chap. Poor effort.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I had assumed the "balls" was not the validity of the event (a near statistical certainty given prevalence of devices, media awareness, and people getting ill) but that the derived premise that Apple watches will save lives.

      Obviously living healthily, seeing a doctor when necessary will save lives too. As might a different fitness tracker device.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        No one claimed that ONLY an Apple Watch could have been able to save his life. Only that in this case, it was an Apple Watch that did.

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

        2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

          "Basically his organs were shutting down."

          Gotta play louder then.

  4. Mark 85 Silver badge

    Well.. I guess Apple's next step is to tout this to the health and life insurance companies to make it a mandatory part of everyone's life. That this miracle device can keep us healthy and alive forever will mean more profit to the insurance companies. </sarc>

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Ah, good. I've no health, nor life, insurance so I'm let off on both counts. The device makes even less sense when one doesn't even have a phone. Any phone.

      *I've been regularly clocked at two bpm heart rate, one respiration per minute, and a blood pressure of 50/10. In other words, I often get asked if I'm dead. Nope, more's the pity, and that's not for lack of trying either to rectify that omission. If I could get over not leaving a mess behind, it'd all go so well....

      1. killakrust
        Thumb Up

        2 bpm?

        Nice one, you should call GBR and let them know you have broken the current record of 27bpm.

  5. Mark Simon

    The problem is …

    I might buy an Apple Watch if it weren’t a watch.

    I have a nice watch already. It’s not a Rolex, but I like it. People who already have a watch have the choice of wearing two watches or discarding one. Or not buying another watch, which appears to be the problem here.

    Maybe someone should tell Mr Cook that he might have more luck selling something that people don’t already have.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: The problem is …

      >I might buy an Apple Watch if it weren’t a watch.

      From rest of the Tim Cook Telegraph interview:

      “We don’t want to put the watch through the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) process. I wouldn’t mind putting something adjacent to the watch through it, but not the watch, because it would hold us back from innovating too much, the cycles are too long. But you can begin to envision other things that might be adjacent to it -- maybe an app, maybe something else.”

      Not having FDA approval limits the applications the Apple Watch can be sold for. It would be easier to get approval for a pared-down, health-focused device, and as Cook has hinted, a possible move from Apple if facing competition from a competitor (be that Polar heart monitors or Rolex, Seiko et al.)

      Or, with your Rolex:

      The Chronos is a small, 3mm thick disc that attaches to the underneath of your current regular watch. It clings on using a suction system that avoids any messy sticky pads, and makes it easy to swap between watches. Once stuck to your watch, it adds fitness tracking, notifications, and a cool gesture control system — all without changing the outward design of your watch, or swapping the strap.

      - Device is at pre-order stage, so no in depth reviews yet.

    2. PleebSmash

      Re: The problem is …

      Square-shaped iPod Nano with a strap did almost everything useful that Apple Watch can do.

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: The problem is …

        Except make payments, act as a remote control, alert the wearer to phone notifications, etc.

        I take your point though - the payments thing isn't too much use to me (if I was a city dweller it might), and the latter two examples can be accomplished without a power-guzzling colour screen.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The problem is …

          Realistically, I'd prefer it if, by having the same functionality as my phone, i'd not have to carry the phone about as well.

          I leave the MacBook at home when I can use the iPad instead, saves carrying extra weight for no gain

  6. David Webb

    Oh dear

    Now we're going to get the usual crowd getting the watch, noticing their resting rate is "rather high" and rush off to the doctor who will reply "it's because you're an unfit, fat bastard, why don't you just go for a bloody walk and stop wasting my time".

    Of course, if you have a high resting rate AND run out of breath easily, go see your doctor.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Oh dear

      It only takes a doctor 5 minutes to say: "it's because you're an unfit, fat bastard, why don't you just go for a bloody walk ". The consequences of someone not taking an interest in their own fitness - by whatever method - can be waste of many, many hours of doctors' and potentially surgeons' time, plus equipment, beds and medication.

      It's no contest.

  7. Oengus

    Get an Apple Watch and die


    100% of Apple Watch owners will die.

    I have yet to see any item that will stop me from dying - delay it maybe but never stop it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Get an Apple Watch and die

      You couldn't prove if a device kept you from ever dying - you'd have to wait an infinitely long time.

      However, if you someone wasn't born then they'd never die - so if an Apple watch stops people from sleeping with the wearer then there's potentially lots of people who'll never die.

  8. Zog_but_not_the_first

    Fanboi revisionist poet?

    Get an Apple Watch or die

    Get an Apple Watch and die

  9. gh4662

    Perhaps his elevated heart rate was because he realised that his battery was just about to run out on his watch

    1. Shady

      Perhaps his elevated heart rate was because he just twigged that his wallet was suddenly 400 sheets lighter for fuck all gain.

  10. Richard Jones 1

    Alternative View?

    I'm on the cusp of 70 and have never owned an apple ithing, my parents were in their 90s when the grim reaper collected his dues. Neither of them ever owned an Apple device. Although mother did eat quite a lot of apples.

    Perhaps only unhealthy people need an Apple product, or perhaps chance plays a bigger part in life?

    Cats, dogs and all sorts of other animals and things have previously been claimed to save lives, unfortunately with the cost of housing I cannot manage to get at least one of every life saver into any house I can afford.

    Now where is the live in doctor when I need one?

    1. G0HJQ

      Re: Alternative View?

      > Now where is the live in doctor when I need one?

      That didn't do Michael Jackson much good.

  11. Schultz

    One life saved for ...

    7'000'000 x 600 $ = 4'200'000'000 $.

    On the other hand, we should also consider the marriages saved (Honey, see what I got for your birthday ...), the number of heart attacks caused (You payed what for a phone and accessories?), ...

  12. chivo243 Silver badge

    We live, We die

    we love, and we mostly hate apple? Sorry, but in my line of work a watch is a hazard no matter who over charges for it. I haven't worn one since the UPS incident of '04. Every computer, phone, etc has a clock of sorts.

    Won't someone think of the IT'ers

    1. Mystic Megabyte

      Re: We live, We die

      Same here, no rings either.

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: We live, We die

        Official advice confirming what the two posters above have said.

        Whilst I don't work with UPS devices, I did once blow the case-hardening off a spanner by accidentally dropping it across the terminals of a 24v truck battery - a suitably violent illustration of the hazards. It would have been fun to have seen what that flash bang did to my heart rate!

        1. chivo243 Silver badge

          Re: We live, We die

          @Dave 126

          My incident didn't involve electricity, but a rack, a 65kg up and my watch being ripped off my arm and the watchband broken... I still have all my fingers ;-}

          I'm sure my heart rate went up too!

          1. Dave 126 Silver badge

            Re: We live, We die

            Haha, glad you've still got your hand!

            It seems, as I would have expected, that most watch pins are design to break away before taking an arm with them. I've tried to find some info about this ( some sort of ISO standard or whatnot) but instead found an anecdote about NATO-style watch straps (continuous Nylon loops) being banned on oil rigs - for exactly the reason you outlined.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: We live, We die

          There are plenty of digital watches with plastic cases if you want to tell the time and work with large batteries.

          But a case hardened spanner...does anybody still have one of those nowadays? I'm going to hazard a guess that you blew poor quality chrome plating off a standard nickel steel drop forged spanner. Not that I've ever done this myself, you understand, but I've seen the results of it happening and that was enough to make me fit all the batteries on the boat I had at the time with those big rubber battery covers, in addition to the fibreglass lids.

          Back on topic...some of those fitness monitors are safely plastic. And I gather that there's an experiment going on at a local large hospital with offering them to have post-chemo or radiotherapy fatigue to help monitor what is going on. They cannot be used as FDA-approved medical devices but they can be used as a "try this and see how you get on".

  13. Efros

    Flogging a Dead Watch

    Just like the equine variety is rather a pointless exercise. To me when a piece of equipment fails to do its basic task, keep time, without a constant refilling of its batteries then it really doesn't deserve some of my well earned drinking vouchers. No amount of cajoling, imploring or implied lack of coolness is going to change the fact that you're selling a watch that has to be recharged every day, at a price that is too high to attract the "it's ok for the price" brigade.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I run 6 days a week and have done since the late '70s. Yes I am that old. I can state from practical personal experience that heart rate monitors are nothing more than a rough guide. Their accuracy varies, as does everybody's heart rate - even at rest

    As far as I'm aware the Apple watch isn't provided with a chest strap sensor, though I believe you can add one if you wish. This means the heart rate readout with the watch as bought will be very inaccurate and should not be used a health indicator.

    Even chest strap heart rate monitors are not completely accurate.

    All this "fitness watch/device" crap is just that. Providing information that is of dubious accuracy to people who would have little idea how to use that info even if it were accurate.

    But Mr Cook is right. I don't own an Apple watch and yes I am going to die.

    1. Naselus

      "This means the heart rate readout with the watch as bought will be very inaccurate and should not be used a health indicator."

      This; I can't help but think the reason Mr. Cook doesn't want to put it through FDA approval is than the FDA will say 'this is a watch. It has no recognizable health benefit whatsoever. Why are you wasting our time with it?'. I very much doubt they'd come back with 'yes, let's roll these out to A&E departments immediately, this tech will change everything!'.

      The Apple Watch's problem is, it's a watch. Apple haters weren't going to buy it anyway, but only about 1 in 20 Apple fans want one too. It does very little that your iPhone doesn't already do, it requires the iPhone to work properly, it's battery is an embarrassment to watches... and this is true of all the other Smartwatches, too. Until I can actually replace my mobile phone with a smartwatch (which I won't be able to do unless someone actually releases a functional, full-size Pipboy 3000), it's just an expensive way to avoid reaching into my own pocket.

      Wearable tech needs to get a grip and concentrate on doing things my phone can't, rather than acting as a physical shortcut.

      1. Ben Rosenthal

        Yeah, putting aside my anti Apple bias. I've just got no interest in buying a watch, from anyone.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What Tim Cook really needs is an irrefutable study that if you don't wear an Apple Watch then kittens and puppies will suffer. I'll wear one if it keeps our young pets safe. Otherwise no.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      That was an old Dennis Publishing trick - a picture of a cute kitten with a gun against its head, with the strap-line "Subscribe to PC Zone or the kitten gets it!"

      Happy days.

  16. Indolent Wretch

    Now if the LG Urbane was half as thick I'd go for one.

    I'm doing this because these threads are great for people saying, ahhh you should look at product X.

  17. Tikimon

    Keeping the doctor away?

    "An apple a day will keep anyone away if you throw it hard enough."

    Don't know where I saw it, but I'll never forget it.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Keeping the doctor away?

      It was P.G. Wodehouse, of Blandings and Jeeves and Wooster fame: “An apple a day, if well aimed, keeps the doctor away.”

  18. John Savard

    Yes, nonsense

    The story as you phrased it certainly was nonsense.

    The lad had an elevated heart rate, and he would have dropped dead had he not seen the doctor that very day? Perfectly reasonable.

    But that he then went back to resume being a star football player? No, that's the part that's ridiculous. If this was what playing football did to him, presumably he had something like an enlarged heart - and no more strenuous activities for him, I'm afraid. (In fact, when I went to high school, a student there, with whom I was not personally acquainted, died for just that reason, so I know it can happen.)

    So the story as given by Tim Cook wasn't nonsense, it only became nonsense after you got your hands on it.

  19. UnwittingAccomplice
    Black Helicopters

    Even if it weren't true....

    There is an episode in the first series of Continuum with a watch that detects cancer. And that series is all about the evil of big corporations becoming government. Sonmanto is one of the 'fictional' names. Fiction becoming fact. Just saying......

  20. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

    Well, at least now...

    ...we know how many hipsters there are in the world. The ongoing sales figures will tell us how fast (or slowly!) they breed.

  21. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

    An Apple a day

    Instead of buying an iWatch, walk to the supermarket a couple of times a week and buy some apples to eat.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: An Apple a day

      You could probably buy a few weeks worth of reduced calorie meals. And I don't mean that Weightwatchers/supermarket own brand rubbish either.

  22. John Tserkezis

    Apple watch saves a life? Why yes, it is utter balls.

    I'm a big fat unfit bastard now, but once upon a time I used to train.

    Taking regular heart rate measurements soon after waking was the norm, an upturn in rate indicted over-training. The heart rate is a useful indicator, but it's not the end-all-be-all of diagnosis of impending doom.

    Which brings me to an old joke that illustrates the issue:

    A guy cheats death, and makes a deal with the grim reaper: "when it's finally my time to go, give me some prior warning to get my affairs in order". The grim reaper agrees and they go about their merry way. Some much time later, the guy has multiple orgain failure, and on his death bed, the reaper comes to visit. Angry, the guy says "Hey! I thought you were going to give me some warning!?". The grim reaper replies "First I gave you glucoma and cataracts, then I gave you a heart attack, then I gave you diabeties, did I not give you enough warning?".

  23. Chika

    Well, in my opinion anyway...

    I have a clock on my desktop. I can also use this to type things in. You might have noticed!

    I have a clock in my car. I can also use that to go places with. Many places also have clocks.

    I have a clock on my smartphone. I can also use that to make calls. If I need to check messages, I can use it.

    I have survived many years without the need for a watch of the normal variety.

    Smartwatches, in my opinion, have no useful function. Just another fad, much like a pet rock. You can pass that on to Apple if you want.

    Hmm... pet rock? No, that isn't a Pebble reference either.

    1. MrDamage Silver badge

      Re: Well, in my opinion anyway...

      Its nothing like a standard pet rock. It's more like the new, improved USB Pet Rock

      1. Fr. Ted Crilly Bronze badge

        Re: Well, in my opinion anyway...

        or indeed the old Jump to Conclusions mat...

  24. zen1

    wait... what?

    The damn thing barely even water resistant at one BAR, so why in the name of hell, would anybody actually purchase a watch that you dare not get wet, for over 400 bucks? For the same money, you can buy a nice Citizens or Seiko watch that tells time continuously. What's more, they won't die if you jostle them around too much, nor implode if you sit in a hot tub.

    That's insane!

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Spend $15 or less and save your life with quality then versus a $300+ low quality donation to Tim

    Yes, that is what you pay on ebay for a BT HRM, you know of the more accurate reliable type!

  26. Lallabalalla

    In other news - "7m Apple watches bury the competition"

    Which is it then? Utter failure? Raging success? You'll literally never know.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: In other news - "7m Apple watches bury the competition"

      It is quite simple. Smartwatches are a relatively unsuccessful product, but the Apple watch is the least unsuccessful of them.

      I realise that writing of a multi-billion dollar product category as "relatively unsuccessful" might seem to be stretching it, but in a global market it is something like loose change.

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