Jim Dalrymple on what metric is going to determine if the Apple Watch is a success:
Even though the iPad sold almost 25 million units in the last fiscal quarter, it’s not up to the 75 million that the iPhone sold. For a lot of people that’s the measure of success, without taking into account that they are completely different products, serving different markets.
So, how will we measure the success of Apple Watch? Will it be pre-order sales? Perhaps, first weekend sales? Number of overall units? How about total quarterly profit? The number of magazine covers it’s on?
The measurement of success will be different for almost everyone. But I don’t believe that any of those are as important as one measure of success that will be a bit more difficult to track: are people still using Apple Watch after three months.
Another factor to consider in the measure of success of a product launch is not just the amount of sales, but the speed at which the product sold. The iPhone took a fraction of the time to get to the same 8-digit sales numbers it took the original iPod. My guess is the Watch sales will not be flying off the shelves as quickly, initially, as the iPhone and therefor will be deemed a dud. I also could be completely wrong.
But Apple is a marathon runner, not a sprinter. They iterate and improve month after month, year after year. If the sales numbers or the product experience don’t impress you this summer, let’s check back in a year.
And to circle back to Jim’s point, if the Apple Watch does experience slow growth over the next 2 years, this could likely mean many were initially skeptics who held off buying, but they saw that the Watch proved itself worthwhile to the early adopters and they decided to buy.