If Apple can't make smartwatches the must-have accessory, who can?

“Not for everyone” is brilliant marketing for Apple’s new Watch

Earlier today The Verge wrote a very interesting article about the new Apple Watch, revealing just how many people reviewing mentioned the same thing; that the new Apple Watch is ‘not for everyone’.

Was it just a coincidence, or might there be another reason? It’s easy to come up with conspiracy theories for just about anything, but if we understand how Apple does things then it is perhaps more plausible than most crazy theories.

You see, this statement works massively in Apple’s favour.

Apple obviously knows that not everyone is convinced about its first smart watch. It knows that the world is full of people with critical views about its pricing (and Apple’s hope to have people currently buying luxury watches as heirlooms or investments buying one of the pricier models in the same way), to more obvious concerns about usability, battery life, and the fact that it just doesn’t quite seem ready for market unlike everything else Apple has ever released.

Apple Watches

It’s also well known that if you’re not willing to toe the line with Apple then you might find yourself uninvited from future Apple events, which could be career suicide. Imagine the consequences of a major website or news organisation being unable to get those early looks, as well as the early access to review samples.

When it comes to the reviews, I can’t imagine seeing any reviews that will be scathing, even though the many ‘issues’ can’t be totally ignored.

For example, CNET has reviewed the watch and said the following in the ‘Bad points’ section of its verdict:

“Battery barely lasts a day and recharge time is slow; most models and configurations cost more than they should; requires an iPhone 5 or later to work; interface can be confusing; sometimes slow to communicate with a paired iPhone.”

Despite these issues that I’d say were pretty major, it got a rating of 7.8 out of 10. Apple isn’t likely to be too upset by that.

CNET review
CNET review (edited)

It’s not me, it’s you

So the reviews are almost certain to be positive and the ratings given high then, as well as a fair few awards being given once the awards season kicks off in the autumn, but what about the negative feedback from the many readers who are somewhat more sceptical about the watch?

It isn’t just Apple hating Android fanboys either. There are plenty of loyal Apple users who can’t quite see the point, yet at least, many of whom are still upset to have had watch-related applications forced upon them with the recent iOS update.

And that’s where it gets clever and this ‘not for everyone’ line begins to sound like something Apple casually mentioned to every journalist invited to collect their watch and given a final run through before going away with their (‘long-term’) loan device.

‘Not for everyone’ now gives permission for anyone to say bad things about the watch. If you don’t like it, it’s not for you.

That causes a problem. If it’s not for you, then you’re the type of person that isn’t worthy enough to own an Apple Watch. Nobody wants to be that person the watch ‘isn’t for’.

Say anything bad to someone who buys one and they’ll just remind you that you’re the inferior being that Apple isn’t interested in. Meanwhile everyone else is getting one and joining the club.

If the watch isn’t for you, that’s your problem. Deal with it, but stop moaning or daring to say anything negative.

If you can’t beat ’em

So how do you fix that problem? Isn’t it obvious? You convince yourself that it most definitely IS aimed for you, and say nothing but good things about it from now on.

Oh, and you buy one. Obviously.

In fact, you go one stage further by making sure that if anyone else speaks out of line about the watch, you make a point of saying it’s ‘not for everyone’.

Apple should use this as the slogan on the Apple Watch advertising.

Seriously. It’s marketing brilliance.


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