Tim Cook lauds Apple Watch, Fitbit throws shade
Let’s rewind back to yesterday when Tim Cook appeared on CNBC’s Mad Money with Jim Cramer. In the face of investors calling it a day for Apple’s dominance, Cook insisted that they’re all missing a point about what the company does with its products.
Customers love Apple products. And the relationship doesn’t stop with Apple when you buy an iPhone. It continues — you might buy apps across the App Store, you might subscribe to Apple Music, you might use iCloud to buy additional storage.
Supposedly, that iPhone revenue tree, grown mostly by services, may also branch over to hardware like the Apple Watch. Cook points this out in reflection on Cramer’s point by proxy to the “lack of innovation” Apple has undertaken recently.
COOK: If you kinda look at all the things Apple has done over time, at the time that they were done, they’re rarely ever seen as they were in retrospect.
CRAMER: [points to wrist] Like with this bust? You’re talking about the bust with the [Apple Watch]?
COOK: I think the Watch would be like that, too. Because if you look at the iPod, iPod wasn’t viewed as a success. But today it’s viewed as an overnight success. The iPhone was the same way. There was no physical keyboard, obviously no one would want it. So I think that in a few years, we will look back and people will say, “how could I have ever thought about not wearing this watch?” Because it’s doing so much for you and then it will all of a sudden be an overnight success.
How much it’s doing for you right now is still up for debate, but if we take future improvements for granted, it sounds like Fitbit is poised for a dethroning in the wearables market. The fitness-focused company and its CEO, James Park, got profiled by The New York Times today. The article’s title? “Fitbit Strives to Escape the Shadow of Apple”
Park says that he doesn’t mind it when people speak of both his company and Apple in the same sentence because each entity has different target demographics. From the article:
“We look at it from a consumer point of view,” Mr. Park said. Apple Watch “is a computing platform, but that’s really the wrong way to approach this category from the very beginning.”
An Apple spokeswoman did not respond to requests for comment.
While Wall Street has estimated about 12 million Apple Watch sales so far, Fitbit sold 21.3 million of its trackers last year, double the number the year before. The challenge for both of these companies is in keeping these bands around consumers’ wrists — Fitbit relies on people keeping to an exercise routine or mindset that’s perceived as difficult to get with and maintain while Apple Watch is more intended for different lifestyles.