Apple can't sell me a watch, but their early adopters might.

With very few exceptions (backpack vacuum cleaner, e-cigarettes, treadmill desk, Jose Altuve), I am not an early adopter.

On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest, my current desire for the newly launched Apple Watch is a 1. I know lots of people are ordering them, and I hope they enjoy them, but it’s not for me.

At least not yet. I’m not naive enough to proclaim that I will never buy a new class of Apple product just because I don’t “get it” when the product comes out.

I didn’t get the iPod when it came out. A couple of years later, after seeing people use them for a while helped me “get it,” I bought a second or third generation iPod from a friend who was upgrading to the latest generation. I used the hell out of that thing and came to see it as an amazing product. I later supplemented it with an iPod Shuffle.

Same with the iPhone. I didn’t really get what it was about, or how it would be more useful to me than the mobile phone I then had. Now I’m on my second iPhone, having upgraded to the last two previous versions when their replacements came out (i.e., I got the iPhone 4 when the 5 came out, and I got the iPhone 5 when the 6 came out).

In both cases, I came to understand the utility and desirability of these devices by observing how earlier adopters used them.
I find that pretty interesting. In both cases, my desire started at around 1, but I ultimately acquired the items once I saw and understood how other people used them and relied on them. And I came to rely on them a lot, too.

Apple knows this. They know that there are scads of people who will buy the next cool Apple thing as soon as it comes out, whether they need it or understand it or not. And they know there are even more people like me, who will wait and see how those early adopters take to the product and, in so doing, define the way it is used and shape the narrative about how it is described.

Sure, I’ve read quite a bit about the watch on Apple.com and other sites, and I’ve read some early reviews. But right now, Apple can’t sell me a watch. I don’t wear a watch, I don’t want a watch, and I sure don’t want to spend a few hundred bucks on a new type of watch that I don’t see the utility in.

I can read statements like (and I’m paraphrasing here) “integrates the various components of your digital life” until the cows come home, but until I see what that actually means to people, to me it’s as abstract as abstract can be.

Yet, I wouldn’t bet against me wearing one by 2018.