Research & Insights

By Justin Tenuto, March 10, 2015

Sorry Twitter. The $10,000 Apple Watch Wasn’t For You Anyway

applewatchTim Cook formally announced the Apple Watch yesterday and the internet did what the internet does during Apple announcements. For those ten or twenty of you who weren’t live blogging the whole affair, there were no big reveals past the stuff we learned when the Apple Watch was formally announced last year. Well, with one minor exception: the fancypants, $10,000 version. As for what people think about a $10,000 golden-wrist-phone-heart-monitor? Let’s just say that social media has loved other ideas a little bit more.

See that? That’s a graph of the sentiment around the Apple Gold “Edition” Watch. There’s not a lot of green there. And that’s a fairly stark contrast to what we found when we looked at the ol’ Twitter machine last year during the original announcement, where nearly 75% of women (and 55% of men) wanted to purchase the watch and most people were raving about the design.

Now, we realize those aren’t exactly analogous. But it’s really interesting that when you slap a $10,000 sticker price on something that only the thinnest of sliver of consumers would even consider, suddenly, people take to social media to whine. Some demonstrated their rather arbitrary priorities…

…others just devolved into word salad…

…and occasionally, someone actually made us laugh…

…but in the end, the tweets we looked at were basically just collection of people writing about the other things they’d rather buy with that spare ten Gs, evangelizing for other wearable tech, and generally laughing and/or swearing IN ALL CAPS.

But here’s the thing: a $10,000 watch isn’t for anybody. In fact, it’s for very few people at all. This is the sort of product that gets advertised in yacht magazines or during the Masters. It’s an announcement that seemed tailor-made to get people talking and, in case you’ve not noticed, Apple is tremendously, fantastically good at that.

In fact, when we ran this sentiment job, we scraped 15,000 tweets on the day of announcement and asked our contributors to first note if the user was a real-live person or an organization like a tech magazine or Mashable, etc. And over 3,000 of the 15,000 tweets we found were the latter.

That’s thousands of companies and news outlets talking about the thing in realtime.

And here we are, doing the same.

When you think about it that way, you start to realize that all that negative sentiment we noted about wasn’t the point. The point was to make sure we were all paying attention. A $10,000 watch isn’t for folks who rent their apartments or ride the bus to work or only make it out for caviar biweekly; it’s for the handful of people who are still deciding which Rolex they’d like. And for the rest of us? It’s a way to keep us talking.

In other words: well played, Apple.