RUSH: The Apple Watch. Folks, now, I know when I start talking Apple many of you stick-to-the-issues people start getting angry at me out there. But the things happening with this watch, they’re gonna fit right in with exactly what this program is about each and every day. We’re gonna have a teachable moment in marketing. We’re gonna have a teachable moment in class envy and resentment, all with this Apple Watch that was announced yesterday. And Apple is doing something I can’t believe. I can’t believe the marketing, one of the marketing spokes that they are trying on this watch. It boggles my mind, actually. And I don’t mean this in a positive way. I’m scratching my head trying to figure out what they are thinking. But that is for later.
RUSH: Now, the Apple Watch, folks, this is literally fascinating. I’m not talking about the watch. I don’t know anything about the watch. I don’t know anything more than anybody else does. But I am stunned at the way they’re marketing this.
Now, they’re marketing it in many ways, but a particular way that has taken one of the leads in this absolutely baffles me. And you know what it is? You can keep your iPhone in your pocket. Or, you will not have to use your iPhone nearly as much. Or, you won’t have to constantly be pulling your iPhone out of your bag or your pocket every time you get an alert or a notification or a message or an e-mail.
This dumbfounds me. I love my iPhone. I do not mind looking at it. I love looking at it. I love the iPhone so much I have three of them so that I have one in every color. And I bought two 4.7 inches and a five and a half inch because four inches was too small, and now they’re telling me, “Hey, get this one and a half inch watch because you’ll never have to use your iPhone as much.” I want to use my iPhone. The iPhone is being presented as an annoyance? Whoever thought of this?
Their number one selling product, the product that accounts for over half of their revenue is being positioned as an annoyance, as a hassle, and the watch is the answer? Yeah, if you get a notification, look on your watch, don’t have to pull the phone out. If you get a phone call, just look on the watch, decide whether you want to answer it, don’t have to pull the phone out. You get an e-mail, want to read it, fine, just check the watch, don’t have to pull out the phone.
Now, in e-mail you have to get the phone out. You can’t reply to an e-mail on the watch. You can send a message or a text — well, not a text ’cause, well, not without the phone. It’s not cellular. So you can send an iMessage with it and receive, but you can’t do an actual SMS text without the phone. Anyway, I’m blown away by that. My phone’s not an annoyance to me. What is an annoyance is when I go places and they tell me I can’t bring the phone in.
“Yeah, see, Rush, that’s what we’re talking about. You take your watch in, they can’t stop you.” Like a lot of golf courses do not permit cell phones because they don’t want people constantly slowing down play being on the phone all the time and checking it or ringing and so forth, so they don’t allow them. But it’s gonna be tough for them to ban the watch. I can see places where the watch would have an advantage. I’m not opposed to the watch, don’t misunderstand. I’m not craving one. But I’m not opposed to.
From a marketing standpoint I do not understand consciously portraying the iPhone as an annoyance, or as a problem, or as a hassle, or as an obstacle, which is what they’re doing. This is being highlighted by all the blogs. “You can keep your iPhone in your pocket.” Selling point. Sorry. I don’t want to be required to see everything on a freaking little inch and a half screen. Three of them, you still can’t put ’em together, have three different things on ’em. I don’t know. I’m sure somebody had… (interruption) No, don’t go there yet. There’s no diamonds on it. You have to do that yourself.
Now, that takes me, that’s a whole ‘nother aspect of the watch. This has been fun to watch the tech bloggers lose their cookies over the most expensive watch. Ha. Wait ’til you hear this. Apple’s watch, no matter which one you buy, has the same innards. It is the same watch. Every Apple Watch, no matter what it costs, does the same thing every other watch does. If you spend a thousand dollars on your watch instead of $400, doesn’t matter, the watch, at 400 bucks, does the same thing the $17,000 watch does. There’s no difference.
Get this. There are now people saying that Apple is doing more for income inequality than anybody in government, precisely because the most expensive Apple Watch with the watch and the band is 17 grand. No diamonds on it. You have to do that after the fact if you want to. And, by the way, you can’t take the chip out and put a new one in. After a year, that watch, whenever the new watch comes out, the one you spent 17 grand on is obsolete. And you can’t upgrade it. You’ve gotta go out and buy a brand-new $17,000 watch if you want to stay current. Not kidding.
They’ve done some masterful technology advancement in this thing. The whole system is on one chip. They’re calling it an SIP, system in a package. But you can’t take it out and replace it with a new one. Understandably, they want to turn the watches over. And every year there’s a new iPhone, and we figure every year, year and a half there’s gonna be a new watch ’cause the tech is constantly advancing. You know that the first version of the watch is gonna be outclassed the second and third iterations. But the funny thing about this, the most expensive one, these bloggers are saying, “Yeah, yeah, the rich, those rich guys,” and they’re written about with venom, by the way. “Those rich guys, they’re gonna go out and they’re gonna spend 17 grand on their watch and it’s no better than yours. It’s no better than yours.”
And this is why, there’s a guy that writes at Reason, which is a Libertarian publication, that thinks this represents Apple doing more for income inequality than any politician is because the rich guy, his watch isn’t any better than yours. It’s just more expensive but he’s not getting any more for it. All it is is gold, while yours is aluminum, as Jony Ive says. He can’t say aluminum. He says aluminum or aluminium.
So you’ve got aluminum, you have steel, stainless steel, polished steel, and you have gold and rose gold. You know, Apple even invented a new gold. Rose gold. Yeah, a different shade, like rose champagne, a little red in there, not just the straight gold. Just a different shade, different color. What they’ve done, they’ve found a way to make the gold harder so it doesn’t scratch. Patent it and so forth. And they’ll end up using less gold, so they won’t deplete the world’s gold supply. You could call Apple Goldfinger here because they were gonna deplete the world’s gold supply making their watch for the 1%.
Anyway, all these people are writing about how, yeah, the rich guy, he may go out and blow 17 grand on his watch, but it’s no better than yours. So the rich guy isn’t any better than you. And this is Apple equalizing things. Now, the people that can drop 17 grand on a watch will probably drop 17 grand next year, too.
Another way the watch is being marketed — this is fascinating to me — the watch, with the various different price ranges, is being marketed as, since it’s no different… I mean the cheapest watch is the same damn thing as the most expensive is, they’re saying that the watch will be purchased based on how it makes you feel about yourself. So if you are a show off, if you want to show people how much money you have, if you want to show people that you’re better and different than them, if you want to show people that money doesn’t matter to you because you have so much of it then you’ll buy the gold.
And so people that read these blogs are being told that people that buy the gold watch are just a bunch of phonies and show offs and that the real people are gonna be buying the aluminum or the stainless steel. But the reaction to this is over the top for me, particularly in a marketing fashion, the idea of obsoleting the phone. And now the idea that Apple is addressing income inequality by making sure that the people who spend the most money are not getting anything that’s any better than anybody else. And they’re playing off this. They’re playing off class envy. Well, Apple may not be, but some of the analysts think Apple is, and they’re writing that Apple is, and they’re applauding Apple.
Some of them are very mad. Some of my little tech blogger buddies are very mad that Apple is selling something that costs $10,000, ’cause that’s not what Jobs set up. Jobs set up a democracy company. Jobs built a company that whatever they made was for everybody, and now they’re selling something that’s not for everybody. But it is, because it’s no different. The tech in the cheapest and the most expensive is identical. So now it’s gonna come down to is somebody gonna buy a $17,000 watch just ’cause it’s gold, just to show off. Are they gonna do it ’cause they really like the design of it?
But they’re covering all the bases. That’s fine. I can understand that. I mean, if you’re gonna get into the watch business and you want to take ’em on, you gotta sell something in that range. You gotta have something, gotta sell one in gold and it costs what it costs. But the idea that the phone is now an annoyance, I’m not sure they want to go there, but it’s too late. They already have.
RUSH: The watch does have a microphone. The watch has Siri. You can’t type on it. You have to use dictation. You can answer phone calls on it. It’s a Dick Tracy watch. You can make phone calls on it, but they urge you, if it’s gonna be a long phone call, get it and hand it off to your iPhone, so as not to deplete the watch battery. But wait a minute, what happened to you don’t have to take the iPhone out of your pocket?
See, this is what I mean. “It’s so great, you’ll never have to use your iPhone again.” What? I love my iPhone. I would rather use the iPhone. I want that big, beautiful screen. Well, you won’t have to use it anymore, except if you get a phone call that’s gonna last awhile, you do need to hand it off to the phone ’cause you won’t want to eat up your watch battery.
It’s got a speaker. You can listen to music on it. You can have room for about a hundred songs on there, maybe 200 songs. And it will have Bluetooth, so if you want to put on Bluetooth headset, you can listen to it. But you won’t have to pull your iPhone out for that. It’s got eight gigabytes of storage, but they’re limiting how much you can use for music and how much you can use for photos. The maximum number of photos will be 100.
Now, if a four-inch iPhone screen was too small and they had to build bigger. Who in the hell wants to look at a picture on a one-and-a-half-inch screen? I don’t know. I mean, unless you’re just showing it to somebody. I know they’re trying to sell the thing, and you have to have an iPhone to make it work right, so it’s a sales technique as well. I understand all that.