The Tivo Paradox and Smartwatches

Thread: The Tivo Paradox and Smartwatches

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  1. #1
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    The Tivo Paradox and Smartwatches

    iMore.com: The iPad Paradox

    Without trying these features, though, customers are unaware of their overall value or how they come together as a whole. Want to pause TV when the phone rings? That's the killer app at that moment. Recording a show using an EPG to simply search for it? That's the killer app at that moment. Skipping commercials when you watch recorded content? That's the killer app at that moment. Contextual functionality ONLY comes together when you get to see the whole, not a piece or part. When you see only pieces, you just get a very expensive VCR not a TiVo.

    In short, if you met a TiVo owner at a party, they were rabid. It was like being cornered by an insurance agent. They wouldn't leave you alone until you tried it. When most people tried it, the lightbulb turned on. TiVo was not an expensive VCR — it redefined watching TV.
    The article talks about iPads, but I think the Tivo Paradox applies neatly to the Apple Watch (and smartwatches in general).

    I can rave all I want about notifications, but someone who doesn’t wanna spend $400+ is gonna be like, “That’s it?” It’s not until they’re in a situation where they’re driving and the phone rings but it’s in the glovebox that the lightbulb lights up. I can rave about using Apple Wallet, but the average person is gonna be like, “Is it worth $400+ to not pull out my wallet?” But it’s not until they’re at the movies dealing with children, a tray full of spillable popcorn and drinks, and their own bag with their wallet at the bottom that the moment becomes an “aha!” moment.

    I know families with multiple tablets—“I, as the parent, have the latest and greatest; the 10 year old one that’s about to die is the kitchen cookbook; the tablets in between, the kids have divvied up amongst themselves.” I myself, am a multi-tablet person—the latest and greatest for work, a mini for bedtime reading, and an old one hooked up to the TV as a poor man’s Apple TV. And for every family or person that I know that has multiple tablets, there are as many people that have no clue what tablets are good for.

    And I think it’s the same for watches. When the new AW comes out, I won’t sell my old one—the new one will be for everyday and the old one will be for sleep (and ideally, I’d have a third one for working out). And yet, for every person I know who goes “ooh” when I use my watch to sign in my rewards card and pay for the items, there’s another person who has no clue what an smartwatch is good for.

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    Member BarracksSi's Avatar
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    Re: The Tivo Paradox and Smartwatches

    It took a leap to get that first tablet, though, didn't it?

    I think it was Theodore Gray's The Elements app—a touchable Periodic Table with text descriptions and 360-degree images—that first made me think, wow, this tablet thing is awesome. It took tablet versions of Numbers and Pages to push me over the edge, though, because I figured it could be a productive device instead of just a web browser and game player. I ended up using my iPad as a work device just as often as any other reason, in fact.

    What hurts the smartwatch now, IMO, is the smartphone — specifically, the upgrade cycle of smartphones. Tablets may or may not get upgraded every year, laptops sometimes don't, desktops don't, iPods and mp3 players don't (really, they don't get upgraded every single year), but it's the device that people use the most, the smartphone, that has seen annual upgrades, and it's now what people expect to happen with smartwatches.

    The AW has been in the public's eye since 2014 -- almost two full years ago. Some people were thinking that the new one was surely going to be announced last year. When it didn't happen, they thought it would appear this April, and then again in June. They always think the next one is just around the corner.

    In the Wristly survey posted in another thread, despite the satisfaction rate of 98% among current AW owners, less than half are recommending it to their friends because they think the next version is coming soon. What are they going to recommend if watchOS 3 ships ("It's like a whole new watch," said Apple at WWDC) yet no new hardware appears this year?

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    Sponsor watchvaultnyc's Avatar
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    Re: The Tivo Paradox and Smartwatches

    Good post. Having bought Tivos, iPads, and Android Wear the first years out, its finding and taking advantage of the use cases the devices help you out with. Some people just don't have the imagination to figure out how these things help you in day-to-day life.

    As prices of both tablets and smartwatches drop into the $200 range, it will take less and less use cases for a buyer to take the plunge.

    As an aside, I haven't upgraded my iPad since I bought the iPad Air. Damn things are so useful as they are, they don't need to be upgraded for years and years.

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    Re: The Tivo Paradox and Smartwatches

    Quote Originally Posted by BarracksSi View Post
    It took a leap to get that first tablet, though, didn't it?

    I think it was Theodore Gray's The Elements app—a touchable Periodic Table with text descriptions and 360-degree images—that first made me think, wow, this tablet thing is awesome. It took tablet versions of Numbers and Pages to push me over the edge, though, because I figured it could be a productive device instead of just a web browser and game player. I ended up using my iPad as a work device just as often as any other reason, in fact.
    The iPad, no. I immediately saw the value in having a computer larger than my phone in my bag. That said, I like to do sketches and write a lot and I am a bit of gadget person, so. I admit though, that for a lot of people I know who have multiple tablets, it’s not until they had kids that they saw the value of tablets. I think for them, it started as a replacement for portable DVDs and portable game consoles and then the usefulness went from there.

    That said, I remember when smartphones were not called smartphones—back when Danger’s Sidekick was the smartphone of choice for teens and young adults—and I needed a while before making the leap. I wanted a Sidekick or a Treo but couldn’t justify the money. It took the usability of the iPhone for me to make that jump. But I remember even that was a leap of faith a lot of adults weren’t making; I think it was the newness of it plus the non-contract price.

    What hurts the smartwatch now, IMO, is the smartphone — specifically, the upgrade cycle of smartphones. Tablets may or may not get upgraded every year, laptops sometimes don't, desktops don't, iPods and mp3 players don't (really, they don't get upgraded every single year), but it's the device that people use the most, the smartphone, that has seen annual upgrades, and it's now what people expect to happen with smartwatches.

    The AW has been in the public's eye since 2014 -- almost two full years ago. Some people were thinking that the new one was surely going to be announced last year. When it didn't happen, they thought it would appear this April, and then again in June. They always think the next one is just around the corner.
    I think people who expected constant upgrades with smartwatches are people who don’t use watches. For most people, a watch tells the time. Maybe it tells a few other things—day, date, moonphase, power reserve, etc. But a watch isn’t a Filofax or DayRunner, it’s an accessory to the DayRunner.

    Or, these people don’t understand the engineering it takes to make a computer that small. There’s a lot you can do with software, but not really much with hardware. Even smartphones now have very incremental upgrades from year to year.

    In the Wristly survey posted in another thread, despite the satisfaction rate of 98% among current AW owners, less than half are recommending it to their friends because they think the next version is coming soon. What are they going to recommend if watchOS 3 ships ("It's like a whole new watch," said Apple at WWDC) yet no new hardware appears this year?
    With some price cuts at Best Buy, I have rec’d it to my cousin but—with the caveat that there are rumors of a new watch on the horizon but—with the caveat that rumors are rumors. He wants one, but it needs to hit a certain price to usefulness (to family) ratio before his wife will approve.

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    Re: The Tivo Paradox and Smartwatches

    Quote Originally Posted by watchvaultnyc View Post
    Good post. Having bought Tivos, iPads, and Android Wear the first years out, its finding and taking advantage of the use cases the devices help you out with. Some people just don't have the imagination to figure out how these things help you in day-to-day life.

    As prices of both tablets and smartwatches drop into the $200 range, it will take less and less use cases for a buyer to take the plunge.
    But I still wonder if it’s not a matter of having the imagination to figure out how to fit a device in your life as much as realizing how much the little things add up to something transformative—as the article said.

    My parents have a DirecTV subscription and the service’s DVR. How often do they record shows? Never—and for that rare time they do, they call me over. How often to they rewind live or recorded TV? Never. My grade-school nephew, whom they babysit, has figured out all this stuff all by himself and he uses it regularly—lol, he’s been recording his fave TV shows on that thing for the past year. I and my nephew have pointed out these features to them, and my parents are like, “Okay.” But let’s face it, my parents don’t see the benefits of these features and they would never see the value of them, even when presented with them.

    For some people, it took these features getting bundled into their existing subscriptions before they they saw the value in Tivo, or Tivo-like set-top boxes. But for some people, never.

    We can talk about all the little things our smartwatches do for us but and there will be some people who are waiting for that ratio of usefulness to price to be at the sweet spot. But there are some people who will never. No matter how low the price gets, or how many times you show them these features, for some people that aha! moment never happens.

    As an aside, I haven't upgraded my iPad since I bought the iPad Air. Damn things are so useful as they are, they don't need to be upgraded for years and years.
    I would’ve been perfectly happy with my iPad Air, but then the Apple Pencil happened. If you use a bluetooth stylus, the Pencil is a must have—nothing is more accurate. But if it weren’t for the Pencil, I honestly would not have upgraded.

    Also, between a keyboard case and a Pencil for my iPad, I don’t see myself upgrading my laptop more than once a decade.

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