Apple’s new Watch made lots of headlines on Wednesday – but for all the wrong reasons.
The latest version of the company’s wrist-worn gadget – the Apple Watch Series 3 with LTE – was found to have an embarrassing glitch.
It turns out that the watch’s LTE cellular connectivity, which is supposed to let users make phone calls directly from their wrists and has been touted by Apple as a key selling point, doesn’t always work very well.
Actually, it’s a bug with the watch’s Wi-Fi, but the end-result is the same: LTE doesn’t work the way it’s supposed to. Reviews of the device, which hits stores shelves on Friday, were merciless. Apple’s stock fell as much as 3% at one point on Wednesday.
Apple is working on a fix, which will be delivered in a future software release, an Apple spokesperson told Business Insider.
But the issues with Apple’s new watch don’t stop at bad reviews, inconsistent wireless, or even a short battery life. (It can only manage an hour of talk time when using LTE.)
The problem with the Apple Watch Series 3 with LTE is that it’s a sign that Apple has lost sight of the principle that led to its meteoric rise: Apple doesn’t sell technology for technology’s sake. It figures out what people want to do (even when people don’t know it themselves) and provides technology to make it possible.
“Part of the hardest thing about coming up with new products is to figure out a really cool set of technologies that you can implement it with and make it easy, but also figuring out something that people want to do,” late Apple CEO Steve Jobs once said. “We’ve all seen products that have come out that have been interesting but just fall on their face because not enough people want to do them.”
Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen puts this same concept in a similar way he calls the “jobs to be done” theory. In an over-simplified nutshell, consumers don’t buy technologies or products, they pick things that can complete specific jobs for them.
And recently, at least one Wall Street analyst has suggested that Apple has lost its ability to find new jobs to be done.
“[Apple chief design officer] Jony Ive’s Industrial Design Group has shown a knack for identifying jobs even before consumers know of their need. The iPod’s ‘1,000 songs in your pocket’ was an example. Moreover, Apple’s functional organization and metrics appear to align with the jobs to be done approach. Still, the company seems to be struggling to identify the jobs for Apple Watch and Apple Pay,” UBS analyst Steven Milunovich wrote last year.