NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- An article by TheStreet's Richard Saintvilus, coupled with a Tweet from a reader, triggered a thought I think requires immediate expression. Because there's quite a bit of confusion surrounding the issue.
Here's The Saint's article ... Apple Can't Afford an iWatch Flop ... where he says:
... 65 million (iWatches sold) still seems like a pipe dream. While the interest is certainly there, (Apple (AAPL) analyst Gene) Munster projects only 5 million to 10 million iWatch sales in the device's first full year.
Apple can't swing and miss on this one ...
And here's the Tweet in response:
Yes. Google (GOOG) actually can afford a "flop" on hardware such as a television set-top box or some sort of wearable technology such as Google Glass. I'm not saying it wants to flop or doesn't care if it does flop, but it can absolutely afford to flop in these areas. Because, as I have illustrated recently with respect to Microsoft (MSFT), hardware and other areas Google dabbles in do not represent the company's core. Google has built an advertising business that allows it to go off into other areas and take chances.
Same goes for Apple. Because of its core hardware business, it can flop with, say, Ping or MobileMe. It can experiment with a less than iTunes Radio. It can even borderline embarrass itself with Siri. None of this really matters as long as it does not negatively impact the allure and, more specifically, sales of Apple's hardware products. Granted, Siri hurts iPhone's utility, but it keeps improving and, like Apple Maps, it isn't a deal breaker for most people.