The Smart Watch that Will Change the Game (Yes, It’s Apple’s)
I believe the Apple Watch will forever change connected devices and create, essentially, a new class of products. The fact that previous smart watches have failed (only 9% of online adults currently use a smart watch of the Pebble, Sony, Samsung varieties) is, to me, irrelevant. I believe in Apple’s inevitable success for four fundamental reasons:
- Propensity to use smart phones – Consumers average 221 smart phone views per day. This is fundamentally inefficient. The phone naturally resides out of sight in a pocket or handbag. Moreover, viewing one’s relevant data is cumbersome in that it involves unlocking the phone (assuming the user actually waited the full minute to lock) and then seeking the relevant application. I believe the Apple Watch will closely integrate with the iPhone in a smart and natural way and allow a user to “glance” just as one glances at a traditional watch.
- Apps – Apple’s network of developers is unrivaled as are its existing base of apps. I have to believe that most app developers will write to the Apple Watch and create integral applications for it.
- Apple – A closed system is perfect for the development of the Apple Watch. It allows Apple complete control in the design and implementation, and as we have seen time and time again, they are brilliant at it. For example, initial reports suggest that the Apple Watch is effectively a slave to the iPhone. Neither Google nor Samsung have taken this approach. The Apple Watch will be different.
- Network effect – If I am right about the above points, it will again be “cool” to wear a watch, whereas today if you are under 30 years of age, it is not. I believe there will be a network effect just as there was for the iPad through the creation of social apps and group activities with the Apple Watch.
Apple is rumored to initially build 3 – 4 million watches. They will sell out. It will take a little time, as did every other new class of device, but I predict a 15% penetration rate of Apple Watches to iPhone models 5 and 6 (representing approximately 53 million Apple Watches) after Christmas 2016. While the absolute number may not seem like that much (Apple sold 74 million iPhones last quarter alone), I presume that there will be some additional functionality that works only with the iPhone 6, and that will be a limiting factor for a period of time.
I am planning my order with the sport band ASAP. I want to get one before they run out.