As expected, Apple introduced its Apple Watch (not iWatch) last week with great fanfare. It is actually not a single watch, but a series of watches in 2 sizes and 3 models with various types of bands. It will be available “early 2015”.
Of course only those with iPhones can use an Apple Watch. Those with Android phones will use one of the options running Android Wear.
The reaction to the smartwatch phenomenon has been interesting. Traditional watch manufacturers are being dismissive about it – which sounds a lot like how Rim (Blackberry) dismissed the iPhone when it first came out.
Things to ponder about the smartwatch market include:
- How many people will value the advantage of not having to pull out a phone so often that they will want a smartwatch?
- Will those who no longer wear watches because they use their phone for the time start wearing watches again?
- Will it hurt sales of traditional watches?
- How many traditional watch manufacturers will sell their own smartwatch versions?
- Will people want to spend hundreds of dollars on a watch that has a far shorter life span than a traditional watch?
- Will style trump functionality? Smartphone physical differences are subtle – but watches come in many shapes and sizes. There has been a lot of comment on square vs round, for example.
- Apple announced its watch with an unusually large lead time – perhaps in part to steal the thunder of the various Android Wear watches. Will Android Wear be updated by the time the Apple Watch comes up in ways that make it more compelling?
- The type of phone one has will dictate the Apple watch vs Android Wear watch choice. But will some choose or change their smartphone preference based on watch choice?
- Will the large size of a smartwatch (some might be a challenge to put tour shirt sleeve over it, for example) be a negative?
- How much better will smartwatches become as they mature over the next few years?
I definitely want one – I’m in the Android camp – the only issue is which one, and can I hold out long enough for 2nd gen improvements?