What would happen if the Apple Watch failed as a product?
I mean the smartwatch market, hell the wearable market as we know , was born on the back of a rumor that Apple was making a watch. Various companies have rushed in to make sure they had a spot before Apple stepped in. And now the Apple Watch is (almost) in stores and it got overshadowed by a MacBook.
For the last few days I’ve gone back through the Apple presentation and the commentary around it. I’ve read some of the first impressions from the various bloggers and analyst and I can’t shake the feeling like everyone is trying really hard to justify the Apple Watch.
The Apple Watch is the first product to be truly under CEO Tim Cook’s reign. It signals whatever is supposed to be the next act in Apple’s lifecycle. The watch looks to be beautifully designed with great care taken in the design and use of material. It looks like it will have apps from all the people you need to say you have apps. And yet there is something hollow in this Apple product.
I’m not going to say the Apple Watch or any smart watch is useless but they are niche. They’re trinkets for gadget hounds that want more tech stuffed in more places. It appeals to the types that want smart homes and have multiple phones and devices.
The promise that this device that sits on your wrist will be transformational seems to be farcical. The phone is too burdensome and it lacks a way to quickly glance and respond, so here is a smaller device to lift this chore.
I want to believe but I don’t the watch and wearable space is the market many hope it is. People are looking for the next big thing after mobile and it may not exist. I think people are looking for Apple to show them the next big market so they can go there; that’s not how Cupertino works. Apple synthesizes; they meld products out of the chaos others make to create things we want.
The Apple watch is less about technology than it is about fashion. It feels like an exercise in tech as accessory which is fine as long as you know that’s the goal. It’s why no one has a clear reason for this thing to exist. I hate to say it but maybe the Emperor is ass naked and we’re all trying to be nice.
I said all that to ask the question, what if this flops? This Watch is supposed to make a wearable market where once only Pepple, Android Wear, and Microsoft Band played. But what if the market is like the tablet market where everyone buys an Apple Watch and two-three years later doesn’t upgrade and finds limited use? Or what if the worse happens and this sells but well below everyone’s guesses? What if the Apple Watch comes out and it’s just another smart watch but with an Apple logo? These scenarios are fine for a fashion product, but not a gadget.
I don’t know. Yes in reality the Apple Watch will sell and in large numbers, but there is this nagging feeling that something just isn’t there.