NEWS ANALYSIS: Apple is reportedly considering launching a “smartwatch” in an attempt to create a new and highly profitable product category. But is the iWatch the right idea at the right time?
When the first rumor surfaced suggesting Apple was planning to launch a “smartwatch,” it was viewed as a joke. Why would a company that competes in computers, smartphones and tablets try its luck with a device that sits on a person’s wrist?
Surely the rumor was another poorly conceived report that was designed to get attention without any factual backing, many believed.
But then another report suggested Apple was indeed working on a smartwatch
, and a 100-person team was developing that device. There was even talk that the company had taken the device – now being called an iWatch – from prototype phase to development, meaning there’s a good chance that eventually, the device will be made available to customers. When that happens, Apple will officially find itself competing in the emerging wearable technology market.
Whether Apple will actually be successful there, however, remains to be seen. An iWatch is a bad idea and one that could make Apple the laughing stock of the entire technology industry.
Wondering why? Read on to find out:
1. It’s a gimmick
What’s the point of wearing a watch? Unless a person is a cyclist who wants to check out the time or read an email, it makes little sense. Just about everyone nowadays is carrying around a device that allows them to place calls, send emails, and read documents.What would an iWatch do that would be so much better than an iPhone
2. Smartwatches only appeal to niches
The issue with wearable technology is that it only appeals to a niche of customers. Apple isn’t the kind of company that likes to play in niche markets. That the company is even thinking of doing so seems uncharacteristic, to say the least.
3. It could cannibalize iPod Touch sales
Apple’s iPod Touch is arguably the only music player the company sells that’s worth buying. The iPod Touch is also the device that’s boosting Apple’s financial performance. By launching a watch, Apple will likely deliver much of the functionality found in the iPod Touch, meaning it could cannibalize sales of its music player. That’s not a good thing for Apple’s multibillion-dollar iPod business.
4. Wearable technology isn’t proven yet
Although much has been made about the possibility of wearable technology eventually growing out of its niche, it’s yet to be proven. There are several companies, including Google, that want to turn us into tech-wearing acolytes, but there’s no indication that the market is ready for that
. So far, no compelling products have changed that. Apple apparently believes it can deliver the breakthrough product in this area. What makes Apple think it’s any different?