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?
Apple iWatch is a Bad Idea: 10 Reasons Why
5. It’s no fashion statement
What are the chances of the average person wearing the iWatch? Over the last several years, watches have become obsolete among those who tell the time with help from their smartphones and don’t care to wear watches as expensive jewelry. That Apple would want to get people to attach a touch screen to their wrists seems ludicrous. What kind of fashion statement is that?
6. Apple can only go so far with phone support
Apple might run into an issue with its iWatch. According to reports, the device would be capable of playing voicemails and taking on many of the functions of the iPhone at launch. But what happens in the next iteration when customers call on Apple to add more features? Will it become too phone-like, thus hurting iPhone adoption? Apple needs to be very careful with how phone-like it makes the iWatch.
7. Would it be too easy to steal?
The big issue that no one has really discussed about the iWatch is that it might be too easy to steal. After all, the iPhone and iPad are usually tucked away in a pocket or bag, making them more difficult to be stolen. An iWatch is one big target sitting on a customer’s wrist. It might sound odd, but theft could be a huge barrier to entry for Apple’s iWatch.
8. Necessity must be the driver
When it’s all said and done, Apple needs to decide whether a product is truly necessary. And as much as the company’s fans might not like to admit it, an iWatch doesn’t seem like the kind of product that we all need. Apple right now needs to focus on the iPhone and iPad and forget about this watch. It’s unnecessary.
9. Apple’s update cycles are an issue
Apple likes to update products every year to induce customers to buy a new iPhone or iPad every couple of years. A watch, however, is something that many folks keep for years. And although an iWatch will have a faster recycle time than a Rolex, Apple would need to anticipate people holding onto their watches for several years. Given how Apple’s business model has worked for years, that might be a problem.
10. Too many products are never a good idea
Apple co-founder Steve Jobs made clear during his tenure as the company’s chief executive that the fewer, extremely popular products his company sold, the better. That’s why he did away with so many unnecessary product lines. Now Tim Cook appears to be adding more products to Apple’s line, going against his predecessor’s guidelines. That’s a mistake. Apple needs to focus on a small number of products and stop trying to be the company, like Sony, that appeals to every need. Doing so is a major mistake.