Many have looked at wearable technologies and said that they won’t catch on, that they are too geeky and that they simply aren’t cool. It is true that the uptake in wearable technologies has been slower than many would have liked, but we are still seeing an increasing number of people using them.
Motorola, Samsung and Google have made progress into this field, with several smart watches available and in Google’s case even investing in the glass, which can be worn like a pair of glasses. None of these have been game changers, it is still very rare to see anybody wearing any of these on the street.
So why do we think that the Apple Watch will change this?
They have done it before
Not with wearables, but in taking technology that existed before and making it useable and ‘cool’. The device that brought Apple back into the limelight after spending years out in the wings was the iPod.
The first generation of the famous MP3 player had very little original technology in it. There were other MP3 players that had been around for years before it, there were MP3 players that could hold more, were cheaper and offered more variation in terms of storage and design. Yet the iPod endured to the extent that iPods have now become synonymous with MP3’s and music in the mid 00’s.
Apple can do the same thing for wearables, taking technology that many can see the potential for, but are unwilling to use it because of the stigma behind it, and make it into something that people will accept and actually want to wear. Bringing out the Apple Watch after their competitors, Apple and Tim Cook are clearly making the statement that they have done this before and they can do it again.
It Is More Convenient
Why would you check your Facebook on a screen that’s a fraction of the size of your iPhone? Why would you need to know who was calling you before you get your phone out of your pocket? Why do you need to know how far you’ve walked that day?
As somebody who has worked with wearable technologies for the past few years, I can say that this is not the first device that has been hit with these questions. In fact, I remember a similar clamour when the iPad first came out, with people wondering why you would use a tablet when you can do the same thing on a laptop. The same is true of the Apple Watch, it may seem like it’s something that you don’t need, but the internet was something that wasn’t needed before Tim Berners-Lee invented it.
Apple under Steve Jobs were the company that gave you what you didn’t know you needed, until you had it. Suddenly having a computer in your pocket or a screen that you could hold in front of you was vital. Are Apple going to do that again?
It Looks Better
Johnny Ive is simply put, a creative genius. He has created some of the most beautiful devices in the world and he has played his hand well with the Apple Watch. Whilst other smart watches have tried to make themselves look like fashionable regular watches (and failed) the Apple Watch is something that people want on their wrist.
It has sleek curves and attractive materials. It looks like quality, fully metal body and all. In one comment that I saw on another tech site ‘This is what smart watches should look like’.
With Ive, Apple have a designer at the top of his game and one that people want to have in their pockets, on their wrists or on their desks. Ive’s designs have become synonymous with forward thinking and with the design ethos that he puts into everything, people will want to wear this watch as much for it’s connotations than it’s physical form.
From a business perspective, having the strongest brand in the world means that people will probably buy your products regardless of quality. The truth is that people do not look at the technical specifications of phones, laptops or tablets. It is simply Apple vs everything else.
Looking at other articles comparing phones, tablets or laptops and they are more often than not using the phrase ’is this an iPad/iPhone/Macbook/etc beater?’. Apple are the benchmark from which all other similar devices are judged.
As I mentioned before it is synonymous with a certain kind of mindset and people want to be part of this group. Having an Apple Watch is going to be a must have, not only if you are interested in wearable technologies, but because Apple have made it.
Putting the Apple stamp on something has always been the way of knowing that what you are getting is worthy of the highest standard, something that is the best it can be at that time. From the quality of the build to the user experience, the level of detail that is expected means that most products (Apple Maps aside) have been industry leading.
People will buy it simply because it is Apple.
Up until this point the true smart watches have not been compatible with Apple products. Pebble and other small companies have managed to create products that have a certain degree of compatibility, but not a full integration that allows for multiple different uses.
This means that one of the most popular phones and by far the most popular brand on the planet have not had the opportunity to provide their customers with a real wearable. As we have mentioned before, people who use Apple products have a certain image, that of progressive thinking, innovative and willing to try out new ideas. The fact that Apple have not made the watch available until 2015 means that people will build up excitement about it, Twitter users will populate timelines across the globe speculating about owning one and what difference it will make. This will only increase the demand for the product, meaning more purchases and a better business strategy by Apple.
Overall, it looks like the Apple Watch is a good business move. The wearable space is one that needs to have a market leader and Apple seem to be the heir apparent. Only time will tell how successful the Apple Watch will be, but the reality is that from the initial indications, it will be a success.