Last week, ‘USA today’ featured an article comparing the Apple Watch’s sales figures with that of the Windows Phone. The truth is that a comparison between the two is almost meaningless. Apple haven’t even released the watch’s sales figures and they’re also two completely different products.
Yet the comparison, in itself, speaks volumes for the media’s uneasiness with smart watches. It’s hardly fair to compare a smartphone with a smartwatch. In terms of development, the smartphone is way ahead and the fact that one has outsold the Apple Watch is hardly a revelation.
Many have been quick to label the Apple Watch a failure. Despite aggressively marketing the product, the watch probably sold around 4 million units. According to Business Wire, however, the watch drove $1 billion in revenue, with its early sales figures reminiscent of the iPhone’s figures early on in its development. Sales figures have also steadily grown since the product became available in stores.
On the face of it, smart watches, if synced with a phone, aid convenience, something which has been central to all the technologies that have been successful over the last decade or so. These developments are often subtle - but the Apple Watch is anything but that - it’s taken a classic piece of jewellery - clearly the watch has developed since the wristwatch’s inception in the 16th century - and done something drastically different with it. Due to this, the product was always destined to go through a period of discontent. The same thing happened with the iPad and that’s now one of Apple’s most important products.
When Samsung released its first smart watch it was clear that not only were the public not ready, but companies weren’t either. The Samsung watch, for example, was oversized and ostentatious. Many would claim that the Apple Watch is designed to impress too, but no one can deny that its design isn’t sleek and that it has an effective touch-screen.
New smart watches are being released all the time. A Kickstarter project - which raised $20.3 million in funding - has allowed Pebble to release its new smart watch called, ‘Pebble Time’. Second only behind the video game ‘Star Citizen’, it’s become one of crowdfunding’s biggest success stories. This is indicative of the optimism that still surrounds the industry. Investors know that eventually the right watch will come out and that people will purchase them in their droves.
It isn’t then a case of the public not being ready for smart watches, just that the right product hasn’t been released yet. That battle to do this will be an interesting one, and will surely include all the world’s major technology giants.