“Given slowing sales growth at some of the leading wrist wearable companies, including Fitbit, there is a feeling that the wrist wearable category has been one giant head fake, a fad that just doesn’t contain much potential beyond tech enthusiasts,” Neil Cybart writes for Seeking Alpha. “This view not only ignores reality given the number of Apple Watches sold to date, but also fails to understand the path wrist wearables will follow.”

“The Apple Watch’s future will not be found just with better Watch cases updated on an annual schedule like an iPhone. Instead, Apple Watch bands deserve more attention going forward as they begin to incorporate technology and gain additional importance for wearable computing,” Cybart writes. “A smarter Watch band will play a crucial role in Apple Watch’s future as a personal technology device.”

“Apple sold approximately 10 million Apple Watches during the first eight months on the market, placing the Watch as the second best-selling new product category in Apple’s history. For perspective, Apple sold 15 million iPads during its first three quarters on the market,” Cybart writes. “The Watch’s future is not found by simply taking the way we use our iPhone and putting it on a smaller screen on our wrist. Instead, the Watch will gradually handle tasks we used to give to our iPhones. We already see this taking place in terms of sending and receiving messages and paying for things in stores.”

Apple Watch Sport models

Apple Watch Sport models

“Instead of having the Watch case be the only “smart” piece, Apple will likely begin selling Watch bands that go much further than just representing pieces of fashion,” Cybart writes. “The fact that thinner Watch cases would seem to stand at odds with the need for additional battery space and the eventual inclusion of GPS and cellular connection may further stand as motivation for pushing certain components into Watch bands.”

Much more in the full article – recommendedhere.

MacDailyNews Take: If Apple doesn’t do “smartbands,” it’d be one of the company’s greatest missed opportunities ever.

Whoever comes up with an accurate Apple Watch smartband that acts as a non-invasive blood glucose monitor (reverse iontophoresis) is going to make a mint.MacDailyNews, August 24, 2015

• Oh yes, let there be add-on GPS, battery extenders, and more! The thought of wearing our Apple Watch Sports but also having to lug around our iPhones on runs just for the GPS is unpalatable.MacDailyNews, March 5, 2015

We can’t wait to see where the future leads for Apple Watch especially in the areas of speed (apps need to respond faster) and independence (less reliance on iPhone, perhaps via Apple “smartbands” that deliver things like GPS tracking for runners, extended battery life, etc.) — MacDailyNews, December 17, 2015

We would love to see Apple launch Apple Smartbands that add sensor and other functionality to Apple Watch. An Apple GPS Smartband and an Apple Battery Smartband, right now, would sell like wildfire. It’s a missed opportunity for the original Apple Watch’s first Christmas, but we hope to see such items in 2016. — MacDailyNews, December 11, 2015

If Apple were to release a range of “Apple Smartbands” for the existing Apple Watch, starting with the “Apple Smartband GPS,” they would sell millions more Apple Watch units with this move alone. — MacDailyNews, February 19, 2016

Apple patent application hints at Apple Watch ‘Smartbands’ utilizing hidden 6-pin data connector – February 20, 2016
Apple likely to debut new Apple Watch bands at March event – January 27, 2016
‘Smartbands’ won’t stop Apple from releasing new Apple Watches every year – August 24, 2015
Charging the Apple Watch using its 6-pin accessory port – May 28, 2015
Apple Watch houses mysterious six-contact data connection port – March 5, 2015
Apple Watch’s hidden port a goldmine for developers, accessory makers – May 4, 2015