Ben Bajarin: Two scenarios for the smart watch market

“Scenario #1: Apple will easily strongly influence the smart watch category in 2015 and 2016. It is hard to argue against Apple’s vertical advantage and tight control of their entire ecosystem,” Ben Bajarin writes for Creative Strategies. “This advantage undoubtedly will give them a dominance in the early stages of a category. If a number of things play out, we can see them command the category for the long term. Apple had a near monopoly on the iPod/MP3 market. We can see a similar scenario playing out where Apple effectively ‘iPods’ the smart watch category, maintaining dominant share over the next five to seven years.”

“Scenario #2 – The smart watch category shapes up very much like the smart phone category. Apple succeeds at their goal to acquire the top 20% of the market and rake in the majority of the profits,” Bajarin writes. “While Android Wear, or another third party licensable smart watch OS, provides the software platform to the vast majority of hardware companies making smart watches.”

“A mix of both scenarios is possible as well,” Bajarin writes. “Apple may not be destined to be the only dominant vendor in the top 20% of the smart watch market but poised to have much higher market share even if not the total majority starting to make watches.”

Read more in the full article – recommended – here.

MacDailyNews Take: While we hope for another iPod, where the innovator actually, for once, gets their full, just reward, we have to be realistic. With the impotent and feeble ineptitude that the “judicial system” has eminently displayed with regard to protecting Apple’s patent intellectual property from rampant, blatant, outright theft, we expect the Asian Apple Watch knockoff parade to kick off posthaste.

The poor and/or the ignorant will line up to jump onboard for what, with their pitifully limited faculties, they’ll perceive as cheaper wares. That these Apple Watch wannabes cannot match Apple Watch’s myriad functionality will be ignored and papered over with spec sheets. The settlers will explain away the inferiority of both their stupidwatches and their decision-making processes with aplomb until they finally wise up and get a real Apple Watch.

Henry Blodget et al. will rush declare [fill in the blank with the knockoff peddler du jour] the “winner” while Apple continues to reap 80+% of the industry’s profits by cornering the market on people with taste, intelligence, disposable income, the proven will to spend it.

[Attribution: Daring Fireball]


  1. Given the security headaches pervading the new digital millenium, I see Apple’s watch and ecosystem as dominating the corporate market and certainly catch the higher end personal market.

  2. Apple can easily dominate the market by simply not allowing advertising on the apps they sell thru their App Store. Unlike the iPhone but like the iPod there will not be a craving for apps on what will be an accessoriy to the phone. If Googles redoes evil and Samsung backstabs again they will have to go up against Apples adv. campaign touting a no ad enviorment.

    1. The advertising-on-a-watch scenario still freaks me out. If it’s done outright, with ads playing, audio, video, unsolicited vibrating, I seriously expect a vicious backlash. Sneaking on logos and selling obvious ad-infested apps is another matter.

  3. I think the smartwatch market may be more like the music player market than like the smartphone market. Just about everyone needs a phone, so cheap knockoffs sell, but who needs a smartwatch? I expect that a lot of folks will do without if they can’t afford an Apple Watch. I know I would.

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