Who wants a smartwatch?

“The big trend in computing this year is the move from staring at your phone to glancing at your wrist,” Rory Cellan-Jones writes for BBC News. “Once the Apple Watch is released in April, the smartwatch sector will really take off. Or at least that is the received wisdom.”

“But some figures released this week by the research firm Canalys should give us pause for thought. They show that just 720,000 Android Wear devices were shipped in 2014, out of a total of 4.6 million smart wearable bands, which include fitness trackers such as the Fitbit and the Jawbone Up,” Cellan-Jones writes. “To be clear, the Android Wear platform was the big new thing in smartwatches in 2014, launched at Google’s I/O conference with lots of hoopla along with new products like the Motorola 360 and the Samsung Gear 2.”

MacDailyNews Take: Why would a raft of stupidwatches, produced only in order to drive a stake in the ground where they can claim “first” before they start infringing on Apple’s patented intellectual property and trade dress, give anyone pause about Apple Watch’s potential?

“But it seems hardly anybody was interested in having one of the watches. Google gave away tens of thousands of the devices to I/O attendees and to its own staff, so the number of people actually buying one with their own money was even lower,” Cellan-Jones writes. “Meanwhile, the Pebble smartwatch which really kickstarted the whole idea a couple of years ago had sold a total of one million by the end of the year – great for a start-up business, but hardly earth shattering.”

MacDailyNews Take: Because they’re mediocre garbage; just like personal computers before Macintosh, MP3 players before iPod, cellphones before iPhone, and tablets before iPad.

“Having worn an Android Wear device on and off over the past few months I think I know what the problem is,” Cellan-Jones writes. “The gadget in question, the Moto 360, is the best-looking of the latest smartwatches but I still can find little reason to remember to put it on each morning.”

MacDailyNews Take: The problem is that these stupidwatches, like the Moto 360, aren’t designed for the user, they are designed to provide chronological deniability for the companies that produce them before they embark on attempting to knock off the Apple Watch.

Apple Watch
On the back of Apple Watch’s case, a ceramic cover with sapphire lenses protects a specially designed sensor that uses infrared and visible-light LEDs and photodiodes to detect your heart rate. Apple Watch uses this sensor, along with an accelerometer and the GPS and Wi‑Fi in your iPhone, to measure myriad types of physical movement.

 
“Of course, the argument goes, all that will change when the Apple Watch arrives. A JP Morgan analyst is predicting that more than 26 million will be sold this year, which would instantly make it as dominant in this sector as the iPod was in MP3 players. With 400 million people owning the kind of iPhone that would be compatible with the Watch, that does not seem an outlandish forecast,” Cellan-Jones writes. “So I am convinced that Apple will be the giant of the smartwatch sector within a couple of months. What I’m less clear about is whether clever watches are anything more than a niche product for gadget fans and fitness addicts – unlike smartphones which are becoming essential for everyone.”

MacDailyNews Take: Some people are imagination-challenged.

The iPhone is nothing more than a luxury bauble that will appeal to a few gadget freaks. In terms of its impact on the industry, the iPhone is less relevant… Apple is unlikely to make much of an impact on this market… Apple will sell a few to its fans, but the iPhone won’t make a long-term mark on the industry.Matthew Lynn, Bloomberg, January 15, 2007

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote last month:

With iPhone, Apple changed the fabric of our everyday lives: All around the world today, you see people constantly pulling phones from pockets and staring at them. With Apple Watch, Apple will change behavior worldwide once again. A quick glance at your Watch and you’re off. No more smartphone zombies. Watch and see.

Related articles:
Tim Cook: Apple Watch will become as essential as iPhone – February 10, 2015
Samsung: Apple Watch doesn’t worry us – February 6, 2015
Swatch preps Apple Watch killer – February 5, 2015
CNN’s David Goldman: ‘The Apple Watch will flop’ – February 4, 2015
The Apple Watch could push techies out of Apple Retail Stores – How about ‘Apple Watch Stores?’ – February 3, 2015
Clueless companies race to debut stupidwatches before Apple defines the smartwatch – January 3, 2014

23 Comments

    1. I’m admittedly obsessed with the Apple Watch. I’ve watched the introduction video a dozen times by now and I’ll be first in line to purchase four (for myself, wife, mother, and mother’s husband) I’m an early adopter of many apple products and I’ve never been unhappy with jumping in at the beginning of a product. I can’t wait!!

  1. The wifey and I are both getting them. Just as I swore in 07 that we’d be getting iPhones as soon as our Verizon contract ran out. We will undoubtedly be getting AppleWatches!! Has the line started at the Apple Store yet?

  2. Cellan-Jones though he has become somewhat more enlightened and less of a Microsoft tool of late, is still very limited in vision and imagination much of the time. He is one of those who sees the future as a projection of the present or alternatively fanciful inventions taking off and changing life as we know it rather more than serious changes of direction through sensible innovation along with a remoulding of the support network that Apple has perfected.

    That said, at least he broke his mold somewhat by coming out a few months back with the declaration that Glass was an absolute waste of space so maybe he is slowly developing a more objective perspective.

    1. What the fuck has any of this got to do with British people, specifically?
      Were you born an ignorant asshole, or have you put in years of diligent effort?
      There aren’t any watches on the market that deserve the description ‘Smart’, and there is nothing of any real significance available from high street stores, so hardly any British people are even aware of such things.
      Clot.

  3. Go easy on the Pebble . For the price they did an admirable job with very good battery life. they would tell me who was calling on my phone without taking it out when I was in meetings and that alone was worth the price.
    Apple watch will be more of a luxury item and I will get one but I do hope that the Pebble people survive

  4. I’m skeptical on watches, mainly because I’ve been using one for several years and I’m familiar with their limitations. Still, if Tim says he finds it indispensable, then I will certainly consider one when they are launched. I’ve tried lots of first-gen tech products and generally expect a few problems here and there. If Apple gets it right, then I expect that they will sell a ton of them – but it will take some time to build momentum.

  5. The moment smartwatches became a thing, everyone looked to see what Apple would do. The moment it became clear by rumor that Apple was working on a smartwatch, most people decided to wait and see what they came up with before dropping money on a soon-to-be obsolete and fashionless device.

    This is the reason the Apple watch was announced almost a year before it will be released – to freeze the market (and get everyone to save their pennies for their new iPhone in the fall).

    Whether there’s still 26 million people willing to own such a thing remains to be told, but its only a month or few away.

    1. “…Apple watch was announced almost a year before it will be released…”

      6-8 months is almost a year?

      “…to freeze the market…”

      How about giving developer to create apps, and all time and effort to get every thing necessary in place?

  6. Never worn a watch (or anything actually), and never will… just never felt comfortable having something hanging off me.

    But I do think the Apple Watch will be a hit – there’s no question about it. It’s one of those conveniences that no one gets until they start using it – and then wonder how they got along without it for so long.

    I didn’t need an iPod, I used to connect my iBook to my car stereo when I wanted to listen to my music. But after i got one (as a gift) I’ll be damned if I didn’t think the iPod was one of the greatest gadgets of all time – and used it ALL THE TIME.

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