Tim Bajarin: Apple is about to change the watch industry forever; luxury watchmakers won’t be able to keep up

“Apple has already disrupted the computer, phone and music industries — and now it’s poised to change the watch industry forever, too,” Tim Bajarin writes for TIME Magazine.

“When Apple introduced the Apple Watch last fall, I started asking people in the high-end watch world if they viewed the device as a threat. Surprisingly, many told me that the Apple Watch could very well redefine what a ‘watch’ is and does,” Bajarin writes. “The Apple Watch won’t force high-end watchmakers to change course entirely, as the jewelry aspect of their business will always have appeal and lasting value. But talking to those in the watch world gave me a real sense that the Apple Watch is a game-changer.”

“When digital watches flooded the scene, they were easily copied, explaining why the 1980s-era transition from analog to digital happened so fast,” Bajarin writes. “But Apple’s approach — they own the hardware, software and services — will be nearly impossible for watchmakers to replicate. Devices like the TAG Heuer/Google watch that run Android Wear will continue to try to compete, but from what I’ve seen from Apple, the Cupertino giant could have an edge for at least a year or two, if not more.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As long as Apple continues to operate properly — and as evidenced in smartphones and tablets by 64-bit mobile processors, Touch ID, Apple Pay, Handoff, and many other ecosystem advantages — Android Wear will never to be able to compete with Apple Watch. Apple does things right and Android struggles to follow, at a great distance (64-bit, hello?) or half-assed (flaky fingerprint recognition, contactless payment systems that nobody uses, etc.).

Even those who initially settled for the pretend iPhones offered by Android can now clearly see that Fragamndroidland is a backwards land; for followers, not leaders; a place of frustration and insecurity; an afterthought for developers; a wannabe, not the real thing; off-the-shelf processors running an off-the-rack mobile OS in hardware with inferior build-quality; a hodgepodge of devices and skinned OS versions that will never work together as seamlessly as Apple products; a kitchen with too many cooks; and, ultimately, a dead end.

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19 Comments

  1. There will be a market for luxury watches as long as there is a market for luxury cars or private jets. The Apple Watch will top out at about the price point the luxury watch market starts at.

    1. The Fate of Swiss Luxury Watches-Becoming Antique

      Those who value the luxury, status, and prestige of expensive Swiss watches, timepieces, and Certified Chronometers are a dying breed; literally. Those that grew-up with mechanical watches are those that value them most.

      When it comes time to pass on a heritage timepiece to someone accustomed to the daily usefulness of an watch, what will happen?

      I expect the timepiece will be looked upon with a certain awe given to antiques of superb craftsmanship that still function. I also expect, that except on rare occasions it will go unworn and unused. Like an antique Model T Ford driven only in parades.

      I expect the heritage watch will end up in a jewelry box or drawer, or perhaps a special display place on a mantle or shelf.

      watches were designed, styled, and fashioned such that people want to wear them. Technology on your wrist that won’t embarrass and brand you as a tech nerd. Watch Sport for everyday wear, Watch for business, or as dress watch, Watch Edition worn for status and prestige. watches, useful fashion beyond timekeeping. 😀

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