Is it time for Apple to make Apple Watch compatible with Android?

“We now know Apple has done well with the Apple Watch and that it outperformed the iPhone and iPad in terms of units shipped during their first 9 weeks on the market,” Tim Bajarin writes for Tech.pinions. “However, they are doing these strong sales with the watch only connected to the iPhone. Of course, this makes sense. If the watch becomes popular and only works with an iPhone, it could cause many users of other smartphone operating systems to switch. Also, it creates great incentives for those who want the Apple Watch to buy or upgrade their current iPhones too. Strategically, this move to have it only work with the iPhone is important during the Apple Watch’s initial roll out.”

“The iPhone drives their profits and, with each iteration of the iPhone, they seem to get more and more switchers and followers. But this also presents somewhat of a dilemma in that they have positioned the Apple Watch as a tech and fashion game changer and suggested that everyone will want an Apple Watch,” Bajarin writes. “But to achieve that goal I have to believe, at some point, they must make it compatible with Android and perhaps even the Windows Phone if they want the Apple Watch to have the global impact they hope it will have.”

Bajarin writes, “My personal guess is Apple will keep it proprietary to the iPhone for at least the first 18-24 months but eventually make it compatible with at least Android…”

Read more in the full article – recommended, of coursehere.

MacDailyNews Take: As with QuickTime, the iPod, and iTunes+iTunes Store before it, and as Apple Music is scheduled to do soon, Apple Watch will be made compatible with other operating systems eventually. After three months with Apple Watches on our wrists for every waking moment, we know that most people on earth will be wearing Apple Watches (or some inferior patent-infringing fake) sooner than later. Perhaps Apple will make to move with Apple Watch 3?

Strategy Analytics: Apple Watch takes 75% global smartwatch market share with 4 million units in Q215 – July 23, 2015
Juniper Research: Apple is world’s #1 smartwatch maker – July 23, 2015
Canalys: Apple ships 4.2 million Apple Watches in Q2 to become world’s top wearables vendor – July 21, 2015
Apple Watch satisfaction is unprecedented at 97%; beats original iPhone and iPad – July 20, 2015
Apple Watch is Apple’s most successful product debut ever – June 1, 2015
Apple Watch, the world’s first real smart watch, will be a massive hit – September 9, 2014


    1. ““But to achieve that goal I have to believe, at some point, they must make it compatible with Android and perhaps even the Windows Phone if they want the Apple Watch to have the global impact they hope it will have.””

      This is false. It will have every bit of impact that it ever needs to have being limited exclusively to the iPhone. As long as it is paired with the iPhone to do anything at all, this is not even possible.

      I would suspect they could technically do this in about 3 or 4 years when they make the watch more self-contained and less dependent on the iPhone (or maybe slightly longer) but I doubt they will do it even then.

      I expect in 6 or 7 years this will remain an Apple ecosystem only device, and likely permanently.

    2. The Apple Watch is a differentiator from all other smartphone ecosystems. Why should Apple make it available to other ecosystems and diminish that unique difference? If you can get the Apple Watch experience on an Android phone or a Windows phone, why buy Apple iPhones and join the Apple smartphone ecosystem at all? Making the Apple Watch compatible with any non-Apple device is suicide for the Apple brand.

    1. Surely this article and notion was floated merely to get readers going. I believe this is called a “hit-whore” type of post. It makes NO sense for Apple to ever mess around with an inferior, unsafe, virus laden, badly fragmented piece of crap operating system such as Android. Let it die a natural death rather than try to bring order to its tarnished ecosystem.

  1. & … Who gets blamed for a purchase with an Apple Watch on an Android phone when it was merely due to a hack on the Android phone?

    Who gets the blame?

    Security on Android is already horrible and would probably only get worse if you allowed Apple Watch to connect.

    Just my guess.

    1. Beat me to it.

      When bad purchases are made using an Apple Watch linked to a hacked Android device, people will blame the Watch for the security breach instead of the phone.

  2. I’ve believed all along that this was Apple’s game plan, iPhone only market first to whet the appetite of the general public, then after showing what a real smart watch could do…. LEAP! into the general cross platform market. Its really only a matter of software to be compatible with Android Wear, or Gear.

    1. I agree. Until iTunes was ported to Windows, the iPod was simply a Mac accessory. When Windows users started buying them the halo effect changed Apple’s fortunes. Until the Watch is android compatible it’s only going to be an iPhone accessory. No halo effect to increase iPhone sales.

  3. Not gonna happen. The Apple Watch is an extension of the iPhone, designed from the ground up to work together. That’s Apple’s “thing,” making everything, all the components, themselves so that they all work together seamlessly (in theory). The watch is not like QuickTime or the iPod. I’d say Apple is more likely to make an Android phone than it is to make the watch work on Android.

  4. The thought alone is stupid. Apple has no interest in doing anything on any other platform. Apple Music will be on android because music itself is not a product of Apple itself and they need a wide range of customers for it to succeed. The Apple Watch is hardware and Apple does not build hardware for other platforms. Yes the iPod and iPhone can be synchronized with Windows PCs but only through iTunes, which is the same case as with Apple Music. So no, they will not make it compatible with competitor’s hardware because they won’t be able to control it and that’s a no-go.

  5. If android is increasingly fscked because Apple is taking more and more of the business at the top end, and at the low end people are too cheap to buy an Apple Watch anyway, how much of an argument is there for porting it?

    1. It happened thirteen years ago. Reaction was rather similar, but much more muted, since at the time, the market share ratio was about 95 – 5 in favour of Windows, so extending iPod to Windows was seen as a trojan horse. In the end, it proved true, as many had attributed Mac’s faster pace of growth (than PC) to the halo effect of the iPod during those years.

    2. iTunes was ported to Windows and given away free to open sales of the iPod and later the iPhone to more than just Apple Mac users. Notice it was not to enable the sales of more Windows computers to iPod users and later iPhone users.

  6. “Also it creates great incentives for those who want the Apple Watch to buy or upgrade their current iPhones too.” This is a big flaw in Tim’s logic. If anything it will cause more current iPhone owners not to upgrade. One of the reasons I got my Apple Watch was I wanted Apple Pay but I like the size of my 5s. Most of the current iPhone owners can use an Apple Watch. (I don’t have hard numbers; however iPhone sales have always been higher than the previous model. Also the older the phone the more likely it is no longer in use. So there should be more iPhone users that have a 5 and above than 4s and below.) Smartphones have saturated the devolved world and most of the growth is coming from lower end phones. A market Apple is not in. So iPhone growth will have to come from switchers and retaining current owners. The Apple Watch will do this.

    Now I can understand Tim Cook’s reasons to not give out the sales numbers. Without hard numbers to prove the success or failure of the Apple Watch competitors will be less likely to jump in the market like they did with the iPhone. The longer they wait the fastest Apple can take over the higher end market.

    I completely disagree with MDN’s take on this.

    1. I’m with you. Apple does not want to accommodate other operating systems. That would rob them of proprietary value, and no company does that. The iTunes for Windows example is completely misconstrued. At that time Apple was still an upstart and needed high adoption rates to firmly establish their service, so they reached across to Windows users who were legion. Apple did incur costs by making the service cross platform. It was a calculated risk and it paid off. Today’s landscape of possibilities is different, with a different payoff matrix. Very different.

  7. I don’t think so.
    One wouldn’t buy a Mac in order to get QuickTime if it wasn’t available for PC (bach in the day), while people might get iPhones in order to have access to Apple Watch.
    However, I am sure Apple knows better 😉

  8. Never, ever, noway, nope, no how for no reason. There is no argument to make for this to happen.
    Let the droidites suffer in their low caste misery.
    Apple Watch for iPhone… everybody else sux.

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