Apple has a decade-long lead in wearables

On a revenue basis, Apple Watch, AirPods, and Beats headphones are a $30 billion per year business. If it were a separate company, Apple wearables would be ranked just shy of a Fortune 100 company. Assuming continued Apple Watch and AirPods momentum, along with Apple expanding its wearables platform by getting into face wearables (AR/VR headsets and glasses), Above Avalon’s Neil Cybart estimates that Apple wearables will likely be able to generate up to $50 billion of revenue annually within a few years.

This fall, Apple Watch wearers can add keys for their home or office, and tap their watch to unlock.
This fall, Apple Watch wearers can add keys for their home or office, and tap their watch to unlock.

Neil Cybart for Above Avalon:

Last week, Apple quietly unveiled one of the more remarkable pieces of technology that has been developed in the past few years. AssistiveTouch allows one to control an Apple Watch without actually touching the device. Instead, a series of hand and finger gestures can be used to control everything from answering a call to ending a workout. The video below showcasing AssistiveTouch is quite impressive:

AssistiveTouch is just the latest example of how Apple’s lead in wearables is still being underestimated. The evidence points to Apple having a wearables lead of not just a few years but more like a decade.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple dominance of the wearables market is iPod-esque.


  1. This is another case of Apple not playing the same game as the competition. So the concept of Apple have a lead measured in years (or decades) is mostly meaningless. Apple plays chess versus checkers.

    The competition designs devices that are compatible with other players in their game. As a result, it’s an exercise in compromised design; one player cannot control another player. OR a device (like a watch or headphones) is designed to mostly work independently and therefore has limited functionality.

    Apple intentionally does not market to Windows/Android users. Apple designs wearables for its customers using Apple devices. Watch is an extension of the iPhone experience, not a separate device. There are no barriers to integration. No one else plays that game, and no other significant player is trying.

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