reasonable entry price make for a compelling new product
"Reasonable"? I thought it was rather pricey for what you get and the battery life is way too short.
But it will sell by the bucket load, even if only to the Appleistas.
Apple is set to be the biggest player in the smartwatch market, Canalys analysts have predicted. But its reign may be temporary, as competitors will inevitably storm Cupertino's barricades armed with cheaper wristputers to steal away the unfaithful. Canalys predicted that "wearable band" shipments will grow 129 per cent …
"How do you know the battery life is too short?"
Most other smart watches have comparable screens and performance characteristics and pack a ~ 300mAh battery which lasts a day. It should be no surprise that an iWatch has a similar performance.
Of course maybe someone might produce a battery with 10x the energy density or some kinetic / solar charger which sustains the device far longer, or a uses a passive display tech. But in the current form these watches are basically gimmicks and not very practical.
While I truly feel at the moment that the whole smartwatch thing is a gimmick and I couldn't care less whether smartwatches totally fail to catch on or not, I can't believe how much people are bemoaning the fact that they need to be charged every night (or at least every other night).
It's not so far back in the past that mechanical wristwatches needed to be wound up every night else they'd be useless the following day either.
"It's not so far back in the past that mechanical wristwatches needed to be wound up every night..."
Yes, but those watches vanished almost overnight when better options (batteries, self winding up,...) were made available. Having to recharge your watch every night is a big step backwards, imo.
How do you know the battery life is too short?
Mainly because Apple said it was. "Charging every night" implies the charge will last for less than 48 hours and maybe less than 24 hours. Also Apple are reported to still be trying to extend battery life before product release.
I thought the strap would be an easy location for a bunch of tiny batteries but they haven't got around to
stealing innovating that one yet.
I would have thought that the 'short battery life' depends upon your perspective of what you are using the Apple Manacle for. If you view it as a watch (yes, I really want to throw away my Omega Tresor for this ... or not, as it happens) then having to recharge a watch every 24 hours is going to be a pain. If you view it for what it really is, a bluetooth device designed to complement your iPhone then slinging yet another device onto the nightly recharge list is not too much of a hardship.
Either way I am not impressed, I really do not want to have an array of exhausted Apple devices lined up by my bed every night, hyped-up designer-wear notwithstanding. Perhaps Apple should have included a self-winding option - after all they seem so interested in telling us about the variable wrist action.
To be hones, I, too, was shocked at the price, considering it includes the
Idiot Apple Tax.
That said, I would guess* you need an iPhone for it to be any use, so you are already paying over the odds for that. That makes it a marketing tool to sell more iPhones than an actual product itself.
* That is a guess, I haven't seen anything to the contrary so it's a valid assumption, but correct me if I'm wrong.
It seems their analyst somehow completely forgot Apple are the ones late to this market. Admittedly a market so unappealing to buyers (Samsung & Sony cant even give them away) Apple might just kickstart it but it's not theirs yet and the underlying sentiment that others will be stealing Apples market is misplaced.
Yes, was very puzzled by this comment by the analyst "Google's Android may also power competitors to the iWatch, although this platform needs to be "greatly improved" if it is to match Apple's offering.".
This just doesn't seem to make sense, the Apple Watch (not iWatch!) doesn't yet exist so Apple's offering can't yet be judged, however there was no standout features that made it look better than Android Wear, in fact it looked quite ordinary.
Android Wear is as good as the apps and actually does seem to do a really good job. I can't see any rationale behind the comment that it needs to "greatly improve".
Sony made a watch to connect to Android phones years ago. An issue it had, shared by the Moto360 according to some reviews, and by the Casio and Citizen bluetooth watches, is a random Bluetooth disconnection. One assumes that Apple are in a better position to troubleshoot this kind of issue, since the number of device combinations are smaller and controlled by them, and that they are more motivated too.
> random Bluetooth disconnection
I imagine that BT LE, 4.0/1, whatever you wish to call it will help in this matter quite a lot. (The LE mean Low Energy.)
Being designed for precisely this sort of use case, it will also allow the connection to be continuous without draining the battery too much.
They have added better encryption too (Diffie Helman Elliptic Curve I think), which may or may nor be implemented and may or may not matter.
Still not buying one obviously...
> random Bluetooth disconnection
>>I imagine that BT LE, 4.0/1, whatever you wish to call it will help in this matter quite a lot. (The LE mean Low Energy.)
The Citizen Proximity and Casio G-Shock Bluetooth are both BLE devices, and in fact were released before BLE was supported by Android (though Samsung had made some Android devices that boasted Bluetooth LE hardware ahead of the OS support), yet the Citizen model still suffers from random disconnection. Both devices were 'iPhone only' - mainly because Android didn't support the protocol at the time.
It might be a traditional wristwatch vendor that gets into the market with a product that offers a different balance of functionality / battery life / form factor (I'm looking at you, Tissot).
It's a cut-down iPhone screen with a dinky but clever UI and an extra knob for rotating rotatey things. And it vibrates. Sorry - taptates[tm].
It's too cheap and not blingy enough to cut it in the over-priced premium designer tat watch market owned by Rolex and the rest, it's too expensive to compete with the FitBits and Garmins for the yoof health market. So far it may do a few things that people might sort-of want, a bit, but - unlike a phone - it doesn't do anything anyone really needs.
I know it's dangerous to predict an Apple failure, but I can't see this appealing to many people outside the Bay Area and Silicon Roundabout. It's certainly not going to sell to Vogue-y fashionistas.
Pricing also matters. Most iPhones are sold on a contract with - eventually - a minimal up-front payment. Far fewer people are going to drop $350 in a one-off lump sump. That price point makes it more expensive than any of the iPod touches, and those still have obvious utility for gaming and music.
I predict that, having created the concept of large-screen smartphones with their latest product anouncement, Apple will dominate the market between now and 2015. At which point Asian Android phone makers will probably try to copy them and begin to sell large-ish copycat phones. But of course at this point Apple will already dominate the market of large phones, so the lesser Android makers will have to tremendously improve on their offering if they want to be able to nibble on Apple's vastly dominant market share."
See, that's how it's done. You, too, can do it if you want. Just replace the product name by whatever the Apple rumours are about, and the eejits will gobble it up. The difference between an analyst firm and a crackwhore is that the crackwhore still has a sense of ridicule, deep inside.
>I just don't see the point in it
Well, get yourself a stop watch and a clip board and conduct a time and motion study on the issue. If you are sat at a desktop computer for eight hours a day before getting behind the wheel of a car, then fair play, such a product might not be for you. For other people, there might be a demonstrable, empirical benefit to such a device.
"Apple is set to be the biggest player in the smartwatch world, the analysis firm Canalys has predicted"
If I had a pound (preferrably a fiver) for every analyst's prediction over the last fifteen years that's turned out to be hopelessly wide of the mark, I'd be very rich.
I think Mystic Meg had a better accuracy rate.
Apple has already lost the market share war. They may have rising sales numbers but this is on a growing market. Their share of the cake is shrinking. It's just the cake is still getting bigger.
They are doing well because of their huge overcharging for devices that are now a couple of years behind current leading technology.
When the market hits saturated (at some theoretical point in the future), they will have to stop their bit from shrinking or they will have problems...
Tiny when the market is tiny.
Also the stupid battery life makes Sinclair's daft LED black watch look good.
Very very niche product. Without the cache (or is it Cachet? I can't spiel) of being a true luxury brand.
In other news the price cut of Apple's poor iCloud offering is now only twice the price of the competition. Some day the iFans will stop paying the Apple Idiot tax. Apple have the BIGGEST MARGIN in the industry. So irrespective of how good the products are and the market share people are paying far too much.
"Very very niche product. Without the cache (or is it Cachet? I can't spiel) of being a true luxury brand."
A tradesman who doesn't have to reach into his pocket to see who is calling or texting has already improved his productivity. The same could be said for many jobs, even workers with 2 hands on the keyboard. "very very niche" is way off the mark and this product will surely evolve like everything else did, or did I miss an announcement that this is a one off?
What are the 'true luxury brands' offering in this market?
Apple is the perfect company to bring tech to a vanity product and being the richest company in the world could redefine luxury if they wanted.
A tradesman who doesn't have to reach into his pocket to see who is calling or texting has already improved his productivity.
I actually agree with this, but have one thing to say in rebuttal: Pebble.
My brother bought a Pebble, and liked it so much he bought the Steel straight after. He likes watches, and has a large collection, but the Pebble is now his daily use watch. It does everything he needs it to, costs a lot less than most smart watches, and the battery lasts days. Alerts pop up for calls, texts, emails etc.
I borrowed his standard Pebble with a view to buying it. I had been thinking about buying one ever since it came out. Unfortunately, I'm not a fan of watches. They irritate me. I thought the extra functionality of the Pebble would sway me, but it doesn't. I got fed up with it after 3 days.
I love the idea of getting my notifications through without fishing my phone out of my pocket, but a watch isn't the way to go, for me. A pocket watch, though...
At Mage, the market is tiny at the moment because there isn't really a compelling use case for the devices and because they have been marketed at the more technically orientated in our society. The watches don't do voice control and most people don't need biometric checks. However, as AC pointed out there is a potentially huge market of non-technical people who have their hands full and are looking for a new kind of tool. Just as Apple advanced many of the ideas behind the smart phone (advanced not invented) they may also be the ones to bring wearable computing to the masses. Perhaps not with this model but once they see what ordinary people want from a wristputer and how it ties into the Apple ecosystem then they could be onto something. But Samsung, Sony and LG are already there - yeah about their software. What about Google - I am an android user myself but we have to admit that Google is about evolution not revolution. If I want a half finished product on my wrist that is more about tracking and advertising than assisting me then Google is my first choice. Pebble - technical people only. Sorry but that leaves Apple to bring the product to the masses.
Not sure they really are competing. A Samsung android wear watch needs an android phone and an apple watch needs an iPhone. So choice of model is determined by an earlier choice of phone. Only competition is if people think one of the watches is so compelling that they change their phone choice - and I don't think that's likely in any significant manner.
The difference is that the Apple Watch only works with iPhones, while Android Wear works with just about any recent Android phone.
It's an important distinction, because while the iPhone may still be the best-selling individual handset, iOS only enjoys about 15% market share. Android's market share, on the other hand, is up over 75%.
The point is that there's no reason you shouldn't be able to buy a Motorola smartwatch and use it with an LG phone, or vice versa. Hypothetically, 75% of smartphone owners can use an Android Wear watch, where only 15% can use an Apple Watch.
The Apple Watch may become the best-selling individual model, but Android Wear is almost certain to become the dominant platform.
That IMHO a higher percentage of the Android users are
1) running old versions of the OS. For example new phones with Android V2.3 are suill be sold today.
2) The low end of the market is clearly not what this (and other wearable devices) are targetted at
3) Can't be rats aresed about bothering with wearables.
4) plus half a dozen other issues
Then you say thayt Android Wear will become the dominant platform?
The Apple offerings are clearly aimed at the top end of the market. In this segment they are the clear leaders. Samsung might sell a lot of handsets but there are nowhere near as profitable as Apple simply because the vast percentage is at the lower end of the market.
Simply quoting stats at people can make an argument. The % market share waw between Android andi iOS is long over. No one really cares anymore. The money in phones is at the top end. Apple makes lots of money here. Samsung profits have taken a nosedive in recent quarters.
Nothing that Samsung are offering at the present time will topple Apple (IMHO).
Oh, and the silly adverts that Samsung put out in the US are not going to win them market share.
"Then you say that Android Wear will become the dominant platform?
The Apple offerings are clearly aimed at the top end of the market. In this segment they are the clear leaders. Samsung might sell a lot of handsets but there are nowhere near as profitable as Apple simply because the vast percentage is at the lower end of the market."
The dominant platform is decided by units not by profitability for any sensible definition of the word.
If Android Wear ends up on more wrists it's the dominant platform, Apple's margins on the damn silly things are irrelevant.
But this is all pish.
In 10 years (quite possibly less) when the utterly normal looking glasses I wear are likely powered by a form of Android, have a hi-res floating screen and full augmented reality facilities, tied to a sophisticated gaze/mind/voice/touch/gesture controlled interface.
Stuffed with all the other functionality I could need or want, running 3 days on a charge and connecting me to everything, everywhere. I won't be wearing a watch, smart or otherwise.
Google's wearable focus, rightly, is on Glass.
As a platform it has massively more potential and the only thing that's gonna stop it is fearful and hopefully short-lived legislation.
I'd agree, the Apple Watch isn't going to appeal to anyone who doesn't want to buy an iPhone, so I'd assume that the potential market for smart watches that work with Android would be larger.
That said, the Andriod market covers the cheap end of the mobile phone market, and people who have a cheap Android phone are unlikely to want a smart watch.
Personally I like my Pebble, which works with both, although Apple have just pushed them out of the iOS market, and Android Wear has started to push them out of the Android market so I'm not sure what their chances are now. Sometimes being the first to market isn't an advantage.
The Samsung Gear S is a phone in the form of a watch, so you don't need a phone. To me this is the only kind of smart watch worth even considering. Who needs some expensive add on with limited functionality, it just means carrying around more crap and having to charge yet another gadget every day.
When a smartwatch can replace my phone then I'll consider it. Until then it's just a toy.
It's hard to see how smart watches at the moment aren't more like the accessories market, given the two big players (Apple Watch and Android Wear) are exclusive to their respective phone OSes. Completely tied to the phone, just because Apple create a great watch / phone case / other accessory doesn't mean that suddenly Android users will buy that watch / phone case / other accessory.
If Pebble or other generic makers had made a huge splash I could see their market share being eaten, but there is nothing in any smart watch that I have seen so far that could convince me that phone users will migrate one way or another because of the watches on offer. That would suggest that LG, Samsung etc have little to fear for the moment on the watch front from Apple - if they are unable to sell watches it will be because their offerings are not good enough to get consumers to choose to buy a smart watch, rather than buying an Apple one instead of a Samsung or LG or Motorola one.
MAYBE a few higher end consumers may switch, but I suspect the larger screen of the 6 and 6 plus will be the driver of that, and not the Apple Watch.
Agreed. I predict that the watch market will expand for a while as Applistas buy the new iThingie and then it will rapidly deflate, probably after a year.
There are some great use cases for this kind of device. I just think that they are very narrow and I think it will remain that way unless someone can come up with a more compelling use case.
Apple's new gadget isn't all that. It will be another of many, only this one existing in the Apple ecosystem.
The one who will make the innovative impact is the one that can deliver a smart watch that has a good battery life and work autonomously without any necessity to be tethered to something else.
As I predict the exact opposite. Android Wear is already off and running without a huge set of apps. It's not like when Android had to play catchup, Apple are the ones playing catchup now.
If the market grows, it's going to be Android Wear going forward. They have the variety of watches, all supporting a common platform. Apple has one. If you don't like the design, tough...
I'm a huge fan of the "sleep analyser" apps such as Sleep As Android. They rely on motion sensors which means you rather inconveniently have to keep your phone in bed with you. It would be quite a win to avoid that by having the app use the watch sensors instead. See? I found an actual use for it.
I am a fan of Sleep As Android too. The creators of that particular app have created a companion app for the Pebble smartwatch. You can wear the watch at night, rather than have to put the phone on the bed or wear a jogging armband/case.
No need for a face-palm, either. The Pebble battery lasts for several days, so I simply charge it up for a couple of hours in an evening every few days.
I read all the details about Android Wear - and realised that a Pebble was the right one for me.
Analysts - what do they know? My own uninformed guess at an area with an opportunity for major growth is super-premium smartwatches: Super-premium phone handsets like Vertu's have so far remained a very niche market. High-end chronometers on the other hand have much more uptake - common even, if a £1000+ watch can be described as such. The sort of people who flaunt such timepieces are not likely to consign them to the sock drawer in favour of a mere Apple, Samsung, Motorola or LG, even if the smart functionality is of value to them. But there is an opportunity for a smartwatch that is elegant & opulent, is not technically or aesthetically compromised in any way by having to meet a mass-market price-point, has some 21st century functionality and reliability and is less derisibly nouveau riche than a Swarovski-encrusted platinum-plated phone.
I'm sure glasses will outsell watches if prices becomes comparable. There's a lot more an HUD display can do for you, compared to something on you wrist. If the Rayban-Google project works, it could be a far more interesting gadget to wear. Just the price needs to be around $300-$500, not $1500.
There's a big difference between glasses to watch 3D TV and an HUD.
You never wear sunglasses? Augmented reality and other info delivered through an HUD are far more useful than those presented on your wrist.
What's more useful, GPS directions in glasses, or on your wristwatch? Even while running or cycling you can get better information delivered to you without the need to look at a watch - and that's also true in many other sports, i.e. skiing, sailing, etc.
If you just need to show off, an high-end luxury watch will work better and longer... non need to replace it when the new model comes a year later.
Only 1 day battery life, not even wireless charging mentioned and if looks bulky as fcuk, please.....
No amount to 'style' can save it; it's just a toy accessory for an iPhone.
IMO only people with more money than sense buy Apple; people are either slaves to the Apple brand (as illustrated for brands in the film "Branded") or it is effectively treated as Bling; IMO opinion several Android devices are better designed, nicer looking, and plain better than Apples portable products, so even the Bling factor seems diminished.
I'm doing better than average, but I still won't consider anything Apple sells, because I have a sense, including for value, privacy, etc.
Canalys predicted that "wearable band" shipments will grow 129 per cent between now and 2015, reaching a total of 43.2 million a year.
Of course, Apple is likely to still be sitting pretty on its iPerch by then, dominating this new market.
Considering Apple isn't entering the Market until 'sometime' at the start of 2015 I fail to see how they will get any of the market share between now and 2015....
It was probably just some poor wording, the 43.2 million will be shipments in 2015. There won't be close to even a 1/10th of that in 2014, given the response so far. As it is that prediction of 43 million will require a hell of a lot of Apple Watches are sold. If they aren't, all the press will talk about is how smart watches are a flop, and Android versions like Samsung Gear will sink along with the Apple Watch.
The market will be pretty much saturated by the time the Apple Watch hits the shelves, including by smartwatches much more capable that the Apple one (see the latest Sammy, which is the first and only to really deserve the prefix "smart"; unlike, notably, Apple's projected one).
It doesn't mean that Apple watch won't sell of course, if they play the "premium" card well they can make a killing; it's what Apple does best.
The surrounding "they invented a new market and will dominate it until the Asians manage to copy them" bullshit is just preposterous, especially in the present case where said Asian launched the products a few years ago and Apple is blatantly playing catchup after having dismissed the very concept at the time.
"By creating a new user interface tailored to its tiny display, Apple has produced a smartwatch that mass-market consumers will actually want to wear"
When did they do that? I certainly saw no mention of it at the iEvent.
Are they referring to that ridiculous set of round icons in a square screen with a twiddly knob on the side?
They can't be.
Especially since "mass-market" consumers for the most part are buying Android and all statements so far is that the iWatch needs an iPhone to work properly..
"The basic band vendors, such as Fitbit and Jawbone"...
Fit bit and jawbone are not the same as an apple watch... for a start the battery in my flex lasts a week... Im more than happy to swim with it on or wear it in the shower and it sits under my shirt so I dont look like a douche...all things that the apple watch will fail to do. :)
The number sold will be based on how many can be produced. The demand is always higher at first and then levels off. I'll bet they could sell 100 million in Q4 if that many could be produced, but they can't.
If they did sell 100 million, all that would do is reduce the sales in subsequent quarters. It isn't very likely that someone wants to buy an iPhone, finds they're sold out and they'll have to wait, and buys an Android instead. They just buy the iPhone later. Likewise, people who are prepared to buy an Android phone don't walk into an Apple store, see an iPhone ready to buy, and change their mind.
Sorry, in both of my life times, a watch was a work place hazard. Now a professional requirement to have a mobile phone also displays time, it solves that issue. Please talk amongst yourselves about cool expensive watches. I'll save my money for the boy's education. Or better yet invest in the companies producing the gadget. Now, get off my lawn!