So it’s officially happening – the Apple Watch will launch in the U.S. on April 24th, featuring a number of compatible apps and features, and ranging anywhere in price from $350 to $10,000 or more, depending on which model consumers want to go for and the choice of wristbands.
But along with a refined interest in Apple products, the announcement could also bring good news for the wearable tech market in general. ABC News has reported that the Watch will be a big seller for Apple, but will also generate interest in other pieces of technology, which will be good news for competitors.
“There is clearly interest in the category,” said Ben Wood, chief of research for CCS Insight. “If Apple can make this work and they can give the industry a few pointers, then I think you’re going to see the other players saying, ‘We’re going to have another go.’ I think you’ll see a halo effect.”
Although Apple’s Watch won’t be the first one on the market – Samsung beat it to the punch a few months ago with its own model – it will no doubt be one of the most popular, in spite of its price (compared to other watches). Its compatibility and apps will give it widespread appeal, form all appearances. The demo today showed how the Watch can take phone calls, process messages, and even summon a car via Uber — as well as pay for products at 700,000 different locations and open compatible hotel room doors. The broad array of functionality is sure to be expanded as developers hop on board, and don’t be surprised when games start appearing on the Watch.
While Apple’s new wearable will no doubt be off to a strong start, its relatively high base price (and stratospheric high-end price) will keep people looking at other, lower-priced alternatives. Pebble is another company that has stood out with its wearable tech line-up, according to CCS Insight. The company revealed a number of watches that come with various sizes and features, which can cater to audiences that aren’t necessarily looking for Apple’s.
“I think it is interesting for Pebble to get out there and highlight its capabilities” with the devices, according to Wood.
Now it’s just a matter of prodding tablet and iPhone owners to upgrade to an Apple Watch. “What I am hoping to see are the reasons why I need an Apple Watch in my life,” Wood continued. “I think Apple has been very smart in announcing this ahead of time. They were able to control the message. The single biggest advantage that I see is the fact that they were able to exploit their most valuable asset: the development community.”
It’s still too early to tell if the Apple Watch will be a big hit, but, judging by the buzz on the Apple site following its revealing of details, we could be in for a huge shift in the wearable tech market. And that’s good news for all involved, not just the “big A”.