There have been plenty of rumours flying around about Apple designing a new watch; sites up and down the web are suggesting that Cupertino may be about to shake up a market which has stood for over a hundred years. More than likely a massive Red Herring, these rumours have annoyed me; completely ignoring the nature of Apple, a company that traditionally doesn’t pander to flights of fancy.
Here are some reasons, why Apple won’t bring out a watch.
iPods are dead.
iPod sales have been contracting over the past few years, mostly due to the lower cost of smartphones, which make the natural, and logical combination of phone and music player, while the Nano market has been less subject to these contractions, the writing is quite clear on the wall that in the medium term, standalone music players will go the way of the Walkman.
Overall the sales of iPod Nanos, paled in comparison to iPhones and other Android handsets, the number of people turning these into watches, even less. So what possible business sense would it make to have Apple create a watch off of a niche fashion statement made by the few?
It’s a question of style.
The answer to my above point, may very well be ‘Because it’s cool’ well, frankly it’s not. It’s not Apple’s style to bring out consumer devices of such a nature, just because they’re cool. It serves no purpose other than to augment what your phone already does, and your phone does it pretty well.
Apple also doesn’t make devices which won’t work, and since, realistically a watch would have to Bluetooth your phone, and possibly your headphones, it’s a recipe for disaster.
Now, you could say that Apple would revolutionize the watch world, there have always been attempts at combining personal tech with personal fashion, but simply, there’s too much competition. Apple typically perform well when they revamp dead markets, they fare not so well entering matured ones. You need look no further than the iPad Mini, which has been constantly compared to the Nexus 7 and not come off so well, or indeed the struggling desktop market. Apple tends not to focus on it so much anymore, but Macs are still eaten alive in this PC world. Entering the watch market would be entering somewhere with competition Apple can’t better.
What happens when Apple doesn’t ‘Think Differently’, well the ‘iWatch’ happens.
Apple are facing a problem, it’s a big one. The slogan, which made the company, may ultimately destroy it.
With competition in the smartphone and tablet markets getting seriously heavy, the Cupertino giant is looking increasingly slow and lacking in innovation. The iPhone 5 was a fantastic device, but the S3 equally wowed, and sales have outstripped the iPhone. The iPad Mini has the same problem, being compared to the Nexus 7 and still coming on par with it technically, but with such a wide pricing gap does Apple no favours.
In short, Apple may not be Thinking Different anymore, a watch smells of desperation from a company, which once led, and now follows. To bring out such a product is not what shareholders want to see.
Where should Apple go then?
Apple should focus on what it does best, kicking the stagnant consumer tech market into gear, and ripe for the picking is the TV Market.
No TV manufacturers offer the whole package, what we see is patchwork attempts at smart and Internet ready TV’s, and while Netflix is fantastic, the disparity of On Demand apps is painful. The market is screaming out for a sleek, sexy and uncomplicated solution to what sits in every home.
If I want to play games or answer a call, I look at my phone, I don’t squint at a tiny monitor a la the 80’s.