Underestimating the Apple Watch

Posted by Kirhat | Monday, October 19, 2015 | | 0 comments »

Apple Watch
Independent analyst Neil Cybart, who covers Apple at Above Avalon, confirmed what everyone has suspected all along - the market has severely underestimated what Apple Watch can offer.

His data revealed that Apple Watch continues to show incredible promise although much of it is being masked behind an iPhone lens.

Unrealistic expectations positioning Apple Watch as the next iPhone in terms of sales and popularity have now resulted in many people ignoring positive Apple Watch developments.

When analyzing geographic and retail distribution expansion, product and market strategy, and the competitive landscape, Cybart said that it is clear that the Apple Watch is not just being severely underestimated but has quickly become one of the best-selling wearable devices.

With Apple Watch representing Apple's newest product category since the iPad in 2010 and the first genuine new product developed during the Tim Cook and Jony Ive era at Apple, the product launch received quite a bit of attention. Apple helped build the excitement as the Apple Watch debut in September 2014 was billed as one of the bigger Apple product keynotes in recent history, even beating the iPad's unveiling in 2010. Expectations were set high.

Cybart contends that in reality, these expectations were too high. The Apple Watch was being thought of as the next iPhone, a device that would quickly surpass the device we already carried with us all day, every day. Many compared the Apple Watch keynote to the iPhone keynote, looking for the device's three key features.

For iPhone, it was a telephone, communication device, and iPod. Apple obliged with most of these requests, as they followed a similar playbook with Apple Watch, labeling the device as a communications and health & fitness device as well as a timepiece. Once again, expectations were likely mispositioned.

If Apple Watch expectations were a pendulum, right before the Apple Watch was launched, the weight on the end of the string was pulled all the way back to "the next iPhone" as expectations were quite high. However, in the weeks following launch, the overall feel towards the product took on a completely different tone. There was increased attention given to posts discussing how the Apple Watch was just a toy and not ready for prime time. One post went as far as being just a GIF of Apple Watch being thrown on top of a bunch of leftover and old chargers in a desk drawer. The word "flop" was being passed around with increased frequency.

Sticking with the pendulum theme, Apple Watch expectations had quickly moved to the completely opposite end of its trajectory, now classified as a flop. Five months have since passed Apple Watch's launch and after looking at sales, usage patterns, and customer satisfaction surveys, it would appear that the Apple Watch is neither the next new iPhone (at least not in the near-term) or a flop. Instead, it is a fun and cool product with much promise and intrigue. The pendulum will eventually come to rest between both extremes.

The Apple Watch contains too much promise and potential to question it's long-term viability as a product category. It is becoming clear that the device was dealt a bad hand when it comes to early expectations, being compared too much to its very successful siblings - the iPhone and iPad.

However, when looking at all of the various data points, estimates, and trends, it becomes clear that the Apple Watch is doing much better than it seems.


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