Apple Watch Could Galvanize Entire Wearable Device Industry
We all may have heard it before. The one about wearable devices being the next big thing. Certain circles have even gone to the extent of declaring that wearable devices will soon supplant smartphones as the foremost mobile device of choice for everyone. But so far, we haven't seen anything like that yet, especially in the minds of most consumers (save perhaps for fitness tracking geeks) who generally still think of wearable devices as more cute than functional.
But now that Apple has entered into the field of wearable technology, there is a good chance that wearable devices will finally break into the mainstream. Its first ever wearable offering, the Apple Watch, debuted in September of last year, but in its recent Spring Forward event, Apple finally divulged details regarding the device's release date, pricing, and availability. Prices start at $349 for the Sport model of the device. For its mid-tier model, prices range from $549 to $1,099. As for the Apple Watch Edition, which features 18-karat gold, the prices starts at $10,000. These three models of the Apple Watch will become available on April 24th in countries such the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Australia, Japan, Hong Kong, and China. Pre-orders start on April 10th.
Apple is positioning its wearable devices as more than just a regular smartwatch. Thus, the company will be making the Apple Watch available not only in its online and physical stores, but also in department stores in select regions around the world. According to Apple CEO Tim Cook, the Apple Watch is the most personal of the mobile devices they have created. Indeed, the device is not just with you, it is on you.
The Apple Watch not only represents the first time Apple has dabbled in wearable devices. It is also the first entirely new product that the company has introduced since the iPad back in 2010. And it is only fitting that as iPad sales start to decrease, Apple has a new toy to present to the masses.
But the Apple Watch is not just a mere shiny new toy from the Apple thinktank. The device could carry on its shoulders the weight of the whole wearable device industry. And its success could galvanize the competitive field, just as the iPod did with music players, the iPhone with smartphones, and the iPad with tablets.
The wearable device industry could certainly use somebody to lead it. There is already a fair number of smartwatches commercially available today, with Motorola and Samsung offering their own takes on the ideal smartwatch. But none have really taken off with the public.
The Apple Watch could change all that. Industry experts are already forecasting that Apple's wearable device could ship more than 15 million units this year. And considering the number of people who are inclined to purchase a new Apple product (20 million, as estimated by research firm Forrester Research), the Apple Watch could finally turn the tide, not only dominating the market, but also increasing awareness and demand for wearable devices in general.