The war of wrists has just begun
At first, the fashion industry was not interested in getting into the smart watch market. But now they want a piece of the pie. Especially brand names who serve the mass market are pushing and they are not willing to leave the field to Apple.
Apple vs Fashion world
Smart watches have been celebrated as the next big thing, a winner. When sales numbers failed to live up to expectations, they were considered a flop.
As often, the truth is somewhere in between. Consumers were not as willing to let go of their classic wrist watches as expected. Yet, smart watches are far from a flop.
I am not much of a spiteful person, but when the first Apple watch had been released I said to a friend: “Great. Now you can tell an idiot just by looking at his arm.” In my defense, back then Apple did not have inexpensive models. I seem to recall that the first model’s price tag was 5,000 – I still lived in Germany.
With prices starting as low as $250, they are now at the low end of the price spectrum.
One of my challenges is minimalism. I tried to achieve too much too fast (total and complete consumer strike) and had a bad relapse in form of a shopping excess. My weak, greedy hands grabbed everything with an Apple logo on it. Including an overpriced technically challenged modem Apple has long discontinued.
And an Apple watch.
I was as wrong as one can be. The apple watch is the best invention in a long time.
A matter of sales messaging?
I used to praise Apple for their ability to create products people feel emotionally connected to. They were one of the first IT companies that translated features into benefits. They told stories. Created excitement. Apple got me hooked.
In my personal opinion, Apple failed to deliver on sales messaging. I did not fully understand the purpose of the watch.
The first ads I saw were focused on the workout function and other functions I don’t use. Clearly a feature presentation.
In this case, Apple failed to translate features into benefits that are valuable to me. And the watch has them.
What I love most:
- My music player is not on my wrist. I retired my iPod. = gadget declutter, no clips & co or pockets full of players
- It allows me to leave my iPhone in my purse most of the time. = freedom + ability to quickly/secretly check emails
Apple is the indisputable market leader
About 1.2 billion watches are sold per year, but only a few are smart watches. Since its introduction in 2015, Apple is the clear market leader. But Google clearly has market power and will continue to push Android Wear as mass market products.
Former Google partner Motorola called it quits. Other vendors are open to Google’s advances, including players from the fashion world.
What will be interesting is the trust factor. I can’t say that I distrust Google. It’s not a matter of believing. Google analyses and sells my data. Apple analyses my data with the intention of upselling.
It’s not going to happen that I share the rate of my heartbeat with Google.
Let’s sit back, have a cup of tea and enjoy the show. I predict a winner: The consumer.