Since well before its release in April of this year, I have looked forward to the release of the Apple Watch. As an admirer of the company and its products, it is hard to not be swept up in the fervor when Cupertino unveils a new tool or toy. Astonishingly, feedback on the Apple Watch could not be more extreme, on the favorable and unfavorable end of the spectrum, depending on who one asks.
Image courtesy of Joho345 on Wikimedia Commons
App developers appear reluctant to create programs for the new device, with only 5 of the top 20 free iPhone app creators currently offering an Apple Watch option. And fitness trackers continue to proliferate to address the wellness functions many seek for a much lower price point. Doom and gloom for the Apple Watch, right? Not so fast.
Apple Watch customers are thrilled with the product. In a survey conducted of 800 Apple Watch owners, 97% reported they are very satisfied or somewhat satisfied. To be fair, this group of people is admitted early adopters, yet their overwhelming satisfaction is nonetheless unusual.
By the time Apple’s quarterly earnings call had occurred on July 21st, most of the doom and gloom and euphoria appeared to be distilled to long term optimism. Why is this the case?
1) The Apple Watch’s adoption was seen as “sluggish”, but by what standard? Actually, it had a faster adoption pace than the iPhone or iPad.First-week sales eclipsed total sales of all previous android watches combined. Perhaps most significantly, instead of suffering the rumored steep drop off in sales the watch actually had its best sales (so far) in June.
2) Reports of the lack of developer adoption are misleading. As with the original iPhone, 3rd party native apps were not available during launch. Apple has announced lifting this restriction in the upcoming software update (very soon). Did I mention the 97% satisfaction rating? And the killer app likely hasn’t even been thought of yet.
3) Apple has a solid track record of thinking long range, and is not afraid to cannibalize the profits from its other products to innovate. If they don’t another company will. This approach is why I won’t bet against Apple in the long term. This won’t be the only iteration of the watch. Each iteration will be an improvement.
True, after hours trading had Apple down around 6% because they missed Wall Street estimates. Yet they still had more than 10 billion in profit. Analysts have been predicting its decline for years. Nothing lasts forever, but I can’t imagine the Apple Watch is the beginning of the end. If anything thing it’s a sign of good things to come.