Apple has revealed its multi-model line of Apple Watches, which will begin a pre-sale stretch on April 10 and reach retail on April 24. Here are analyst reactions on the Apple Watches and what they mean for the market.
Apple Watch will only be the ultimate iPhone Accessory
Ronan de Renesse, Lead Analyst, Consumer Technology at Ovum
Apple Watch will be one of the best smart watches out there but the lack of unique use cases for it means:
- It will not have a significant enough competitive edge versus Samsung, LG and Sony
- Cheap design copycats will successfully thrive, especially in China where it is set to launch on April 24th.
- Its comparatively high US$349 entry-level price point will be more difficult to sustain
The China launch will help Apple pass 10 million Apple Watch unit sales in 2015, bringing over US$5 billion in revenues in its first year.
Ovum believes that Apple will have to go beyond just a great design and materials if it wishes to take the Apple Watch to the mass market and convince iPhone users who don’t wear a watch to wear one. While the iPhone and the iPad redefined their respective device segments when they launched, the Apple Watch will not play that role.
Apple didn't really surprise anyone with its features
James McQuivey, Forrester
"Competing smartwatch makers have to be breathing a sigh of relief. Yet, Apple will outsell all the rest of them combined in 2015," says James McQuivey. "But in so doing, Apple will bring very valuable attention to the market, essentially releasing a rising tide that will float all their boats."
"Competitors will also be relieved that Apple didn't really surprise anyone with its features. Samsung and Motorola don't have to worry that Apple has leapfrogged them in many functional ways -- the Moto 360, for example, already does most of what Apple showed today, though sometimes the user has to go looking for those features," adds McQuivey. "But where Apple has clearly blown past the pack is in its emphasis on fashion, at a variety of levels, including all the way up to the luxury level. This is also good for competing smartwatch makers, because it will open the door for them to play at the lower end of watch fashion. Who should really be nervous is the top end of the luxury watch market -- not because today's Rolex buyer is going to buy an Apple Watch Edition for thousands of dollars, but because tomorrow's Rolex buyer may never materialize, having been thoroughly trained to believe watches should be as useful as they are beautiful."
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