The Apple Watch is coming early this year, and people’s opinion on whether it’s going to be the next must-have gadget or a rare Apple dud says more about the person than the Watch itself, which practically no one has actually gotten their hands on.
Case in point, Silicon Valley-based consultant Steve Tobak is declaring the Apple Watch a category killer, and he may be right, but his arguments have nothing to do with the device.
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“If that’s a convincing argument, and I think it is, then it’s a first since it doesn’t name a single device feature or function. And I stand by that analysis 100%,” he writes.
Optimism about Apple Watch is really bullishness on Apple
Tobak’s bullish prediction boils down to his faith that Apple CEO Tim Cook and senior VP of design Jony Ive will be able to deliver when the stakes are high (this is Apple’s first device developed without Steve Jobs). You really can’t argue with Apple’s track record of entering, if not practically creating, new product categories (iPod, iPhone, iPad), though we’ve seen great tech companies fumble plenty of times in the past. He likes restricting Apple Watch sales to iPhone users as a way to drive phone sales, instead of allowing Android users to mix and match, and argues (pretty reasonably) that the Apple ecosystem has grown to the point that just having all of your devices be able to interact with each other so seamlessly is a big selling point on its own.
“I don’t think anyone can predict Watch’s killer app or apps or which features might make it a must-have product, but I do know a hands-free device is destined to be a big part of your life and mine,” he writes.
Apple Watch still needs to find its killer app
Hands-free is a bit of a misnomer since you’ll need one hand to use the watch and another to point the watch face toward you (queue YouTube videos of Apple Watch users spilling drinks), but the bigger concern is that even the its biggest proponents of the Apple Watch can’t tell you what’s going to drive sales. You can expect early adopters to pick it up, forming the long lines in front of Apple Stores that we’re used to, but if Watch is going to sell beyond Apple’s core audience its killer app will need to present itself.