Although the Apple Watch launched moderately successfully earlier this year, there is no doubt that Apple will attempt to improve on its net worth during 2016. There is hope that the Apple Watch can still become a massive hit for the corporation, and this will ensure that the Apple Watch 2 is launched at some point during 2016.
Apple Watch 2 to go mainstream
Apple has high hopes that eventually the Apple Watch could become a mainstream device, but the existing Apple Watch has yet to really achieve this. Yet despite the fact that the Apple Watch has not been an unqualified success story at the time of writing, by any normal standards it has been a fairly prolific device. It is estimated that the Apple Watch is already responsible for 95 percent of the smartwatch marketplace, and this is the sort of dominance that any company would undoubtedly welcome.
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So it was always expected that the Apple Watch 2 would be released, and evidence this week suggests that it is indeed in the pipeline. The chairman of Quanta, Barry Lam, has been speaking about the potential for an Apple Watch 2. It is well worth paying attention to the opinion of Lam, as Quanta is one of Apple’s long-time contractors and the current physical manufacturers of the Apple Watch. Quanta also gets involved in the production of other Apple devices as well.
Lam has revealed a possible release window for the Apple Watch 2 wearable, with the executives suggesting that it will be possible for consumers to get hold of the device in Q2 2016. Lam hinted at a slightly later release date than the first edition of the Apple Watch, with a more summery release schedule probable. Last year, the first Apple Watch hit the stores in April.
The comments of the executive suggest that Apple may hold a similar spring event dedicated to the unveiling of the gadget, akin to its ‘Spring Forward’ conference that was held last year. It is easy to forget that Apple refused to confirm the existence of the Apple Watch for many months, and that the existence of the smartwatch was still not public knowledge this time last year.
Lam believes that the initial batch of the Apple Watch 2 will be rather small, as Apple monitors the initial reaction of the marketplace. Consumers were enthusiastic about the initial Apple Watch in the weeks that followed its release, but it has not been as much of a slow-burner as Apple would have hoped. While Apple has shifted a decent quotient of Apple Watch units, it has yet to make the sort of impact upon the average consumer that previous device releases have achieved.
Yet Lam states that Apple still intends to increase the production of the Apple Watch 2 in the third quarter of 2016, as Apple anticipates that demand for the gadget will speed up and remain healthy over a longer timeframe this time out.
Considering the reputable source that this rumor emanates from, it certainly must be taken seriously, and it indeed seems sensible to pencil in the Apple Watch 2 for a later Q2 release. Apple is predictably quiet on the existence of the Apple Watch 2, never mind has the consumer electronics giant confirmed the release date of the smartwatch, but it will certainly be making preparations for this release behind the scenes as we speak.
Meanwhile, some interesting findings have been published on the Apple Watch this week by Wristly. This company is a research firm that analyses various consumer electronics issues, and it has just completed a survey of Apple Watch owners and non-owners.
When Wristly conducted conversations with people who have yet to purchase an Apple Watch, or indeed do not intend to purchase one at all, price was continually cited as a major motivational factor. According to the survey, over one-third of the non-purchasers indicated that pricing was the primary reason that they have not opted to purchase an Apple Watch.
Yet equally important was the idea that the Apple Watch is new and untested. Almost an equal number of non-buyers of the smartwatch cited this as the central reservation for not having bought one. This suggests that the Apple Watch 2 could benefit from the fact that the smartwatch is now an established Apple niche, although it could be suggested that Apple needs to demonstrate more inherent value in the Apple Watch before attracting consumers on a wide scale.
With regard to this aspect of the smartwatch, the Wristly Survey was actually encouraging. Only one-in-six of those who responded to the survey suggested that a lack of usefulness had been the reason for not purchasing one. This means that nearly 85 percent of those people who responded to the survey at least consider the Apple Watch a potentially useful device, meaning that Apple could attract a huge raft of new consumers to the Apple Watch 2 if it is pitched and priced appropriately.
Apple owning smartwatch niche
If this is encouraging enough for Apple in itself, another report this week suggests that the Apple Watch has truly obliterated the opposition in the smartwatch niche. According to a report by independent analyst company Canalys, Apple has shifted around 7 million Apple Watch units since it launched in April, a figure that dwarfs all of the other vendors’ combined shipments over the previous five quarters.
Canalys analyst Daniel Matte stated that he believed that sales of the Apple Watch ahead of Christmas would act as a significant barometer of the smartwatch markets, and also a clue regarding how successful the Apple Watch 2 would ultimately be. “After experiencing significant supply chain constraints early on, Apple managed to overcome its production struggles with the Apple Watch and is building momentum going into Q4,” Matte stated.
So although the Apple Watch have not been an overwhelming success as of yet, the market conditions for the Apple Watch 2 are actually encouraging. It will be interesting to see what Apple produces when it unveils the second generation smartwatch.