Apple is now the world’s second largest watch revenue earner. That’s a solid performance for a product line introduced less than two years ago. By any commercial standard the Apple Watch is a success.
Rolex remains the leading watchmaker and is likely to stay on top for now.
In Apple’s recent Q1 financial report, Tim Cook said the Watch had its best ever quarter. He says Apple struggled to meet demand.
Sinking smart watch market
The rest of the so-called ‘smartwatch’ market doesn’t come close. Android Wear watchmakers have been slow to update their models. Lenovo abandoned the market. Pebble sold its watch business.
There have been stories saying the smartwatch market is dead. Away from the Apple Watch that’s a fair description.
I stopped wearing the first Apple Watch after a traumatic introduction. More recently I’ve tried newer models; one with a nylon strap1 another with leather.
Whenever I write about the Apple Watch I hear from people who love them or love other smartwatches. I’m not keen.
For the most part I find them annoying and difficult to live with. They don’t add anything to my productivity or make life more fun.
Watch fans tell me they like the notifications. If anything they are what I like least of all. They are a distraction. They interrupt my concentration with constant incoming wrist taps or bleeps2. But that’s me and how I work. You may feel otherwise.
My other gripe is the frequent charging. A Watch lasts about a day. That means it needs recharging overnight.
On a few occasions I found I placed on the charger in a way that meant there was no charge the next day. If I left the Watch at home, it didn’t make a difference to me.
The one area where the Apple Watch shines is fitness tracking. I found it useful when the Watch told to get off my chair every hour. Getting those activity bars all the way around the clock face became a daily goal. It made me walk more and be more aware of exercise.
Despite that, I’m not going to buy a Watch. Much of the time I wear a scruffy old Swatch on my left wrist. It needs a new strap and does nothing other than let me know the time.
Sure, I can get that from my phone which is never more than a metre or two away. But I’ve 50 years of muscle memory looking at the wrist.
By a curious coincidence Mac NZ’s Mark Webster has written a similar blog post.