This is a special post on my blog. I never wrote about other things than new ideas on management and leadership in complex VUCA worlds. But after reading about the new Pebble Time Steel and the announcement of Pebbles Smartstraps as well as Apples announcement of their final press event on March, 9th 2015 for their watch, I had to.
Will Apple be losing the fight before already started?
A lot of articles these days believe, that the Apple Watch will be a big fail. They list several aspects:
- Limited functionality (no real apps)
- Short battery runtime (1 day, some even talk about 2.5 hours (?) )
- High price (up to $20.000 for the Watch Edition)
- No smart wristband (like Pebble with Smartstraps announced)
So some bloggers and journalists see some difficulties before the sales even started.
I don’t think so…
I am less pessimistic: Although I supported the Pebble Time on Kickstarter and was very surprised about the announcement of the beautiful Pebble Time Steel today, I believe Apple will have a good chance to win this market, too.
And here are the reasons why:
- Functionality: Apple has already announced further functionality later this year. This combined with the power of Apples developer community will probably give the Apple Watch a good start and it will be even better over the next year. This will also extend the lifecycle of the watch and will make it not obsolete in 1 year.
- Battery Life: As my phone also needs to be recharged every night, this will not be an extra routine when having an Apple Watch. And although Tim Cook didn’t announce any exact battery life so far, I don’t believe that he will approve a watch (he and J. Ive also like and use alread) that doesn’t survive a normal day.
- Price: I think Apple’s Marketing did a good job already positioning the device as a special watch and not an electronic device. As the watch market covers several price-bands, it was an intelligent move to be positioned in all of them already from the beginning. So having a very high priced watch (let it be $5.000 or $20.000 is a signal and will Apple give room to expand in the future without having too much higher costs for development and production at the moment (other material only, no other design or technology).
- AND THE MOST IMPORTANT THING: Smart wristbands: Going back to 2014 and looking up carefully the patents Apple has for their Watch (see US patent no. 8787006, see also AppleInsider.com or patentlyapple.com back from July 2014) you will find out, that Apple also thought about putting some parts in their wristband. They write: „…one or both of the first band portion … or the second band portion … can include an electrical component. (…) The electrical components can be electrically coupled to the electronic device … via wired or wireless means. As example, the electrical component can include at least one of an accelerometer, a GPS receiver, a wireless communication transceiver or a haptic device.“ (Patent 8787006, p. 11) If you also have a look about the mechanism to change the straps, this could work nicely with some contacts hidden there connecting the straps with the watch. So be surprised on Monday! Maybe Apple offers already some extended battery life or more sensors.
So I am looking forward to the presentation on Monday and I bet the public will not be disappointed and Apple will have some more news to announce than just the battery life and the price.
UPDATE: In the meanwhile TechCrunch confirmed the existence of a port for linking smart bands to the Apple Watch! :-)