While people have been anticipating the rise of the wearable technology market for the past two years, no one has actually taken the lead. Will 2015 be different with the Apple Watch?
Apple is usually not the first to market a new technology. It wasn't the first company with a tablet (that was Microsoft), the mp3 player (that was Rio), or the smart phone (that was Palm). But, whenever Apple truly enters a market, it usually defines it. It defined the tablet market with the iPad, the mp3 market with the iPod, and the smart phone with the iPhone. I don't consider Apple TV to be a device that Apple is truly interested and so it hasn't truly define it.
So, will Apple live up to its expectation and create a huge market for wearable with the Apple Watch? Personally, I don't think so. Granted, it's never good to bet against Apple and when the iPad first came out, I thought it was going to just be a giant iPhone and wasn't sure about its appeal to the general consumer. I was wrong about the iPad and I might be wrong about the Apple Watch, but I still think that it won't be a runaway success.
For one thing, only certain demographics wear watches. The second thing is that I'm not sure how different is the Apple Watch from the other smart watches. The Moto 360, the Qualcomm Toq, the Garmin Vivoactive, the Withings Activite Pop, the Lenovo Vibe Band, and Montblanc's E-strap are all appealing to me. Unless the Apple Watch is significantly better than the rest, it's going to be hard to demand a premium for an Apple Watch.
The wearable market is unlike the smart phone market where Apple blew everyone out of the water and all the manufacturers had to scramble to catch up with the iPhone. Everyone, even a luxury brand like Montblanc, is ready for the wearable market to explode so they can capitalize on it. It remains to be seen if the Apple Watch will be the catalyst that the market needs.
Regardless, 2015 is going to be amazing year for consumers with a plethora of smart watch offerings from established tech companies and unknown startups alike. The question is, will people be buying?