Why Now for Apple Watch

Good piece by Ben Thompson:

The question, then, is why 2015? After all, there are some key ingredients missing in the Watch, the most obvious being the lack of cellular capability. To my mind Apple had three alternatives:

  1. Release an accessory-like Watch today, then transform it into a standalone device once it had its own cellular stack
  2. Wait until the technology was ready and release a fully functional Watch in two or three years time
  3. Release a Watch in 2015 that is designed as if it is a fully functional device, even though for the next few years it needs an iPhone for full functionality

I am largely in agreement with Thompson about Apple having chosen #3.

The confusion about a standalone Watch that is technically not standalone may be too much to overcome from a marketing perspective. I definitely think this is why the presentation was so muddled: Apple wanted to convey that this was a standalone device that would one day be the only device we need all of the time, but they couldn’t actually say that.

That, and the fact that they have chosen to keep much of the Watch’s software secret. I think that’s partly because much of it is unfinished, but mainly out of competitive interests. They expect Apple Watch to be copied just as slavishly as the iPhone was, and don’t want to give their competitors a head start.

Thursday, 25 September 2014