When I first ran into this back in 2015, I figured the problem
to be more of a marketing challenge than a technical one:
Targeting the consumers most likely to buy early-adoption
gadgets (men with larger-than-average-sized wrists) over the
general consumer market.
But as the years progressed, Apple found massive success
attracting women to its watches, while other watchmakers… released
similar sizes in rose gold. The 2017 LG Watch Style was
arguably designed to appeal directly to women, but even then, LG
couldn’t get the case smaller than 42mm-by-45.7mm — a massive
difference from the Apple Watch’s 38mm-by-33.3mm. And it
apparently didn’t work: The $250 smartwatch has seen massive
discounts since its launch (including a crazy drop to $108 in
August of 2017, just six months after its release).
I don’t think it’s that they don’t care about the women’s market. The LG Watch Style referenced above is clearly designed for women. I think it’s simply the case that Apple is in a class by itself when it comes to miniaturizing computers. No other company makes a smartwatch anywhere near the size of the 38mm Apple Watch, because they can’t.