The Mac changed the course of personal computing. The iPod changed how, when, where, and how much we listen to music. The iPhone altered the entire smartphone industry and became the de facto standard bearer. Even the iPad altered the nascent tablet industry. Wait. There’s more.
Watch What You Think
In this century alone Apple’s impact on industry after industry is well known, well documented, and well criticized– just before the company took over a business segment.
Apple retail stores dominate traffic in shopping malls. App developers make money on Apple’s App Stores. The list goes on. Now it’s time for the watch industry to watch what happens.
Apple Watch is almost here and already the chorus of critics is howling like never before. Yes, they laughed at Apple’s stores and predicted they would shutter within a few years.
They mocked the iPod as being too expensive and tied only to the Mac. The iTunes Music Store was belittled as Mac only and useless to audiophiles.
See the trend?
Along came the iPhone, met with a combination of laughter, derision, and criticism. Customers ended up buying Apple’s version of the smartphone to the tune of almost a million every day. The iPad was scoffed at as merely a large phone without the phone.
Now Apple readies the Watch.
How have the watch industry technology gadget makers reacted so far? I’d like to say that not much has changed, but it has. Yes, there are critics who decry the price tag of a Watch, who laugh at the value proposition and the use case for what Watch does (initially). Industry leaders and executives seem to have a split personality, though; some say Watch is well designed, others say Watch appears designed by high school students.
Meanwhile, guess what is going on behind the scenes? Watchmakers, those of the Swiss and Japanese persuasion, have launched plans for a counter attack on Apple’s coming horde of gadgets. Major brand name Watch companies are working with Google and Intel and others to create their own version of a smartwatch to compete with Apple Watch.
Guy Sémon of TAG Heuer:
The quality of Swiss watches is renowned worldwide. When this is allied with the creative technology and global power of two companies like Intel and Google, using the Android Wear platform and based on Intel technology, we can see the launch of a technological revolution in our industry, of which I am proud to be a pioneer today with TAG Heuer.
Meanwhile, Longine’s sleeping hare of a CEO, Walter von Känel:
A watch is not only giving time, it’s a status symbol and I don’t think you’ll get a status symbol in an Apple Watch with two billion functions that no one understands.
As usual, it’s obvious that Apple just doesn’t care what anyone in or out of the industry says about one of the company’s new products. The industry has taken notice of Apple’s entrance and will respond the way other industries responded when Apple entered their space. They howl, they laugh, they criticize, then they copy, copy, copy. Is it acceptable for me to predict that in five years Apple’s Watch profits will dominate the watch industry?