It was less than three years ago when Apple Watch was considered a failure– without actually being seen by critics, tech writers, market researchers and analysts, and members of the technorati elite politburo.
Wait. How could they judge a device– one that had not even been announced– as a failure? Because Samsung already had the smartwatch market wrapped up with Android. Even a year after Watch shipped, it was considered a failure because sales– all guesses– were compared to iPhones actual sales numbers. Where are we today?
The premature failures were announced because technology media prefers that Apple fail. Anything else that competes favorably with anything Apple is A-OK by those nattering nabobs of negativism. A simple Google search of Apple Watch Fail turns up a long list of articles from writers who foresaw the future but not the present when it got here.
Apple Watch is not a fail by any estimation. Unless, of course, you consider Watch marketshare within the wearables category. Market researchers stuff such categories as wearables and tablets with devices that just don’t matter to customers who pay money. Wearables? Headphones and earbuds, wireless or wired, are wearables. So are fitness bands, pedometers, and glasses; smart or otherwise.
Watch is a smartwatch and that’s where failure turned to domination, thanks to the iPod effect and a long and growing list of capabilities. Just how bad is the Watch failure?
Research firm Gartner says wearables are going to grow for the next few years but Apple Watch will dominate.
Smartwatches are on pace to achieve the greatest revenue potential among all wearables through 2021, reaching $17.4 billion. Revenue from smartwatches is bolstered by relatively stable average selling prices of Apple Watch. The overall ASP of the smartwatch category will drop from $223.25 in 2017 to $214.99 in 2021 as higher volumes lead to slight reductions in manufacturing and component costs.
Maybe so, maybe not, but Gartner’s record on market predictions is abysmal and only Apple Watch– the dominant smartwatch– is manufactured in any real volume.
Let the nonsense continue with Gartner.
Apple will continue to have the greatest market share of any smartwatch provider. However, as more providers enter the market, Apple’s market share will decrease from approximately a third in 2016 to a quarter in 2021. The announcement of a new Apple Watch expected in September may enable direct cellular connectivity for interacting with Siri, texting and transferring sensor data when the phone or Wi-Fi is not present. We expect other consumer electronics brands such as Asus, Huawei, LG, Samsung and Sony to sell only 15 percent of smartwatches in 2021, because their brands do not have as strong an appeal as lifestyle brands for personal technologies.
Wait. What? Apple Watch drops to 25-percent marketshare. Fail, right?
The math gets fuzzy very quickly with such guesstimations. 2016 saw 16.09-million head-mounted displays shipped. Have you seen anyone walking around with a head-mounted display? Have you seen anyone else wandering around with a smartwatch that was not Apple Watch?
Lots of numbers above, but not one of them is real. They are all estimates, guesstimates, and numbers pulled out of what Fruit-of-the-Loom covers and where suppositories go to die. At least Gartner had the decency to segregate the smartwatch category from everything else. What it failed to do is what Gartner always fails to do. Provide real numbers. Even Apple does not disclose how many Watch units it sells so there is no way Gartner can put Watch at 25-percent marketshare without information from where a suppository lives.
My slightly unscientific methodology works quite well. Use your eyes. Look around. You will see wearable technology. Among a gazillion headphones and earbuds, you will see watches, smartwatches, and fitness bands. Of the smartwatches which are identifiable, which one do you see the most? That’s the iPod Effect. It’s real. And that alone can tell you that Apple Watch is not a fail. Failure? That’s the domain of technology writers and researchers like Gartner who predict the future with ever increasing failure rates.