On September 9th, 2014, Apple finally entered the wearable space with the introduction of the Apple Watch. The introduction, while no surprise to virtually anyone who has even a nodding acquaintance with the world of tech, was an important product introduction for Apple for a number of reasons:
- It’s the first new hardware product category introduced by the company since the iPad, and the first in the post-Jobs era.
- Many have been waiting for Apple to create a validation for the category.
- The Apple Watch is important for Apple strategically beyond wearables, as it creates entry points into health, smart home, payments and other fast-growing market sectors that are key areas for future revenue growth.
We surveyed one hundred Gigaom readers the day after launch to gauge their reactions to the introduction. They were pretty overwhelmingly positive. Their responses included:
- Sixty-four percent thought the Apple Watch will revolutionize the category
- They rated physical features like its overall look and variety of models and bands as a little more important than its haptic/touch features or user interface innovations.
- They deemed its new payment/wallet features and its app developer platform as slightly stronger competitive differentiators than health/fitness, model variety, or new communication features.
- Gigaom readers said the need for an iPhone to access most features (39 percent) outweighed “too expensive” (18 percent) as its biggest hurdles to wide adoption.
But even with the new features, the trademark Apple design innovation, and all the excitement, there are still some questions ahead for the Apple Watch. It’s unclear if smartwatches – even one from Apple – are a mass-market item as a $349 companion device to an iPhone.
Thumbnail image courtesy of: iStock/Thinkstock.
- Flash Survey analysis
- Appendix: survey respondents’ comments
- About Michael Wolf
- About Gigaom Research