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March 11, 2015

Dick Tracy Would Not be Happy with the Apple Watch

So the Apple Watch is here. Guess what? It needs an iPhone. Now at that price, it could very well have its own LTE chip, so the strategy of keeping the value in the ecosystem is alive and well. What’s funny is it will probably have a phone number.

Apple is now at the point where it can do no wrong with Wall Street. The days when CNBC’s Jim Cramer could start a rumor to have an option play are gone. It would take a very real stumble to make the stock dip. And, I doubt the Apple Watch will be the company’s Achilles heel. More importantly, the analysts are all ‘gung ho’ that the smartwatch category really does not exist until Apple verifies the market.

The estimated five million Fitbits and the other three million smartwatch solutions are just a drop in the bucket in comparison to the projections for the Apple Watch. Earlier this year, I purchased a Samsung S-Gear SmartWatch and I have been using it regularly. It’s a good device, but I would have preferred to have the phone number to be legitimate and not just a provisioning tool.

You see, having the phone Bluetooth the call over to my wrist does not particularly excite me. Having a priority line with my watch does. Besides the priority line allowing me to have a private number of my family, it would also be a great redirect tool. Too often my phone is being charged and I walk away from it and out of range. A watch that can take the forward would be very welcome.

In addition as an emergency device, the system would act as monitor for my health, location and perhaps a way for surveillance to be initiated.

Now with all that said, I think the next question is, what does Apple mean for the watch market? Does Rolex need to make a smart watch?  Does it change the price margins for Rolex?  Do Timex and Swatch have an up-market opportunity now?

Assuming Apple Watch is a success, (like the music industry with iTunes) the landscape is going to change for watch retailers. It’s only a question of time.


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