When Apple CEO Tim Cook took the stage to introduce the world to its first-ever wearable, called Watch, he began with one simple statement. The Watch, he said, "is the most personal device we've ever created that is not just with you, but on you."
The keywords in that sentence are 'personal' and 'on,' both of which are key ingredients for wearable success. A third key ingredient, which was quickly made evident during the Watch presentation at Apple's Spring Forward event Monday, is 'rewarding' and in that regard Apple also delivers.
Simply there is a bounty of compelling reasons beyond time keeping to grab the Watch. First off, you can do almost everything on the Watch that you can do on an iPhone, from making calls to making dinner reservations online to making sure that last work email arrived as you left the office. In fact, think of all the activities you tap via an iPhone and you'll be able to tap Watch for the same purposes and then some.
The 'then some' includes doodling a quirky sketch and sharing it on a fellow Watch wearer's display, opening the garage door without having to grab the iPhone or move your hands off the steering wheel. Watch users can read the New York Times, check that next work flight and use the app Mint to keep updated on finances.
Apple Watch VP Kevin Lynch took the stage during the Watch presentation to illustrate the wide ranging app ecosystem that includes favorites like Instagram and Uber as well as a new IM app called WeChat.
Then there are some things that you can't do on your iPhone that you want to do, and can only do on a wearable since your hands may be busy lifting weights, or grasping the handles of a nautilus machine or keeping you in a yoga pose.
The Watch can track your heart rate and your overall activity level, issuing an alert when you've been sitting too long and creating a weekly activity report illustrating what you need to do to increase your physical fitness and setting goals for the week ahead. The Workout app provides measurements tracked during specific exercise activities, like going for a run or bike ride.
As Cook stated in illustrating the mobile fitness and health-focused capabilities the Watch is "like having a coach on your wrist."
As one early reviewer notes, the Watch is the device for when you want all an iPhone can do but don't want to carry a smartphone around.
"In short, Apple positioned the Apple Watch as a mini, watered-down iPhone for your wrist. It's still dependent on the phone for all functions, but it also makes those phone functions more personal and convenient," states the reviewer. "Based on those demos, Apple's pitch seems to be that you should buy an Apple Watch so you use your phone less while wearing something that looks good."
Industry analysts are banking that consumers want just that opportunity, with one expecting 30 million Watch buyers when the wearable goes on sale April 24. That represents about 10 percent of current iPhone users. Research firm Strategy Analytics is not so bullish, projecting Apple will sell 15 million Watches before the end of the year; yet capture 55 percent of the global wearable market this year.
Parks Associates is a bit more optimistic than Strategy Analytics in predicting Apple will sell between 15 million and 20 million Watch devices this year. Part of the expected strong adoption, however, is tied to overall consumer demand to wearables. A recent Tractica report projects the global wearable device market will spike from the 17 million shipments back in 2013 to 187.2 million by 2020, representing a 34 percent market growth.