It’d be unfair and a bit too soon to deem the Apple Watch a flop. But as its sales have fallen by 90% since its launch in April, it’s safe to say that initial interest hasn’t lasted as long as Apple might have hoped. Ahead of its launch, many of us were excited to see what it had to offer. We were met with gimmicks such as fitness tracking, as well as most of the functionalities of your smartphone. But personally, I can’t say that I’ve seen any signs that it will become the next big device like the iPhone or iPad, nor will smartwatches in general. As a technology PR agency, we often speculate on why some devices take off and others don’t.
You have to remember that by wearing a smartwatch, you’ve essentially got a computer on your wrist. Yes, the Apple Watch has been made to look like a regular watch but a watch is largely a fashion accessory, so until it becomes trendy to wear a smartwatch, it will struggle to succeed.
This week, the CEO of watch manufacturer Swatch said that “the Apple Watch is an interesting toy, but not a revolution.” Swatch will launch its own smartwatches next year, and plans to improve on the Apple Watch’s shortcomings, such as developing a battery that lasts nine months rather than just 24 hours. It’ll be interesting to see what Swatch comes up with.
While Apple has the reputation as a tech giant, Swatch is a giant in the watch world, and better understands the target market. It should also know how to make smartwatches become something we want to be seen wearing, which judging by the dip in sales of the Apple Watch could be the key to a killer smartwatch. Perhaps producing an affordable smartwatch, which Apple hasn’t done yet, will be the solution to win over consumers too. So will Swatch succeed where Apple has so far failed? Only time will tell…
Alex Brown has just started his career at Skout PR and will be a regular contributor to the Skout blog.