Simon Massey, global chief executive of The Gild, says Yes
I have a mobile phone. I keep it on my person at all times, and it is usually in my pocket. When I need to look at my emails on the move, I take it out of my pocket – it’s really not very far from my pocket to in front of my eyes. I cannot see the need for an additional item of tech to wear on my wrist that, for the most part, relies on my mobile, which is in my pocket.
This sentiment is the problem Apple faces. When we get to the point in wearable tech development when we don’t need the phone, and when the watch is self-contained, voice controlled, with no need for a keyboard, and with an in-built projector for movies, put me down for one.
Until that point, to me, this is a small step – it is not, unfortunately, the real deal. I have no doubt there will be queues around the block for the Apple Watch, but I won’t be there. It’s a disappointment when a rule-breaker like Apple doesn’t make the giant leap for tech-kind.
Tim Coulling, a senior analyst at Canalys, says No
Apple has a track record of producing category-defining products. We estimate that approximately 4.6m smart watches were sold last year, so it is stepping into a market that is still very much in its infancy.
Due to tight integration between hardware and software, Apple will deliver a user experience that surpasses what’s offered by other products currently on the market. While we do not expect the shipment levels of the iPhone or iPad, many of Apple’s customers are incredibly brand loyal and will buy the new watch regardless of functionality.
It may take many years for smart watches to become an essential part of consumers’ everyday lives, but Apple is expected to provide compelling examples of when the watch can be used, focusing on health and fitness, home automation and mobile payments. It will finish the year as market leader and set the standard by which other products in the category are judged – which certainly sounds like success.