IoT Ecosystem > Wearables Blog

Apple Watch Puts a Mini iPhone on Your Wrist

by Neil Mawston | 9月 09, 2014

After months of speculation, Apple finally unveiled today its Apple Watch.

It is a stainless steel, aluminum or gold-plated device that enters a global smartwatch market currently growing at +750% annually, according to our WDE (Wearables) research service.

The Apple Watch Edition / Sport Edition is a premium-tier smartwatch that will be launched commercially worldwide in Q1 2015. The launch is after the western holiday gift-giving season in the US and somewhat disappointing. But it will meet the Chinese holiday season in Asia. Its retail ASP of US$349 or more is relatively expensive. 

The hardware design of the Watch is shaped like a mini iPhone that sits on your wrist. It is a micro-slate formfactor with a "crown" on the right-side for controlling the software and apps. The hardware styling looks attractive, but it is quite a male-centric design, and some female users may arguably think twice before purchasing.

The Watch comes in 2 sizes, 3 casing materials and 6 band-types (e.g. leather, metal, plastic), so visual personalization is clearly of importance. Battery charging is done via a wired connector, which is a little disappointing that it is not fully wireless.

The Watch apps are focused around fitness, health, sport and messaging. For example, there is a heart-pulse-rate monitor, which employs infrared, LEDs and photosensors. You can use the Friends app to send messages to your buddies. There is NFC included in the smartwatch, so Apple Pay will work with Apple Watch -- this is good news for the mobile proximity-payments ecosystem and will help to accelerate its usage through more devices.

Overall, there is little revolutionary in the Apple Watch. Most features and designs in it are already available in other smartwatches from Samsung and others. But what Apple has done is to package its various parts into a single package that many global consumers will find compelling. We expect Apple's Watch to instantly become the world's best-selling smartwatch.

PHOTO: Apple CEO Tim Cook introduces the new Apple Watch, Sept. 9, 2014, in Cupertino, Calif.

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