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You Don't Need an Apple Watch App

by User Not Found | 9月 28, 2015

As a technologist, app analyst and owner of an Apple Watch I wanted to make the title of this post less equivocal.  Something like You Probably Don't need to support Apple Watch Yet or You Might want to start building Apple Watch Apps. Even better - Apple Watch support is driving massive bottom line growth for developers/publishers! But alas, the data and the results of our analysis cannot allow for such equivocation.

Our Hypothesis: If Apple Watch support was having a positive impact on app usage/revenue/etc. there would be a mad rush to the device. The data contained in our most recent report - Apple Watch Analysis: No Urgency to Build Apps - paints a curious picture of the support for Apple Watch amongst the most popular applications over the last several months.

If you're thinking about building an Apple Watch app here is some data you might find interesting - based on data from our AppTRAX database:

  • < 5% - The number of top 200 applications supporting Apple Watch
  • 0% - The increase in the total number of most popular apps supporting Apple Watch between late July and early September
  • < 1% - The percentage of total apps in Apple's library supporting Apple Watch (10,000 was the last publicly declared total on 1.5M+).

The data points to a market that remains in a wait-and-see attitude with little reason to jump to immediate support. Of course, Apple's decision to announce watchOS 2 in June certainly quelled some initial developer enthusiasm but if Apple Watch was having a positive impact on the bottom line we would have seen developers flocking more quickly. At the least we expected that those that chose to support Apple Watch early on would be extending functionality across their portfolio to take advantage of the less competitive app market.

In a forthcoming report (to be published 9/28) we found that of the top 10 Health & Fitness developers, 4 supported Apple Watch and none had functionality on more than 25% of their apps. Further, despite many apps being released at launch all but one company chose not to extend Apple Watch functionality beyond the initially released apps.

Our reports and tracking will cover this in more depth and detail providing a comprehensive view of which categories are supporting Apple Watch, how Apple Watch support is impacting app performance and more. This is especially important heading into the holiday season in a post watchOS 2 world. We expect development to pick up and adoption of hardware to increase.

But does that mean you need an Apple Watch app today? No. Not yet.  (But as an Apple Watch owner I'd love you to develop some!)

If you want to get detailed up-to-date data on Apple Watch app ecosystem or want to learn how to access our research on Apple Watch jmartin@strategyanalytics.com.



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