The smartwatch industry has been receiving interests and hype these few days with the introduction of Apple's iWatch.
But let us take a step back. Recall a few months ago, a flurry of smartwatches were launched by various mobile phone makers. The launches did not gather much traction amongst techies. The moves by the competing phone makers could also have been made in anticipation of Apple's big launch.
So how will the iWatch perform in terms of sales? I will attempt to make the call here. Dismal.
Why so? With the advent of mobile phones since the late-90s and early 2000s, watch wearing has been slowing losing favour. Even among regular watch wearers. One could tell the time simply by fishing out the mobile, and along with it, texting friends and surfing the net. The flicking of the wrist and pulling back of a shirt's sleeve was a habit reserved for the die-hards, me inclusive.
Of course, there are people who wear watches for various purpose such as participating in outdoor activities, high-fashion tastes, admiration of certain watch brands, horological pursuits etc. However, these people will not find their requirements fulfilled fully by the iWatch. It is not rugged enough, not long lasting in terms of battery life, and has minimal brand recognition/affinity and most importantly, perceived value with horological fans.
I remembered reading somewhere some time ago that if you launch a product that is so so so good, there will be enormous demand for it. I think Apple wants to head down that route. But I am not sure if the iWatch is good enough.