Apple announced during its last earnings report that it sold 74.5 million iPhone units in 2015’s first fiscal quarter. Let that number settle in.
As CNN Money wrote, that means “34,000 iPhones sold every hour, every day, every week of the past three months. That’s 9 iPhones every second.“
But that’s not it, Apple also sold 51 million iPhones only in 2014’s first fiscal quarter, and 47.8 million units the year before, which means that there are over 170 million potential customers for the Apple Watch.
Now, I know that doesn’t mean every iPhone user will get an Apple Watch, especially since smartwatches sales are having a rough start (only 720,000 Android Wear smartwatches were shipped in 2014). There are, however, 2 points that I believe will make a difference in Apple’s case.
1. Apple users buy more apps, spend more on them
In 2011, most media outlets published some news that glued to iOS’ image: “Apple users buying 61% more apps, paying 14% more per app“. Even today, almost 4 years later, that’s still the reason why most companies and startups launch their apps first on iOS.
I’ve always wondered if these buying habits are somehow connected to that always-intriguing fact about some Apple fans: those people who buy Apple products “just because it’s cool to own one.”
Apple fans (and there are a lot of them) will buy the Watch.
2. Apple won’t play nice with other smartwatches
As I published last year, I bought a smartwatch as an experiment, an inexpensive Pebble that works as a viewer for all the notifications I receive on my iPhone. Two months later, I see one thing clearly: Pebble will never be a real alternative to the Apple Watch on iOS, and the same goes for every other non-Apple smartwatch.
If we take a look at what’s going on with Android, this looks like a story from a parallel universe: Pebble recently released an update that makes its smartwatch one of the best alternatives for Android owners. They can respond to most notifications right from their watch: reply to an SMS with an emoji or preset text, snooze a calendar reminder, mark an email as read, etc.
As an iOS user, I can receive and dismiss notifications (and save a little bit of my phone’s battery), but that’s pretty much it. No replies, no interactions, nothing, nada. Apple won’t allow it. If iPhone users want to be able to do anything else from their smartwatch, they’ll have to buy an Apple Watch.
So coming back to one of my previous points: even though smartwatches are not popularly accepted in our society, I believe the Apple Watch will help change that, the same way Apple Pay is revitalizing the mobile payments front.
In fact, a very good reason for all iPhone users to buy one is the fact that they’ll be able to use Apple Pay from their wrists… but it doesn’t really matter. What matters is that the Apple Watch will be sold in enough amounts to make the whole smartwatch industry gain traction; our society will start seeing smartwatches like it sees iPads today: a common device.
Some people think the Apple Watch might have a slow start, but I bet its success will secure the path for the Apple Watch 2.
Image via Apple