It’s that time of year again. Apple is about to release (or so we hope), it’s new products. Expected to be debuted, the iPhone 6, a release date for iOS8, and the highly anticipated, star of the show, the iWatch.
Will Apple announce the release of iWatch this morning as planned at 10am PDT? If you’re like me, you’ll be listening/watching the event from your desk streaming (sorry Ajay). Really though, it doesn’t matter if it is today. It’s coming, we know it, and that patents certainly show it. The leader in the smartwatch category is currently Samsung, who is also the second overall in smartphones with 27.7% in Q3, in comparison to Apple’s 41.4%. You might be thinking this release like this will have Samsung on edge, but in business a little competition can be good, even if it happens to be the rainmaker, Apple.
What role did Apple’s new wearable play in Nike’s discontinuing of the FuelBand?
1. It Will Grow The Wearable (IoT) Market
Nobody has a better reputation for creating consumer electronics markets like Apple. From the iPod, iPad, and iPhone, we’ve seen Apple do the unthinkable three times over. The smartphone giant, Samsung, didn’t even have a smartphone until 2009, two years after the launch of the first iPhone. By that time, the smartphone market had begun to blossom and had far surpassed what Blackberry had created, and it was obvious, cellphones would never be the same after the iPhone. Sorry Blackberry.
The first iPhone did more than boost Apple’s revenues, it also exploded the smartphone market.
2. They Won’t Release Many Models
To say there is speculation about the iWatch would be an understatement. Even with all the tech oracles in disagreement about whether “this is the new iWatch”, we know one thing, there won’t be more than three models, and most likely just one, that comes out at launch. Apple is famous for creating demand and also having a limited amount of product models. Even though iPods and iPhones have some of the highest ownership rates, there is always a place for other models that serve needs not met by Apple’s limited product line. Samsung’s almost counter approach has worked well so far, and even allowed them to find massive success with their larger screen variations – something Apple will likely parallel tomorrow with the new iPhone 6. With an astonishing 114 Android phone models being release since 2009, Samsung has Apple’s 7 current iPhones bested many times over.
Apple’s product offerings are much more limited than Samsung. Allowing the South Korean giant to capture unfilled, consumer niches.
3. It Won’t Be Available Immediately
Most agree that even if the iWatch launches tomorrow, it won’t be available for a while, some even say as late as January 2015. Why is this? Rumors are swirling, everything from inactive supply chains too staggering it after the launch of the latest iPhone. Whatever the reason, it’s unlikely we will see the product hit Apple Stores or FedEx carriers soon. This will be good for Samsung, who already has multiple smart watch models for sale. They also will have their newest, flexible screen equipped, Gear S smartwatch for sale in early October. With all the talk around the iWatch swirling and some potential wearable customers hungry for a fix, they are surely going to get customers who can’t wait for the late launch expected by Apple.
If you enjoy waiting in lawn furniture for long periods of time, the next iWatch will be your bag. Or you could just buy the awesome looking, Samsung Gear S.
4. It Will Create More Smartwatch Apps
Apps are a critical piece to the smartphone puzzle, and another piece of the iWatch story will be how it’s integrated into Apple’s App store. Even though Samsung and Apple will likely have different functionalities to their wearable offering, it’s also just as likely that many of the biggest Apps will be released on both platforms. With Apple also pioneering the App space, it’s new product releases are coveted by hard hitting developers, who are, ready to start spending their time with the Cupertino cowboy’s latest and greatest. With Apps being just as critical to Samsung’s smartphone strategy as to Apple’s, it’s going to be huge to see more developers and getting training in smartwatch App development. By the numbers, the two behemoths stand almost neck and neck, and even though Apple brings in significantly more money to App developers, there are going to be many who choose Android or both to develop the next Flappy Bird.
Android’s App store has over a million Apps and counting for their phones. Another 100,000 specifically for Samsung’s wearable products would certainly add value.
Bonus: It Could Be Samsung’s Turn to Rule
Lots has happened in the last five years. For one, Samsung has become a serious hardware contender to to Apple. Samsung’s smart product market share is credible, and they are doing amazing things with their hardware and with their business associate, Google, to help them. On another level, a more somber one, there is no longer Steve Jobs at the helm. While Tim Cook has done an excellent job, developing Apple’s revenues in China, rolling out iOS 7 faster than ever, and continuing to foster the developer community, it’s just doesn’t feel the same. No amazing product segments developed, rather a capitalization on projects and products from the past.
So will Samsung be biting their nails during tomorrow’s release, probably, but they will also be loving what effect that the iWatch announcement will have on their Gear product sales.