Recent reports say Apple Watch sales are strong in its first year. But there are hurdles the tech giant needs to navigate.
The management team at Apple may have reason to celebrate. According to a recent report, Apple has sold twice as many Apple Watches as iPhones in each of the devices’ first year. The Cupertino-based company sold around 12 millions units of the smartwatch from April 2015 to April 2016. This number doubles the 2007 number of iPhones sold.
In a recent Wall Street Journal article called “Apple’s Watch Outpaced the iPhone in First Year,” staff writer Daisuke Wakabayashi explored the sales performance of Apple’s smartwatch and the challenges it has to overcome.
If you look at just the numbers, the sales performance of the Apple Watch appears to be very healthy. Analysts estimate that company sold about 12 million smartwatches over the course of a year. If you put the average selling price of $500, you get a $6 billion dollar in sales for just one product. According to researchers at IDC, this 12 million number accounts for 61% of the share for the smartwatch market.
Despite the high sales numbers, the Apple Watch has a long way to go before it can become a truly iconic device. “It is slow, with an underpowered processor that is throttled at times to extend the device’s battery life,” writes Wakabayashi. “It lacks mobile and Global Positioning System connections, meaning it must be accompanied by an iPhone, limiting its usefulness as an independent device. The battery needs to be charged every day.”
While the device may lack features, some say the biggest obstacle Apple faces is giving the smartwatch a defiant purpose. While there are certain tasks the device does well (activity tracking, mobile payment, and notifications), these tasks can be done by any other smartphone and cheaper activity trackers.
Apple is well aware of the device’s shortcomings and is rumored to be working on some of the main complaints. “There are relatively easy fixes for some concerns,” writes Wakabayashi, “Apple is working on adding cell network connectivity and a faster processor to its next-generation Watch, according to people familiar with the matter.”
The company has not said when these new features will be showing up in the next Apple Watch. However, for some, the ability to be untethered from your phone seems like the ideal tradeoff. “Given the enormous expectations for the first Apple Watch, that the device arrived without cellular connectivity in April 2015 was seen as a disappointment,” writes The Verge. “Being able to replace the phone in your pocket with a screen on your wrist is thought to be one of the few genuine benefits a smartwatch can offer. Right now, the Apple Watch falls short.”
Despite the shortcoming of the device, Apple Watch has a fan base who use it on a daily basis. Ninety-three percent of 1,150 owners said in an online survey that they were “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with their Apple Watch, according to the research firm Wristly.
Despite the relatively positive reviews from users, people are still expecting a lot from Apple. It is the first big release under Tim Cook, and the company’s newest product.
For an extensive review of the smartwatch, check out this video fromThe Verge.