What it is: At one time, Jawbone was a major competitor in the fitness tracking market. Now they’re liquidating their assets.
Pebble and Jawbone, along with Fitbit, were the leaders in the fitness tracking market. Then the Apple Watch appeared, which spawned rivals like Microsoft Band and Android Wear. Yet after several years when critics complain that the Apple Watch isn’t a big hit, rivals in the wearable computer market have faded away. Pebble is gone. Microsoft abandoned Microsoft Band after two versions, and now Jawbone is shutting down.
Meanwhile, Android Wear hasn’t achieved massive success and market share like Android, and Fitbit is struggling against the Apple Watch. Sales of the Apple Watch aren’t massive, but they’re steady and growing, proving that the Apple Watch isn’t a flop like the cylinder Mac Pro, but also isn’t a massive hit like the iPhone. Yet the demise of so many fitness tracking companies shows that the Apple Watch is killing the wearable computer market.
In the old days, there was a netbook market too. Then the iPad killed that. In the old days, there was also a smartphone market led by Blackberry, Nokia, and Microsoft. The iPhone killed that. Although the Apple Watch hasn’t proven massively successful, neither was the iPhone in its first few years of existence. Only after the iPhone offered an App Store and spread to more carriers did sales take off.
The Apple Watch will likely follow a similar path. For most people, it’s not a crucial product, but when Apple starts offering more intensive real-time health monitoring sensors such as a non-invasive glucose monitor, expect sales of the Apple Watch to skyrocket. That’s when the Apple Watch will more closely resemble the massive success of the iPhone.
Until then, the Apple Watch is succeeding simply by not failing like Jawbone, Pebble, or the Microsoft Band. Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, has hinted that he wears a glucose monitor, but never mentioned who made that glucose monitor. It seems unlikely that he would mention another company’s products for no reason, so given the intense rumors about Apple researching non-invasive glucose monitors, it seems logical that Tim Cook was hinting about Apple’s own glucose monitor. When that arrives, expect the Apple Watch to become the massive hit that the iPhone is right now.
In fact, expect the Apple Watch to exceed the iPhone. The iPhone is a necessary luxury that people can do without by either getting another smartphone or avoiding smartphones altogether. But in today’s world, a smartphone is a near necessity like owning a car in most parts of America. Tomorrow, the Apple Watch will become a critical luxury that everyone concerned about their health will want. When people can see exactly how the foods they’re eating is affecting their health, expect to see fewer customers wearing Apple Watches eating at places like McDonald’s.
The Apple Watch is going to change the world like the iPhone has changed the world. While most people want a smartphone, they’re going to practically need a real-time health monitor like the Apple Watch. The Apple Watch will still be a luxury, but it will be one that people will want just the same.
Watching wearable computer rivals fade away like Jawbone, Microsoft Band, and Pebble is simply the early signs of the Apple Watch’s dominance. In the next few years, expect the Apple Watch to dominate and this health focus will make the Apple Watch the most needed product in the world.