What it is: Apple sold more smart watches then the entire Swiss watch industry combined.
Back in the old days, Nokia dominated the smartphone market. Then Apple introduced the iPhone and killed Nokia’s business while also hurting Finland’s economy in the process. Now Apple is poised to do the same thing with the Apple Watch.
When Apple revealed the Apple Watch, many critics couldn’t see a use for it, despite the obvious advantages of real-time health monitoring. Now Apple revealed that they sold more Apple Watches than the entire Swiss watch industry (Omega, Swatch, and Rolex) combined. The Swiss watch industry simply can’t compete as the Apple Watch dominates the smart watch category. Few people want to settle for a “dumb” watch other than as a jewelry accessory, so Switzerland’s entire watch industry risks fading into gradual irrelevance.
Can the Swiss watch industry compete? No. Even if they embrace a smart watch concept, they must now compete against the Apple Watch with fewer features and fewer apps. Fitbit has tried unsuccessfully to compete against the Apple Watch along with Android Wear, which is nearly as invisible as high-end Android tablets. The watch industry and the wearable computer market is steadily moving towards Apple.
For real-time health monitoring, the Apple Watch has defined itself as the standard. That means more hospitals will adopt the Apple Watch and more health care providers will follow. As the health care industry adopts the Apple Watch, they’ll have little reason to support two platforms so they’ll likely stick with the Apple Watch instead. That means Fitbit OS and Android Wear will be distant followers with a small share of the overall wearable computer market.
The Apple Watch still isn’t perfect, but it’s getting more versatile with each generation. Right now, people are using an iPhone with the Apple Watch as an accessory. In the future, people might dump the iPhone altogether and just use an Apple Watch instead with an iPad as an accessory. Either way, this combination of an Apple Watch/iPhone or Apple Watch/iPad means more sales of the Apple Watch. One day, the Apple Watch will likely rival sales of the iPhone because of the health monitoring benefits alone.
The Apple Watch is the next big product line that’s slowly gathering momentum. Just as the iPhone didn’t break sales records initially, so did the Apple Watch start off slow but gradually grow in sales. Already the Apple Watch dominates the wearable computer market. Tomorrow, there won’t be any doubt.