Apple Watch: Early Hit or Total Dud?


Some 2.79 million Apple Watches have sold since the device went on sale in April, according to new data from Slice Intelligence (as quoted by Reuters).

Slice Intelligence based its data on e-mail receipts. Apple itself hasn’t released official sales figures, which some pundits have suggested means the device isn’t selling as well as expected—the company is usually quick to trumpet blockbuster sales figures for tablets and smartphones.

Even if Apple Watch sales don’t match the company’s internal expectations, it apparently generates a nice stream of secondary revenue via the detachable watchbands, research firm IHS suggested in the Reuters piece.

A few weeks ago, data from research firm IDC suggested that Fitbit was the top manufacturer in the wearable-electronics category, with 34.2 percent of the market, followed by Xiaomi, Garmin, Samsung, Jawbone, and “Others.” That data was compiled too soon after the Apple Watch’s release to include it in the mix, but there’s a popular expectation that Apple will dominate the category by the end of 2015.

Even if Apple does rule the wearable-electronics market, however, will that translate into expanded opportunities for app builders? At this early stage, it doesn’t seem as if many top-notch developers are rushing into the space; indeed, many have complainedthat third-party apps are slow and cruddy. While you can attribute at least some of that to the newness of the platform, and perhaps the challenges that come with trying to port software onto such a tiny screen, the fact remains that Apple needs to attract more people capable of doing unbeatable work onto the platform—and it can only do so if the watch is an actual, revenue-generating hit. (For what it’s worth, Dice has a number of job postings that reference “Apple Watch” in some way.)

In other words, for many developers, the Apple Watch apparently remains a “wait and see” situation.

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