In the early hours of tomorrow, 4am Australian eastern daylight savings time, Apple will hold their much anticipated Apple Watch launch event. The announcement came way back in September which after the Consumer Electronic Show and Mobile World Congress seems like an eternity ago. While Apple unveiled the watch and we know what the hardware will look like, it’s surprising just how little we do know about the device and it’s real world applications.
The software is brand new on the Apple Watch, an entirely new skew of the core OSX platform, and the device itself is the first new category from Apple since the iPad. What is yet to be fully understood is how the Apple Watch will move past a notification center on your wrist to a more life changing, must-have gadget. Apple lead the world in marketing products to you that you never knew you needed or wanted, with an iPad being exhibit A. While sales have tapered off for the tablets, Apple will hope wearables are the next big frontier.
Its safe bet they’ll sell millions in the first year, maybe in the first day, but to really threaten established watch providers like those from Switzerland. Apple fans will buy the watch regardless, but nobody really knows how big the smartphone industry will be. We’re about to find out. There’s been a long history of others who have tried, from the uber-successful Kickstarter Pebble, to Samsung’s multiple versions of the Gear, nobody has the passionate user-base and marketing prowess of Apple.
Last quarter Apple sold more than 75 Million iPhones, but the watch market will be far smaller. Some people will never wear a watch, they just won’t, then there’s the people that land firmly in the maybe camp. That’s the people up for grabs, the ones that could be convinced by what Apple has to say tomorrow.
While there’s questions around the OS and interacting by the crown on the side, but the biggest question is pricing. While Apple announced the different versions (Sport, Steel and Edition) they didn’t detail pricing. Apple journalist John Gruber of Daring Fireball fame, recently posted his thoughts on where the numbers might land and get ready.. the gold edition could top $10K.
Here Gruber’s “final guesses” for the two sizes 38/42mm:
- Apple Watch Sport (all colors, with Sport Band): $349/399
Apple will live stream the announcement and if you’re a big Apple fan, I’ll see you online at 4am. Watch the live stream at http://apple.com/live