Apple Watch: Opening the New Frontier of Innovations

by Harry Wang | Sep. 9, 2014

In a feature-packed event, Apple unveiled its next generation products and new services. while the two iPhone 6 models are impressive from design to specs, the real show killer is the new Apple Watch. Introduced with the familiar “one more thing” tagline, the Watch is a square-sized timepiece billed as “an intimate way to connect and communicate,” and a comprehensive health and fitness monitor. Although it is thicker than I think, the clickable crown on the side is a true innovation that meshes old habits with the new technology. It is like what the clickwheel does on an iPod and the crown will help users navigate some key watch functions, reducing the need to relying too much on the touchscreen.

Among all the exciting, eye-catching features, a few caught my attention.  the ability to unlock doors, control Apple TV, pay at checkout, dedicated workout app, and the simple circle scheme to encourage people to move more, stand more (circle in completion when a user hits his/her goal of the day. and most important of all, the WatchKit developer tool for app developers to come up with new innovations for the watch form factor.

Quick conclusions:

-The new Apple Watch is more than just a fitness monitor+a time piece, but a life companion. Health and fitness is just one aspect, far smaller proportion than many people initially thought

-The Watch wins by being elegantly designed and featuring simpler user control through the crown

-The WatchKit SDK will be key to the new Apple Watch’s success as this is truly the enabler of the new wearable computing platform. Android Wear should be concerned.

Final thoughts:

-The new watch will miss the holiday season, per Apple. Our smart watch estimates will be adjusted downward, so please stay tuned

-At $349 retail, it is appropriately priced to give Apple a good margin but not too high to keep people on the sideline. How much will that 18K watch cost? is Swatch Group ticked?

-No mention of Epic or Mayo clinic relationship—which means on the health and medical front, it is still a work in progress. Will insurers subsidize it if it does change consumer health behaviors in a sustainable way? These are TBD.

Can't wait to see it in store!

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