Neil Cybart, an Apple analyst, claims that Apple is a decade ahead of its competitors in the wearable segment. The company has managed this massive lead thanks to its focus on developing its own silicon, offering a great user experience, and more.
The analyst says that six years after the Apple Watch first launched, there’s no product or company in the market giving genuine competition to Apple in the wearables market.
Cybart attributes Apple’s lead in the wearables segment to three things: custom silicon, which has a “generous” four to five year led over the competition; a “design-led product development process” which gives Apple another three years of lead; and a “broader ecosystem build-out in terms of a suite of wearables and services” for an additional two years of lead. Combining all these factors, Apple has a decade lead in the wearables market.
Six years after releasing the Apple Watch, it’s still not clear who is going to represent genuine competition for Apple in the wearables space. Apple has a wearables lead of not just a few years but more like a decade. https://t.co/qUyqzTQdab
— Neil Cybart (@neilcybart) May 29, 2021
Cybart even estimates that Apple is on track to sell more than 100 million wearable devices in 2021. This should not be surprising since the Apple Watch has captured over one-third of the wearable market despite being compatible only with the iPhones.
The analyst highlights Apple’s lead with several examples. He highlights how AssistiveTouch on the Apple Watch, a technology that’s ready for users to use today, compared to Facebook’s Reality Labs demo of using a smartwatch-like device as an input method for AR glasses. The latter is still in the early stages of development, and it will take a few years to make its way into the hands of consumers.
As for Google’s Wear OS, Cybart says the company does not “even have an OS capable of powering a smartwatch.” This shows just how far behind Google is in the wearables space.
Then, there are AR/VR headsets like the Microsoft HoloLens, Magic Leap, and the Snap Spectacles. While all of them look impressive on paper, they have not really clicked with consumers. This is because they all lack “design thinking.” Cybart says once Apple enters the AR/VR market, many companies will be forced to rethink their product design.
So, what were the factors that led Apple to create this lead of over a decade? Cybart says Apple was early with the watch, and it focused on the design of its product which its competitors failed to do. Many companies were also distracted by voice computing and voice assistants and did not invest heavily in wearables technology then. Once the smart speaker market stagnated, companies found themselves years behind Apple in the wearables market.
The entire read from Cybart is definitely an interesting one and shows how Apple’s focus has allowed it to create a massive lead over its competition, which any other company is unlikely to catch up to anytime soon.
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