Apple already dominates the smartwatch market. IDC expect Apple Watch shipments to exceed 15 million this year – accounting for over 60% of the overall smartwatch market.
App Annie reports that there are already over 3000 Apple Watch apps in the App Store. “For a device that most developers don’t even own yet, that’s indicative of an enthusiastic developer base’” they say.
Despite Apple making a big deal of the Apple Watch’s potential as a fitness device, App Annie says just 7% of the apps they’ve counted appear in the Health and Fitness category – a marked difference from what they see in the Android market.
The general catch-all “Utility” category accounts for 12% of the apps with Catalogs, Books, Weather, Photo & Video, and Medical garnering just 2% share of the App Store app count each.
What’s interesting about this data is that we’re dealing with a platform that has only been available for a couple of weeks and no one has really fully understood yet.
When Apple released the iPhone it was in response to a problem that hadn’t been solved by any of the incumbents in the market. Before the iPhone, smarthones were awful to use.
The iPad resolved other problems. It’s important to remember the iPad wasn’t the first tablet on the market. But it was the first to find acceptable compromises in terms of size, power, weight and capability.
The Apple Watch is a different kettle of fish. Although there have been smartwatches on the market for some time – the SPOT watch was developed over a decade ago – they have never captured mainstream attention.
Clearly this is the market opportunity Apple is seeking to exploit. If they are successful it represents a significant growth opportunity.