Editor's note: Apple announced it will launch its Apple Watch on April 24, making the device available in nine countries. The company also revealed some of the specifics about the wearable device's features. This commentary is an analysis of that information.
Apple needs to prove why consumers need a smartwatch to confirm this is a mass market and to meet the expectations Apple has raised about the smart watch category. If Apple succeeds, other smartwatch makers will benefit from the increased addressable market. If Apple fails to make a case, then the smartwatch category will remain a niche and all smartwatch makers will suffer.
The smartwatch market is still undefined. We are at a similar time to the point when Apple launched the iPhone into the smartphone market. All kinds of companies, smartphone OEMs, start-ups, wristwatch makers, are trying to catch the eye of consumers.
Apple must ensure the Apple Watch's signature features are not easy for competitors to implement on their smartwatch designs to maintain differentiation.
By offering 12 variants of its smartwatch, Apple is hoping to cater to every fashion. But with two watch sizes, two watch colors and three versions, Apple must be careful to maintain the right mix of inventory to meet consumer demand.
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