Comparing launches can deceive anyone. That’s what The Wall Street Journal has made speaking about the Apple Watch, which is supposed to have sold around 12-13m units on its first year.
The iPhone sold 6.1 million units in the 12 months after its launch in June 2007.
Both devices had clear limitations, and in fact the iPhone 3G was a clear advance but not that much in hardware: the App Store was the thing that changed that phone -and the rest of the market- forever.
With the Apple Watch, everyone is expecting a change as big as that one. Daisuke Wakabayashi writes about an important possibility in the future Apple Watch 2:
Apple is working on adding cell-network connectivity and a faster processor to its next-generation Watch, according to people familiar with the matter.
That would make the Apple Watch really autonomous, but will be that enough? Other smartwatches had that feature before and sales and functionalities haven’t been really convincing. At least, not according to sales figures. Samsung Gear S was a good example of this, and the Gear S2 has a version with an embedded SIM (eSIM) as well, although it’s not available yet.
It would be interesting to see if that autonomy can push smartwatches forward, something that I suspect will have to do much more with software (again) that with hardware. The smartwatch can certainly be more useful with that kind of option, but the smartphone is clearly the perfect fit for the world as it’s designed today.