THE Apple Watch – A game changer
The much awaited smart watch has finally made its first revelation. Albeit not a physical launch, but words from Tim Cook himself seemed good enough for the world. Said to include a modern day twist on traditional watches, the Apple watch features THE digital crown; a circular knob that replaces the pinch-to-zoom touchscreen mechanic used on almost all apple products, that is now deemed as impractical on such a small display, according to Apple. Although boosting a unique new feature, the Apple watch in its entirety is not out of the world. Afterall, it is not the world’s first smart watch that promises to seamlessly link other tech products, allowing users to have it all on their wrist Apple is rarely the first to the market but with a proven track record, it always blows the competition away when it finally arrives, and we are confident that there will be no exception this time around – The Apple watch WILL change the smart watch industry. Not only that, we are almost sure that it will change the way technology is consumed. The Apple watch will revolutionise the wearable fashion industry like how the Iphone did to the world of web consumption. The smart watch market is projected to be huge but it is not quite there yet, with just 400,000 smart watches shipped to the U.S. last year. However, with Apple joining the bandwagon, we are all anticipating a acceleration to the industry’s full potential. The big question now is how. What is so different about the Apple Watch from what is already available in the market that holds such high promises to catapult the industry? To answer that, we must first look at how consumer trends have changed. Recent research by The New York Times showed that teenagers are increasingly turning to technology rather than fashion for their status symbols. In addition, as geeky tech based interests like mobile photography is becoming mainstream pursuits, and technology has grown to be more accessible and immediate, the line between tech and fashion will grow ever fainter. Clothes are trending to give way to gadgets as the expression of being in vogue. Smart watches are just the next logical step in that evolution. They are about the style of the old mixed with the smart connectivity of the new. As an attempt to capitalize on this movement, the purchase of Beats and the recruitment of some of the most experienced fashion CEOs, Apple is moving to amplify its voice among the trendsetting crowd. Apple has always been able to create a cool innovative mass tech product. Emphasis is on the word innovative where best articulated by Horace Dediu on the Asymco blog, the difference between novelty, which is something merely new, as opposed to an innovation with is something new and uniquely useful. What ultimately make Apple successful is its innovation and its appeal.
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The adoption of the Apple watch by the public is also almost secured with Apple’s method of what we call “The Wait”; By revealing part of the product and its feature, and then delaying a launch till later would allow the media, consumers and speculators to discuss, dissect, analyse, and be educated over a couple of months into why you would want a smart watch and why you won’t be able to live without one. And once we have all come to terms that we “need” a smart watch, we will turn to the one that instilled that “need”. “The future of personal computing will be on your wrist and Apple has the time machine to transport you there. “ Like all successful fashion brands, Apple understands that the most effective way to achieve sales at the counter is to first sell people an idea. The company’s greatest strength has always been to translate technical innovation into relatable user benefits. The packaging and explanation of a piece of new technology is done such that consumers are able to visualize it being an impeccable part of their lifestyle. This is as ultimately the secret of Apple’s commercial success. Apple advertising stands in stark contrast to many of its competitors, which are so often laden with excessive specification that the recipient is left in a blaze of technical, numbers and claims. On the other hand, Apple focuses on how people interact with technology. Now think about the first ads for the iPad which did not focus on the product features. Instead they portrayed someone relaxing on their sofa using the product. The ads didn’t tell us what the product was. They told us how we would use it, and how it would enhance our lifestyle. Instead of telling consumers that “this will change your life” from a very objective and non-emotional perspective, Apple approaches consumers without enforcing the “life-changing statement”, and leaves out the whole artificial feeling, allowing their products to feel so transparent. The simplifying of technology to something understandable and focusing on the perception of the product from a communal perspective helps establish a sense of unity with all their customers. Apple is selling a lifestyle, a way of extending your capabilities through synergism with technology and electronics. Apple sells an experience, a feeling, a philosophy, not a gadget. That said, I guess we all have to agree that Apple does less than the competition, but does it better.
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