At the Apple Watch Series 2 event, Apple CEO Tim Cook said the technology juggernaut is the second biggest watchmaker in the world, just behind Rolex. Despite Apple’s success and the close race with Rolex, there’s still some question on what it really means to invest in a smartwatch. Time Magazine argues that it doesn’t make sense to drop thousands on an Apple watch when the technology will become outdated and lose value in a few short years.
There may be some truth in the idea of outdated technology, but Fool.com points out that betting on Apple’s stock could be a lucrative investment. The company sold more Apple watches in its first two months than iPhones and iPads in that same period of time. So while a smartwatch may not be a collectible like a vintage Rolex, it could still take over the market as the newest must-have luxury accessory.
Rapid market expansion
The market share and growth of smartwatches looks promising and is poised for rapid growth. Allied Market Research reports that the smartwatch market is expected to reach $32.9 billion globally by 2020. But what those smartwatches will look like is also rapidly changing.
It’s no longer about strapping a miniature smartphone to your wrist. Luxury watch makers and fashion designers are also entering the market. And as more luxury smartwatch makers join the marketplace, many are abandoning the basic square design and favoring a look resembling a traditional watch. For example, the Samsung Gear S2 smartwatch is one of the few with a circular screen and rotating bezel.
Apple has already disrupted the luxury watch market, and it’s no surprise given the company’s experience doing so. We’ve already witnessed Apple disrupting the computer, phone and music industries with the introduction of MacBooks, iPhones and iPads. And in a world filled with smart technology and accessories including necklaces and cufflinks, a watch is no longer just a watch. A smartwatch takes the bulk of a smartphone and condenses it into a convenient and wearable device to not only check the time, but respond to texts, surf the web and watch videos.
Smartwatches typically share similar features like texting, making phone calls and the ability to stream music. But premium smartwatches are made from more than just plastic and low-grade metals with disposable designs. Apple made waves when it released a high-end Apple Watch Edition collection ranging from $10,000 to $17,000. They ultimately released a slightly more affordable ceramic option retailing at over $1,200.
But Apple doesn’t corner the market on premium smartwatches and pricing. The Breitling Exospace B55 Connected smartwatch starts at $8,700. Resembling a traditional timepiece with a modern edge, the Breitling smartwatch can receive SMS and WhatsApp messages, incoming phone calls and also add appointments and notations to your calendar.
How a smartwatch looks, and not just what it does, will make it a must-have accessory in our arsenal of ever-changing gadgets and smart products. Tomorrow’s smartwatch may not be a collectible, fetching tens of thousands at an auction like a vintage Rolex. But the demand for the latest technology and smartwatch fashion will keep fueling our consumption.