Big Data will shield the Apple Watch from Android onslaught
Without data advantage, cheap wristputers struggle to do more than tell the time
It's possible that the arrival of a firm like Apple into wearables with its watch validates the space, just as Apple validated smart phones eight years ago.
Sure, smartphones existed before, but no-one thought they were much cop. Since then, everyone up to and including John the Baptist has plunged into the market and there's hundreds of millions out there.
Alternatively, might we see a closing down of this new and interesting space? This isn't a thought prompted by the thought that Apple will carry all before it. Rather, what is it that is actually being sold here?
We've talked about the Christometer – bling for those looking to get laid. But what is it that is really being sold with the Apple watch itself? One entirely reasonable view is that it's really just an input-output device for Apple's own servers.
It isn't exactly and only that, but it's still a reasonable view of it. And if you consider it that way the space rather starts to close in, for how many of those competitors can have access to the same sorts of services? Or even the capital to build the server farms?
Soon, we are going to find smartwatch-making spreading like the early days of a religious cult, but what we want to know is whether any of those no-name and no-capital producers actually have a chance or not. I'm all with the idea that as the style-setters start wearing their Dick Tracy machines, then the idea of wearing a mini-computer on the wrist is going to become more common and more copied. But I'm deeply uncertain about the way in which any small company is going to get a look-in. The reason is that Big Data stuff.
Sure, Pebble's the most-funded Kickstarter thingie ever, yet it's raised under $20m so far. And given the way that Chinese electronics manufacturing works these days, you could almost certainly find someone who would do you a five or ten-thousand-a-month production run of something that was a watch and a computer as well at a price that you could actually sell it at. You could add a bit of smart design, or even none at all if you're aiming at the bottom of the market, and why not?
Except for this, I think:
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