How Apple Will Make the Wearable Market - Stratechery by Ben Thompson
Apple is counting on building an Internet of Things ecosystem.
Having addressed this first order challenge with wearables last fall, Apple this week had a much more explicit focus on the actual utility of a wearable, specifically, how the Apple Watch enables you to interact with your physical environment. Demonstrations included Siri, Apple Pay, Uber, Passbook with an airplane QR code, SPG room unlock, and more. Every one of these demonstrations is a realization of the potential I noted at the beginning: allowing the wearer to interact with his or her physical environment in a way that was not previously possible.
What is particularly noteworthy is that these demonstrations all came in the context of showing off 3rd-party applications; Apple is depending on other companies to build or provide the software-enabled physical objects with which the Apple Watch will interact.
In this Apple is able to bring to bear its most powerful asset: the leverage the company gains from its devoted customer base. No matter what Apple will sell millions of watches simply because it is made by Apple; this, then, will indirectly make the Watch more useful because those millions of sales mean there is instantly a reason for a Internet of Things ecosystem to spring up to complement the wearable.