I’m sipping coffee while listening to my sweet new U2 album, and I’m pondering the future of openness with the Apple Watch.
I haven’t seen any commentary about the fact that at launch it will only work with a recent iPhone. I certainly could be wrong, but I don’t think this state of affairs will last. So how long until I can connect an Apple Watch to my Android phone?
It makes sense at launch to restrict it to Apple’s vertically integrated world—supply will likely be limited, and it’s much easier to make something work seamlessly when you only have to integrate with one other system that you also control. Besides, the customers who live entirely inside the iWorld are likely to be Apple’s biggest fans and they’ll snap up a $350 watch eagerly.
Despite the fact that most of our customers look at us in disbelief when we remind them of this fact, though, keep in mind that Android phones outsell iPhones in North America (where at least it’s a close race) and in the rest of the world (where Android is blowing away the iPhone).
As a result, if the Apple Watch is going to be a huge success, I bet marketing only to iPhone customers will prove too restricting to Apple. The iPod was famously limited to Mac users only, when it launched—but it didn’t take off until iTunes was ported to Windows.
What’s interesting is the wearables competition is already fierce on Android. It will be interesting to see it play out.