The Tame Apple Press is having a huge task trying to provide Apple with free advertising for its iWatch vapourware. It is starting to look like Apple is about to put a product out nearly two years after its rivals and it has contacted its tame journalists to start placing stories in their newspapers.
What is important about the hype is that it does not have to bear any relation to what the iWatch will actually look like or do. It just has to start a buzz about it.
iWatch too late to innovate?
Apple’s problem with the project is that it has been so late off the bat it has to try and convince everyone that its watch is different from rivals. That was fairly easy with tablets because the rest of the industry had written them off. But with so many wearable computers on the market, mostly geared at the exercise market, Apple will have its work cut out.
According to the Wall Street Journal Apple plans to launch smartwatches with multiple screen sizes and designs. After all Apple has always been a maker of image over substance. But Jobs’ Mob has always been consistent and not made more than one type of the same product.
Android Wear offers a different approach, an open platform that can be tweaked for watches of all shapes and sizes, along with entirely new form factors.
Demand could be a problem
Then the other thing to hype is the actual numbers that Apple expects to sell. Reuters on Thursday that Apple expects to ship 50 million units of the so-called iWatch within the first year of the product's release. Given that rivals have not managed to sell that many, mostly because the only people who want them are sports enthusiasts who want to measure their heart rate and pulse while they exercise. A small and useful market, but not that large, at least for the time being.
The fact that Apple is going for the same market is fairly signification. One of the things leaked about it is that it will contain a sensor that monitors a user's pulse. Singapore-based imaging and sensor maker Heptagon is on the supplier list for that sensor.
The tame Apple Press is doing its best by citing unknown or unnamed analysts as saying that similar devices by Samsung, Sony Corp, Motorola and LG Electronics gadgets that tech watchers say have not been appealing or user-friendly enough for mass adoption. In other words implying long in advance that Apple’s gear will be. However, a watch can only do so much, and our guess is that Jobs’ Mob will have its work cut out trying to tell the world that somehow this will be different.