The Apple Watch — the new must-have device from the makers of the iPhone, a device you literally must have in order to work the Watch — might not be selling so great. While we wait until tomorrow's earnings report out of Cupertino to learn more (which we probably won't because Apple will lump Watch sales into the "other" category), the New York Times reports on one hindrance for the product. That would be the lack of developers releasing Apple Watch apps.
Apple, Inc. is well-known for having cultivated an entire ecosystem of xCoders — the people creating every iPhone app you could ever want. As many have noted, the App store has been an inestimable part of the iPhone's success. But for their new wearable product and its smaller screen (and perhaps, with it, fewer use cases), major developers such as Facebook aren't biting.
Sure, there are now over 7,000 apps for the Apple Watch, which is more than there were in the same timeline for the iPhone. But the rate at which they're coming out has slowed and isn't keeping pace with that of iPhone apps.
Most prominently, remarks the Times, it's the major developers who are biding their time, waiting to work on apps until more consumers with clearer needs from the Watch appear and make themselves heard. But that's a problem, with only five of the 20 most popular free iPhone apps in the US currently available in versions for the Apple Watch.
Hence, some are seeing a negative feedback loop. Potential buyers, the kind who, if they were given a cool list of apps from their favorite social networks and developers to choose from on the Watch might end up buying one, are failing to materialize.
“I don’t know if we could get it all in there in a way that feels good and works well,” said Adam Mosseri, who oversees Facebook’s news feed, referring the Watch's screen size. “You’d just want to get your phone out at that point.” Evan Spiegel, Snapchat’s CEO and tech world enfant terrible, echoed that sentiment. “Why would you look at a small picture when you can look at a large one on your phone?” he said.
Maybe they just don't get it! Maybe nobody gets this amazing, revolutionary thing yet. But if developers don't get it, and don't care if potential users do, then no one will.
And yet, Apple could have a characteristically Apple plan in the works. As Business Insider reports, the company is rumored to be making a cheaper gold version of the thing. Currently, the high-end gold Apple Watch Edition retails for $10,000.
Previously: Report: Apple Watch Sales Plummet As Much As 90%