Issue No. 121: Snapchat IPO, Facebook v. Publishers, Stripe & Apple Pay, a word from Stratechery

Ben Thompson on Apple Watch v. Wearables

Via Ben Thompson,

IDC updated their wearable share numbers a day after I wrote about them, but the overall story is the same: Fitbit is getting stronger, and the Apple Watch is getting weaker.

One comment I’ve seen repeatedly is that you can’t really compare a Fitbit wearable to an Apple Watch. And, from a product perspective, that’s true: one is a focused device without many interaction elements, and the other is a general purpose one. However, this is much too narrow a view: most obviously, unless you use the pocketable Fitbit Zip or One, both a Fitbit and an Apple Watch are competing for your wrist. More subtly, if you consider the job-to-be-done, those for whom tracking their fitness is their only priority may not only find a Fitbit competitive but arguably better: it’s cheaper, smaller, and has far superior battery life (and it does notifications, too). Again, this is why I remain so intrigued by how Apple positions the Watch in today’s keynote: as with most everything in life, the device’s strengths — the fact it is a general purpose device that can run apps — is its weakness, at least if the sole goal is basic fitness applications.

Ultimately, like I said yesterday, I don’t expect Apple to drop down to Fitbit’s price point (although last year’s Watch may stick around for $199); I think the company will double-down on the Watch’s capability (including the rumored addition of GPS) and trust that Moore’s Law will, eventually, obsolete Fitbit.

See more of the issue here.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.