After a fair amount of build-up, the Apple Watch finally graced us with its presence last year. For a product in a category that is scarcely established, let alone approaching maturity, it has sold well early on. However, like many of its counterparts, it has suffered from a perceived lack of real necessity. Consumers are interested in the smartphone because they'd struggle without it, but the same cannot be said for the vast majority of smartwatches. These things take time, of course, and it's be presumptuous to suggest the smartwatch is doomed to fail. But where devs were only too keen to build Apple Watch apps and services early on, interest appears to have sharply declined.
It was almost a given that Apple Watch would sell better than the vast majority of rivalling smartwatches, and so it proved. Arguably, it's a nice-looking device, and there are plenty of customization options and bands available to suit different styles. However, aside from a few decorous features and functions, it doesn't do that much, especially given its price tag. In its relative infancy, the Apple Watch—and other devices like it—are in real danger of slipping away.
According to Tim Anglade, vice president at mobile database firm Realm, developers were only too happy to build Watch apps when the wrist computer first hit the scene. However, he now estimates that the number of new iOS apps outnumbers Watch apps by as many as 1000-to-1. Of course, given the limitations of a watch compared to a smartphone or tablet, the platforms are largely incomparable. But with Realm boasting a reach of over one billion app users through the 100,000+ devs using its database services, Anglade's words paint an ominous picture ahead of Apple's big WWDC gathering next month.
Apple is expected to unveil new Watch hardware along with an improved version of the watchOS at June's dev conference ahead of a fall release. Given the apparent developer and consumer apathy towards the device and smartwatches in general—save, perhaps, the Pebble and a few popular fitness bands—Cupertino will need to unveil substantial improvements if it's to sway opinion.
Do you believe the Apple Watch has a future, or should Apple be alarmed? Join in the conversation by leaving a comment below.