The Next Thing

Brooke Crothers, writing for Fox News:

You may not believe this now, but pretty much everyone will be using an Apple Watch or something similar (i.e., wearable) in the next five years. That’s not a bold prediction. It’s just where the gadget industry is going. For good reason: you can do a lot of the stuff you do on your phone but more efficiently. I think many people, who have used the Watch for more than a few days, would agree. […]

Despite some initial ups-and-downs, I think the Apple Watch will ultimately succeed. No, the Watch isn’t going to replace your phone this year or next. And there are obvious limitations to any pint-sized device. But I think I know where this is going. Once you integrate mobile wireless broadband (for example, 3G or 4G) into a 38mm or 42mm Watch you have a pretty compelling argument for leaving your iPhone at home. For example, if you’re going out for a 30-minute run and you have a WWAN (Wireless Wide Area Network)-enabled Watch, why bring the phone? (Note: Samsung offers the Gear S watch, which is marketed with the tagline Leave your phone at home.” That’s because the Gear S includes mobile broadband capability. But the initial iteration of the watch design is big, uses Samsung’s weakly supported Tizen operating system, and still needs the phone to work well)

Looking ahead, I would imagine that even five years from now there may still be a practical limit to how much you can do on your watch or wearable but I also think the smartphone has peaked and wearables will slowly but surely begin to steal more and more features from the phone. Eventually, wearables like the Apple Watch will render the phone the accessory, not the other way around.