The biggest question Apple has to answer about the Apple Watch (AAPL)
We already know a lot about the Apple Watch, and will learn a lot more about it on Monday when Apple unveils the final details of the device at its event in San Francisco.
But I think there's only one question Apple needs to answer:
Why should you buy an Apple Watch?
In the days since Apple announced the March 9 event, speculation and theories about the device has gotten pretty wild.
Some think Apple should keep it simple and pitch the Apple Watch as a regular watch that happens to let you change the faces and do a few other tricks.
Some think Apple will say the real value is that the Apple Watch reduces how often you need to pull out your phone to check incoming notifications and messages.
Some think the Apple Watch will usher in a new wave of innovative apps and services, just like the iPhone did.
So far, Apple hasn't given us a clear, concise thesis on why you need to get an Apple Watch. We already know a lot about what the watch will be able to do — give you directions, monitor your heartbeat, send emojis to friends, use Apple Pay — but it's still a mish mash of features without any focus.
When Apple launched its last two major products, the iPhone and iPad, its rationale for making them was clear:
The iPhone was a phone, internet device, and iPod rolled into one. The iPad had a larger screen than the iPhone, and was designed to be a device in between a MacBook and an iPhone. The iPhone and iPad have since evolved to be much more than that, I'd argue, but the point is that Apple had a clear selling point for each of those devices, something simple the general public could grasp and say, "Oh yeah! It makes sense now."
Based on what Apple has told us about the Apple Watch so far, it's impossible to figure out the key selling point. Is it jewelry? Is it a smartphone replacement? Is it a fitness tracker that happens to tell time?
And, most importantly, why should someone shell out $350, or $1,000, or (if you like gold) $10,000 for a gizmo that seemingly does a lot that the other gizmo you carry around with you all day already does?
Over the last year and a half, several companies have attempted to make a smart watch ahead of Apple's anticipated device. None of them have been a success. Part of that is because most were ugly mini smartphones for your wrist. But it's also because none of the current smart watch makers like Samsung, LG, Pebble, or Motorola have given the world a compelling reason for why you should buy a smart watch.
It'll be interesting to see if Apple can answer the question others couldn't on Monday.