Well, there are a few reasons, but one main one.
I’ve been a huge fan of wearables since they became a thing. And many of you will have read my post on the best running watches with offline music, as I also like to go off-grid but still be able to listen to music, especially if I’m gonna be running in remote locations.
I also love the simplicity of having something on my wrist, which is able to take care of most of the things I need in my day-to-day tech needs: music, payments, email messaging, and other associated apps including fitness.
I’ve owned a Wear OS Huawei Watch, which I think aesthetically was one of the best-looking watches on the market, and have followed very closely with Wear OS’s progression in the smartwatch space. When Google bought Fitbit, I thought that finally, Wear OS was going to progress forward. That seems to not be the case.
Garmin has for a long time owned the fitness watch space and has doubled down on some really great features which keep casual sports enthusiasts and professional sports legends connected and tracked with all of the analytics they need for their fitness endeavors.
Apple really came to the wearables market a little late compared to many other brands.
But of course, Apple being Apple, they launched something that was good enough at the time to get some adoption and has since become more and more impressive with the advent of ECG monitoring and other developments.
While Apple has been good in the space of exercise and health, I was certainly disappointed to compare the sports features of Wear OS and Garmin to what Apple offer. When I bought my Apple Watch, I was really excited about how much data it might track on me.
And while it does seem to track quite a lot of data and present it in a very simple fashion, it’s really just not at the level of a sports watch that Garmin has managed to achieve. I’m sure if Apple tried hard enough, they could certainly move into the space and there are third-party apps that you can download which improve this functionality.
But Apple will own the smartwatch space in terms of mass-market adoption for now and for a long time coming. And there are a few simple reasons why.
Reason #1 – Ease of Use & It just works
I believe the first reason is that the Apple Watch is intuitive, easy to use, and does come out of the box with everything that you need, especially if you’re already an iOS user. While the style of the watch may not suit everybody, it is not unattractive, has different watch face sizes, and has plenty of functionality that doesn’t get weighed down by heavy processor requirements.
Wear OS and Wear OS watches have a long time suffered because some of the more power-hungry apps can mean that the watch lags.
For example, with Wear OS, using Google Smart Assistant can sometimes be a bit of a challenge as it’s a bit delayed. So the frustrations with using watches in the Wear OS space, despite the fact that they are getting faster e.g. the chips are getting better, is not as fluid as the Apple Watch experience.
The power of the Apple Watch means that when you hit a button or you ask for a Siri interaction, it just works.
Reason #2 – Health & Wellness
The second reason why I think Apple will continue to dominate before I give you really what I think is the main reason is that they have done very well in the health and wellness space.
Adding in the ECG monitors, I expect that over time, we’re going to see more and more features added to the Apple Watch that help you maintain and control your health. Not to say that Wear OS and Garmin don’t do this but Apple is definitely proactive and definitely trying to appeal to more people and health needs.
Reason #3 – All in one, everything you need
The third reason, and I know I said there’ll only be three but now there’s gonna be four is that Apple Watch really does wrap up everything that you need incredibly effectively. Payments, music, sports tracking, timekeeping, a mobile smart assistant, all of the apps like calendar, messaging, travel features when you’re traveling using other apps like TripIt and App in the Air, the list just goes on and on.
But if we look at the staples, which are monitoring health, monitoring sports, being able to pay in a mobile solution, listening to music on the go with offline capabilities, and doing everything else that you need for a basic watch function, the Apple Watch ticks all the boxes and ties into its ecosystem really well.
Reason #4 (but really the Main Reason) – eco System and Hardware
The fourth reason that Apple owns the space, and I think this is really the main reason that they have done so well and will continue to do so well, is that their ecosystem is locked tight.
Garmin is a great sport watch, but they have no smartphone and no other ecosystem that they can integrate with. So great for sports, but not necessarily great for everything. Yes, they’ve integrated with GPay and Spotify, but there’s just something that isn’t as well-rounded as what Apple has with the Apple ecosystem.
Google has been smashing away at Wear OS for so long, and yet, it still seems a very incomplete solution. Yes, you can use GPay and you can sync with your Android watch, but there just doesn’t seem to be that cohesive ecosystem.
Also, Android being quite a disparate and factious environment means that some phones operate differently from other phones with different watches. And while on the whole, it’s quite unified, it’s still not as cohesive as Apple has.
Fitbit, of course, was acquired by Google. And while there are a few other smartwatches available on the market, really Garmin, Apple, and Google have it all tied up.
So because Apple has such a large app marketplace, has so much development poured into their very singular designed watch, with the iPhone close at hand to be able to handle anything that the watch can’t, an entire ecosystem that’s tied in so tightly with payments, music and everything else that you need, it’s really clear that Apple has captured 100% of the currently available functionality and services that a smartwatch or wearable needs to have.
And I think until Google start building hardware and an ecosystem that is much better integrated, and until Garmin make the choice to try and step into other applications or other features, which I don’t think they’ll ever do because they’ve found their niche, then Apple will continue to be the mass market choice for smart wearables.
As an Apple Watch user, I am impressed in part by the lack of FOMO that I feel. The Apple Watch is a FOMO breaker.
When I step out of the house, if I tap my pockets looking for my phone and it’s not there, I don’t have any anxious feelings because I know that with the Apple Watch, I can call people, I can message them, I’m reachable, I can make payments.
If I’m caught somewhere and I have my AirPods as well, then I have everything that I need to be connected in a simple and effective manner including payments. Not to say that the Apple Watch is perfect, but it does a pretty jolly good job.
Endless hours of experimentation, professional work, and personal investment in Home Theatre, Hi-Fi, Smart Home Automation and Headphones have come to this.
Former owner of Headphones Canada, a high-end headphone specialty retailer.
This post was last updated on 2023-03-20 / Some images from Amazon Product API & some links may be affiliate links which may earn us a commission from purchases.