I am long (NASDAQ:AAPL), but admittedly, I am not too confident in its longer-term success. From the hype and anticipation on new products releases, I believe that there is still some upside ahead for the stock at this time of the year. As such, I am still holding onto a large position of my Apple shares. But here, I am going to voice my concerns about what is likely to be the next new item in its product menu - the iWatch.
Now, why do I believe that the iWatch may not be as successful as many believe it would be?
A problem with the iWatch, from the men's perspective
From my point of view, watches and technology do not go hand in hand. For the men, watches are the only jewelry/accessory that they are allowed to wear. While it is a means for the working men to tell the time, the greater purpose for wearing a watch would be to look classy, formal, professional and sharp.
For this purpose, I do not believe that men would find the technological extra of the iWatch to be appealing at all, because frankly, the technological capabilities are not what men are looking for in a watch. The perfect watch must look good with a suit, and signify tradition and status. There is a reason why Rolexes are timeless and the Samsung (OTC:SSNLF) watches were flops.
It doesn't have the latest and greatest technology, but it has everything that a man is looking for in a watch. Source here.
And to ensure that the iWatch doesn't follow the same fate as the Samsung watches, a first thing that Apple could do is to make sure that its watches don't look like any of these conceptual images, because all of them are abominations for a man to wear with his business suit.
Problem #2: Women won't be too hot to the idea of a high-tech watch either
Unlike watches to men, watches are an optional fashion luxury to women. So even if Apple does manage to corner the female watch market, it would be insignificant. Having said that, it does not mean that I believe that Apple would have its usual success with the ladies this time around, because for women, watches are even more of a pure fashion item than they are for men. For that reason, I doubt that women will find the oversized screens on the new high-tech watches to be attractive at all (especially if you take into account how ridiculous they would look on their thinner wrists).
Technology geeks might be okay with wearing this, but rest assured, no lady will find this watch to be appealing. If Apple does come up with something like this, its design team will need to be fired. Source here.
The screen on Samsung's watch is too monstrously big, even on an adult man's wrist. But make it any smaller, and it may become too small to be a usage screen. Maybe you just can't put a touchscreen on a watch without making it look ridiculous. Source here.
For both men and women, the problem for high-tech watches is the same. Watches are fashion items in the modern age. It is form over function and tradition over technology. So even if Apple packs the greatest technology in its iWatch, I still have strong doubts on whether the iWatch can succeed.
(Knowing Apple, though, it might come up with something that is a perfect mix between technology and fashion. But for now, my opinion still stands, as I haven't seen anything like it yet.)
But what about the teens?
Well, historically, Apple has been extremely popular among teens, but in the case of the iWatch, I believe that it may not even gain traction in the teenage market.
Why? For one, parents are unlikely to buy their kids a pricey watch (which has little necessary and practical function, as opposed to that of a phone and a computer). And for another, a watch would have limited appeal to the kids. On iPads and iPhones, there are apps for entertainment, websites to browse, and music to listen to. But what can kids do for fun on an iWatch? Checking their pulse?
I just don't see how the iWatch could become wildly successful in the teenage market either.
Long-term play, or buy the rumor and sell the news?
Here, I am considering two plays on my Apple position. The first is a long-term play, and the second is to buy the rumor and sell the news. Made obvious from my article, I am currently leaning toward the second play. Based on the rumors and preliminary images that I've seen from the iWatch so far, I have seen nothing particularly appealing in the product.
As time goes by, new information on the iWatch will be released, and it may very well change my decision on the play. However, for the time being, I am long AAPL only over the short run.
Disclosure: The author is long AAPL. The author wrote this article themselves, and it expresses their own opinions. The author is not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). The author has no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.