As I sit here and write this article I have to be honest with its readers, as well as myself. I retired last year after spending the better part of my life teaching mathematics to teenagers. I certainly would not call myself a tech guru, but having worked with younger people for so many years, I do feel that I have some insight into "fads" and short term "trends".
Since I have been out of teaching for the past year I find myself removed from my usual resources for technology updates. Of course I am talking about kids. When I first heard the news that Apple CEO, Tim Cook, announced the Apple Watch, my first thought was "who is going to buy this thing" quickly followed by "I wonder what the kids saying about this."
To me, the Apple Watch is more of a toy than an actual watch. I grew up in a generation where people actually needed watches. There were no smart phones. Heck, there weren't even cell phones. I got my first "smart phone" last year, an iPhone 6. I held off as long as I could, choosing to stay with the simplistic comfort that a flip phone provided. I don't know if it was the pressure from my daughter to "get with the times" or the new found free time that I had on my hands that led me to make the transition. Looking back, it was probably a combination of both.
When you retire, and I'm sure that many of you will get there someday, you will find that you have more free time on your hands than you know what to do with. I've spent much of my time learning how to use my new iPhone 6 and all of the features that are packed into this tiny device. There are so many things that you can do on an iPhone. Why would anyone want to buy and Apple Watch? This led me to ask the question; "Is this just a fad, or is it here to stay?"
Being that I have more free time on my hands, I decided to do a little research into the topic. I have found estimates that state the market for wearable technology could soar from $20 billion in 2015 to $70 billion in 2025. You don't need me to break out my calculator and do the math to tell you that is an enormous increase in just 10 years.
So can you really blame Apple for going this direction? According to an article on Reuters, Apple has sold approximately 2.79 million Apple Watches as of mid-June. I have to say that I'm not surprised by that number, considering there are over 318 million people living in the United States alone. So will the Apple Watch continue to sell?
When I think about the Apple Watch, I can't help thinking about the Casio calculator watch from many moons ago. Being a math teacher, I have to admit that I wore one. I thought it was cool at the time. If I needed a calculator I just had to look down at my wrist. Eventually, I grew tired of wearing the bulky watch around and swapped it out for something more in style.
I was never a history teacher, but I do feel that you can gain some insight into the future by looking back at the past. Yes, the Apple Watch has more functionality than that old Casio watch, and I would even agree that it is better looking. But is the Apple Watch "in style" and if not, will it ever be?
As I said when I began this article, I am not a tech guru. I am also not a fashion guru. But if history has taught us anything, it is that trendy products tend to have a short life span. I can't see the Apple Watch doing anything that I can't reach into my pocket and do on an iPhone.
They say that you can't teach an old dog new tricks. I never thought that I would have a smart phone, but here I am with my iPhone 6. When it comes to the Apple Watch, it's not for this old dog to say what the future holds. I guess we will all just have to wait and see. And for Apple's sake, let's hope that this new watch is here to stay.
Disclosure: I/we have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.