Talk to customers before you build your product.
It is the province of knowledge to speak, and it is the privilege of wisdom to listen.
My prediction: the Apple watch is to your wrist as CarPlay is to your car.
CarPlay makes your car an “accessory” for the iPhone that displays certain apps in a different way optimized for that situation. The apps are running on the phone, and the phone is the “brains.” An Apple watch could work the same way, displaying optimized versions of apps like Clock, Messages, Mail, Weather, and more.
This feels plausible because, today, a single iOS app can have two sets of capabilities and two UIs: one for iPhone and one for iPad. CarPlay adds a third, and my leap is the watch would be a fourth.
This concept implies the watch doesn’t replace your phone, create a new “category,” or cost thousands of dollars. I would expect it to cost the same as a fancy Bluetooth headset. It is, after all, a Bluetooth accessory.
An Apple watch is analogous to a Bluetooth headset in another way: you don’t need one to have a great experience with your iPhone. It’s completely optional. If you don’t want to give up your watch or go back to wearing one, you can still just look at your phone instead.
The question I have is how they do this without damaging their relationship with Nike. For a long time now, Apple has sold running accessories that have both Nike’s and Apple’s name. The two companies are good friends and I think they are happy to let the other do what it’s good at. So this new product would have to be an evolution of that history, I think.
Maybe there’s a base version that doesn’t do fitness tracking, but Nike sells a pricier FuelBand-branded version that does? I’m not sure. But I don’t see Apple getting into a fight with Nike to kill the FuelBand by adding fitness tracking into their own first-party wristband.
Bonus prediction: it comes in five colors, like the iPod Nano.