Apple sent out press invites for its September 9th event earlier today, the date when the iPhone 6 and iWatch will reportedly be unveiled.
Given that Apple has promised new “product categories” this year akin to the original iPhone and iPad launch, it seems odd that there won’t be a separate Apple event dedicated to its wearable strategy. Sharing an event gives Apple the opportunity to pitch the iWatch—or whatever it’s called—as an accessory to the iPhone. And that could ultimately be better for Apple’s bottom line.
“Apple will give the new wearable a boost by pairing its debut with its flagship product, the iPhone,” explains Bloomberg. “The company also may be trying to manage expectations for the new device, signaling that it’s more of an accessory instead of a category that stands by itself.”
The original iPhone and iPad launches were monumental moments in tech history. Each of those products certainly deserved their own moment in the sun, and shouldn’t the iWatch?
But Apple is a much bigger company than it was in 2007. Even selling 13.6 million wearables (the entirety of what everyone like Pebble and Fitbit sold last year) is barely a business quarter of iPhone sales. Reports have also said the iWatch is facing production problems overseas, and availability will likely be very limited at first.
Investors are circling Apple like sharks already, and if iWatch launch shipments disappoint at all, the product will be labeled a failure.
But by pitching its wearable as, for example, a fitness accessory that integrates tightly with the iPhone, Apple gives itself time to start gaining traction. Let the early adopters who are willing to pay a premium buy first, then build up the wearable line with new sizes and prices like the iPod. To establish the wearable product category in consumers’ minds, that kind of slow traction is exactly what Apple needs.