Why the iWatch will likely be the iPhone’s sidekick at Sept 9th unveiling

It makes sense for the iWatch to be the iPhone's Robin... at first.

It makes sense for the iWatch to be the iPhone’s Robin… at first.

Apple sent out press invites for its September 9th event earlier today, the date when the iPhone 6 and iWatch will reportedly be unveiled.

Corroborating an earlier story by Recode, Bloomberg’s own sources are confirming that new iPhones and an Apple wearable will share the stage.

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.

  • Adam Roach

    Am I the only one who thinks Apple has something else up it’s sleeve EXCEPT the iwatch/iphone for this event? They’re taking it back to old school, when they disrupted the markets in a big way (at the flint center), they’re building something huge and they have said “new product categoRIES”, not category…just a thought

    • Jim

      Yeah, something’s different with this. Either the technology in the iWatch is something completely revolutionary or there’s a larger product launch. I don’t buy that an accessory would warrant this venue. The kind of self assured almost smug tone Tim Cook has been using when questioned about new product categories on the earnings calls makes me think this is something genuinely big.

      It wouldn’t be like Apple to stick its neck out for something not completely amazing.

      • Adam Roach

        I completely agree. Especially with examples like the Swift announcement and the Mac Pro…neither of those had any leaks prior too…when Apple wants to keep something really secret and drop a bomb, they do just that

      • aardman

        It’s going to be a massive expansion of the functionality of the Apple ecosystem not just a device intro. All the things we’ve been reading about so far –Healthkit, Homekit, Extensions, Hand-off, payments, iTunes & iCloud enhancements, and then some more, will be deployed in a fully built up integrated, it-just-works, complete end-to-end, cradle-to-grave, cross-device, 24-hour life-management system. That also happens to be secure, ID-theft resistant, and won’t serve us up to advertisers.

        That’s really more a wish than a prediction.

        I say it’s big enough to warrant a resurrection of “One more thing . . . “

      • Jim

        Yeah, honestly if they get mobile payments alone right Apple stands to make tens of billions of dollars in extra revenue. That alone would be a big announcement. I’m genuinely excited for this.

    • PMB01

      Apple TV. Like, the actual TV. It’s hard to believe that they could keep the content talks a secret, but it isn’t completely out there. As you said, Apple can keep a secret when it really wants to drop a bomb on us.

    • BenRadUK

      You make a good point here Adam, Tim has indeed mentioned that more than one new category will be announced. I sincerely hope a “phablet” is not one of them!
      Wearable….yes. But what else? A TV set? I’m still not convinced there is a big enough market that Apple would venture into a fully-fledged TV set.
      The only other thing I can think of is something to do with the Beats acquisition. Perhaps an iPod Shuffle/Nano built directly into a set of Beats headphones???

    • Yujin

      You are right. Apple may have been feeding is leaks on purposes and then unveil something no one is expecting, who knows maybe they have a better version of google glass, or maybe the iTV

  • aardman

    “Investors are circling Apple like sharks already, and if iWatch launch shipments disappoint at all, the product will be labeled a failure.”

    Is there a statistically sound survey of ‘investors’ whoever they may be, that indicates that they are indeed “circling Apple like sharks already” whatever that means, and that if the launch “disappoints at all, the product will be labeled a failure”?

    If there isn’t, then don’t state it as if it were a fact.

  • Alexandru Mihnea MOUCHA

    Why do all superheros wear the underwear out?!?

About the author

Alex HeathAlex Heath is a staff writer at Cult of Mac and co-host of the CultCast. He has been quoted by the likes of the BBC, KRON 4 News, and books like "ICONIC: A Photographic Tribute to Apple Innovation." If you want to pitch a story, share a tip, or just get in touch, additional contact information is available on his personal site. Twitter always works too.

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