Wildest Apple Watch rumor yet: 100,000 apps at launch


Are you ready for app overload? Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

Call it Newton’s third law of Apple analysts: For every extreme reaction one way, there is an equally extreme reaction the other.

In this case, what that means is that while some doomsayers are happy to write off the Apple Watch as the worst thing Apple has done since building its own smartphone, taking on the music industry with iTunes, [insert actual bad decision], others go in totally the opposite direction and predict a landslide victory in Apple’s favor.

Trip Chowdhry of Global Equities Research falls somewhat into the latter category. His prediction? That the Apple Watch will have 100,000 apps ready to go when it launches in April, and that 42 million units will have sold by the end of December.

Chowdry’s claim about 100,000 apps is based on his attending six Apple Watch-Kit hackathons over “the past few months.” Although I don’t doubt that there will be plenty of apps ready to go on the day, I’d be frankly shocked if it’s close to that number. By comparison, it took the iOS App Store 16 months to hit 100,000 apps — by which point it had seen approximately 2,000,000,000 total downloads.

His 42 million prediction is a bit closer to the mark, and in line with other reports pegging sales as likely to fall between 30-60 million units in its first year on the market. While 42 million would be a fraction of the number of units Apple sells of the iPhone, it would still be enough to make it the runaway fastest selling new iOS device in history. The iPad, by comparison, sold 19.5 million units in its first year, while the iPhone moved a relatively paltry 5.4 million units.

Chowdry thinks that the Apple Watch will then go on to convert virtually every existing iPhone user, noting: “Since Apple Watch extends iPhone functionality and provides user convenience with ‘Glance’ and ‘Notifications’ to an iPhone User, almost every current iPhone user, which are about 350 million users, will also be an Apple Watch user.”

Chowdry also gives us a neat way of explaining away the fact that we spent upwards of $350 on an Apple Watch to our non-techy partners. “The $350 price of Apple Watch appears to be a non-issue,” he writes, since, “On an average an Apple Watch user will have 100 Apps installed, and one way to think about it is that the consumer is getting 100 devices for $350 ..i.e. $3.50 per device.”

Finally, he argues that we shouldn’t think about a “killer app” for the Apple Watch, as:

“Different people have different killer Applications for their devices. For some it is the games, for others it is the social messaging, or it is the navigation, or it is the music, or it is video, or it is email …and so on and so forth. Debating on “what is the killer app for the device” is passe’ – somewhat of pre-year-2007 thinking, when the killer App used to be “Ringtones”. Thinking of Apple Watch from the Watch perspective is also fundamentally flawed: The best Watch on the market is probably a 3 App Device – it tells time, may be Day (Monday, Tuesday etc.), it may also have a stop watch…thats it! By April 10, 2015, we are expecting 100,000 Apple Watch Apps on AppStore. Currently, on an average there are 65 Apps per iPhone. We are estimating that an average Apple Watch will have 100 Apps per Apple Watch. There will be no single killer app for Apple Watch – each user will have their own set of Killer Apps … one way to think is that the consumer is getting 100 different devices in one Apple Watch.”

This last point I can absolutely agree with. The notion of a “killer app” as VisiCalc was to the Apple II, for instance, is outdated thinking. To be the kind of mass market device it needs to be, the Apple Watch will have to be all things to all people — which is essentially what the iPhone currently manages to be.

We’ll have to wait a bit longer to see if Chowdry’s figures hold water, but there’s no doubting his enthusiasm. And at a time when Apple can seemingly do no wrong, who can entirely blame him?

Source: Barrons

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  • Magnusarie

    Some analysts so wants to be relevant and heard…….

    To assume that the apple watch will sell more than the other apple devices is simple wishful thinking.

    Iphone has been hugely successful because it serves so many purposes for what it is and is a stand alone device on its own and does that very well.

    The apple watch is an added device and needs the iphone to work, moreso to assume that people that do not regularly wear watches will suddenly buy apple watch because its apple smacks of irrational thinking and it must be pointed out that a lot of people do not wear watches and to think that buying a $350 watch that will be outdated within a year max will become standard is quite interesting to say the least.

    It must also be noted that a lot of expected features has been dialed down based on recent news due to the fact that Apple can’t make them work.

    I know Apple will sell a lot of watches but it wont be groundbreaking as expected and Apple knows

  • Jeo Ten

    I would not be surprised if Apple has designed Apple Watch to be ugraded which will solve some of the “it will be out of date within a year” concerns.

    • Magnusarie

      I hope so too and that will help in the long run.
      Initially , it will sell in millions but sales will taper out quite quickly, mobile phones including iphones serve a basic function which is for communication/talk until the apple watch or any other wearable can serve ANY basic function which is important to our daily lives, i do not see them selling in the same volume as phones

      • thomg875

        tell time?

      • Michael Smith

        I haven’t worn a watch in ages and it didn’t seem to bother me not knowing the exact time at an instant on my wrist. Seems like there are clocks everywhere these days. I just don’t see that much utility of the watch as opposed to the phone I already have. The watch is so limited in function. I do appreciate it as a fashion accessory with a watch face that can be modified to fit your own personal style and mood. Maybe Apple and its developers can come up with something truly unique and compelling.

      • aardman

        I wear a watch and I hope you’re not one of those random guys who refuse to wear one but feel entitled to bug me when they need to know the time. :-)

      • Michael Smith

        I had stopped wearing a watch for years but recently got the Moto 360. It is very stylish and the some of the watch faces created for it are works of art, as a fashion accessory it is second to none. Still though it is not a mainstream device and I don’t think it will be for quite some time.

    • Michael Smith

      It is doubtful it will be able to be upgraded, that has not historically been the Apple way. It would be nice though, at least to be able to change the battery out since those lithiums can only take so many charges. That might explain why it isn’t at least IP67, they casing is made to be removable and cannot be sealed properly for water and dust protection.

    • CelestialTerrestrial

      I wouldn’t expect them to do that, they haven’t made any other product upgradeable where you can keep the product but be able to upgrade the “guts” inside. It would make it a more attractive product if it were upgradeable, but I doubt it will. I can see being able to replace the battery every so often when the battery needs to be replaced and that’s about it.

  • Michael Smith

    5 million watches sold this year is reasonable, 10 million would be very unlikely.
    Regardless of how many sold the watch is not going to live up to the hype and there will be a backlash of disappointed owners. The smart watch a gimmick, there is no compelling reason to own one except for the watch itself.

  • Sam

    100 apps per user… Really? Seems a bit optomistice at best

  • Trip Chowdry is a dickhead!

    Wow! I had difficulty understanding your “expert consultant” Trip Chowdry from Global Equities Research, I’m sure he’s a lot more eloquent without apples dick in his mouth.