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Why are people buying Apple Watches?

I have been using an Apple Watch for a couple of months now. A lot of people ask me why I feel it is necessary to have a screen on my wrist, and I certainly get why some would see it as a massive distraction. You have to be selective with your notifications. Generally speaking, I find it very useful, though not necessarily invaluable.

But every now and then I come across a new use case and think to myself, “well this is pretty cool.” I recently discovered that you can use it for boarding passes, which means one less thing in your hands at the airport. And this week I’ve been using it while snowboarding, which is helpful if you’re trying to manage a WhatsApp group chat and you don’t want to take your phone out on the lifts.

The numbers also suggest I’m not alone in finding utility. Here are Apple’s sales numbers from Neil Cybart of Above Avalon:

Apple has sold more than 90 million Apple Watches to date with 29 million sold in calendar year 2019. With an average selling price of more than $400, the Apple Watch is bringing in $12 billion of revenue per year, and that total is growing by 30% per year. After taking into account upgrade trends, the number of people wearing an Apple Watch has crossed 65 million. Based on my forward projections, the Apple Watch installed base will surpass 100 million people in 2021.

In Neil’s view, the Apple Watch is indeed one of those paradigm shifts in computing. It is taking over tasks that our phones used to do and it is allowing for entirely new use cases. Neil cites three important features. We are now able to (1) seamlessly track/monitor aspects of our health, (2) intelligently receive small bits of information, and (3) augment our surroundings (“contextual awareness.”)

For more on why the Apple Watch is / could be fundamentally changing mobile tech, click here.


  1. Trebecca

    This is a really interesting topic. Personally, I don’t get any notifications on my phone except for actual text messages (UPS, Mom/Dad, Credit Card purchasing notifications, etc.). Full-on active conversations I have on my phone, not my watch, so I don’t get constant notifications because my phone is unlocked. I bought a watch so that I wouldn’t lose my phone at the YMCA while trying to listen to music on my wireless headphones. It works pretty well.
    However, I don’t find it to be a complete necessity. I hadn’t worn a watch in ten years because i don’t like things spinning around on my narrow wrists, but Apple changed the game with their velcro wrist bands. Now I can wear my super loud pink wrist band to my professional desk job and no one even blinks an eye (the bright colors are the knock-offs from Amazon, why spend more money??)
    I’m considering pushing the boundaries and buying a neon green and black. Just because. 🙂


  2. Peter James

    Contrary to the massive distraction objection I find it’s actually helpful with reducing screen distraction. Because the watch is so limited I don’t end up doing wasteful meaningless things when I check a notification because there isn’t wasteful meaningless things to do on it. I’m actually hoping for a day when I can only have the watch and ditch the phone all together. Btw, when are we getting a native WhatsApp watch app?!

    Liked by 1 person

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