While all the headlines may be wagging about the new blowers, for me there’s one key release that will be far more interesting: the new Apple Watch 5.
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I have two reasons for this. First, because if the sea of rumours about the iPhone 11 are true, then it’s going to be a pretty dull launch.
From what we’ve seen so far the iPhone 11’s not going to be an innovator. Like the Galaxy S10 and Galaxy Note 10 from Samsung, it looks like the iPhone 11-family is going to a be a pretty by the numbers update that brings the series into line with most 2019 flagships, and little else.
Take the camera, for example. Yes it’s rumoured to be the first iPhone with a triple camera setup, but in today’s world that’s hardly innovative. Huawei beat Apple to the punch with the Huawei Mate 20 Pro last year and since then pretty much every Android flagship has followed its lead. The Google Pixel 4’s also expected to double its camera sensors.
The iPhone 11’s also looking like it’ll be a step behind its Android rivals when it comes to 5G, with most reports suggesting there won’t be an Apple phone with the connectivity until next year at the earliest. All-in-all the iPhone 11 really doesn’t look that interesting.
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Though this isn’t that big of a surprise. I’ve felt this way about most recent iPhones. Since the iPhone 7 it has felt like each new generation of Apple phone is at best playing catch up with Android when it comes to hardware. The only real innovations tend to come from the handsets’ new iOS software.
Which brings me to my second reason: the Apple Watch is the company’s new top-dog when it comes to innovations. Think about it, since it launched the first Apple Watch the wearable has been the driving force leading smartwatch adoption and innovation.
The first Apple Watch fixed wearables interface problem featuring touch controls and a nifty crown input. Then Apple brought a proper app ecosystem to the mix, before breaking ground as the first mass-market wearable maker to offer LTE connectivity, ECG and fall detection – all features competitors Samsung, Fitbit and Google have since rushed to copy.
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Which is why I’m more excited to see what Apple has planned for its new wearable than its iPhone.
I’m not alone in this belief. Every sales report I’ve seen suggests, while iPhone sales are stagnating, the Apple Watch is going from strength-to-strength. The latest quarterly sales stats from Strategy Analytics suggest the Apple Watch currently controls a massive 46% of the smartwatch market. This means it is outselling Samsung smartwatches by a factor of three-to-one and Fitbit by an even heftier six-to-one.
So Apple also has a very strong fiscal motivation to keep the Apple Watch cutting edge.