World Economy

Apple's Rivals Await Results

Apple's Rivals Await ResultsApple's Rivals Await Results

Although the iPhone 6 is sure to steal the spotlight at Apple’s media event on Tuesday, everyone is interested to see whether or not Apple will reveal its first entry into the wearable market. You might expect that Apple’s rivals are quaking in their boots, worried that all their efforts to reach the market first might have been in vain, but in fact, the exact opposite is true. They’re excited.

“If Apple offers its own product, it will expand the market,” Sung-jin Lee, Director of LG’s watch product planning team, said while speaking with Reuters. “It is not a gold rush yet, but it has the potential to be.”

Samsung executive Sunny Lee offered a similar sentiment: “This is what we wanted.”

It’s a delicate balance — if Apple’s smartwatch is a significant leap over what LG, Samsung, Motorola and others are offering with Android Wear, it could set them back as they scramble to hit the same benchmarks. On the other hand, even if the iWatch is a success, it will bring more consumers into the wearable market. Based on what we’ve heard about the iWatch so far, especially in regards to its battery life, Apple might be doing everyone else a favor.


Know what a "Wearable" is? Most top tech executives would struggle to define it. Now they're hoping that Apple will do it for them.

Executives at Europe's big consumer electronics trade fair this week in Berlin readily admit to hoping that Apple can crack the missing code for everyone. Where the US innovator leads, its rivals plan to follow by bringing their own improvements or by seeking out profitable niche markets that Apple ignores.

Media reports have pinpointed 9 September as the date Apple will introduce its long-rumored smartwatch - a wrist device that typically connects to a nearby phone. Expectations are high for the iWatch, which could be the tech giant's first brand new product after a four-year dry spell during which it faced pressure to create another groundbreaking consumer gadget, Reuters reported.

Those kind of volumes suggest the industry remains in wait-and-see mode, despite devoting huge marketing energy to wearable devices that has garnered an amount of press attention disproportionate to the number of products on the shelves.

"Ultimately, what all these companies have been doing is just public prototyping," or testing the market, said mobile analyst Ben Wood of market research firm CCS Insight.