By Chand Bellur
May 24, 2020 at 2:35 p.m. PT
- The Apple Watch launched in the spring of 2015, quickly dominating the wearables market.
- Mass production of wearables and their components enables Apple to create lower-cost smartwatches.
- Rumors suggest that Apple is developing an inexpensive smartwatch for children.
Apple Watch Dominates Wearables Market
Apple was late to the wearables game; however, they dominated the market in a matter of months. The Apple Watch created a need for itself. The attractive smartwatch easily outclassed those of competitors. Its tight integration into the Apple Ecosystem gave customers the features they wanted.
With only a fraction of the unit sales success of the iPhone, the Apple Watch managed to dominate the wearables market. According to recent studies, the Apple Watch now accounts for 55% of the wearables market. Samsung, their closest competitor, only has one-third of Apple’s market share.
Competitors Already Sell Kids’ Smartwatches
Given Apple’s wearables success, it’s surprising that they haven’t pursued a younger market already. Competitors throughout the world are already selling inexpensive, bare-bones smartwatches to children.
Safety is the main appeal of a child’s smartwatch. Current models feature the ability to track kids. Even the least expensive models have cameras and cellular services, enabling children to make emergency calls.
The one thing these smartwatches lack is access to a powerful ecosystem. They may offer apps for parental controls and configuration; however, most children’s smartwatches are very limited. They don’t have access to a wide array of apps, as with the Apple Watch.
A child-friendly version of the Apple Watch makes perfect sense. It allows parents already vested in the Apple Ecosystem to integrate their child’s device into the household quickly. Although it’s unlikely to sell for $25, as with some youth-oriented smartwatches, it may be affordable. Parents may be willing to pay for quality and durability, which Apple can deliver at a reasonable price. Consumers can buy an Apple Watch for $199. A $149 to $99 price tag on a children’s version is feasible.
Hints in iOS 14 Indicate Apple Watch for Children
Speculation based on markets and product development isn’t the best evidence for a new device. There are many burgeoning markets that Apple ignores. Apple’s inclination for a child-friendly wearable rests on solid technical evidence. Early versions of iOS 14 and watchOS 7 suggest that an Apple Watch for kids is on the horizon.
iOS 14 and watchOS 7 may allow parents to manage a child’s Apple Watch. This means that the child won’t need to own an iPhone to possess an Apple Watch. Furthermore, the parent can enforce limited access to watchOS features during the day — a feature known as SchoolTime.
New activity tracking features have also emerged in upcoming Apple operating systems. According to the speculation, youngsters will be encouraged to favor physical activity over video games.
Apple Watch for Kids Likely
Given markets, the competitive landscape, and hints in future software releases, it’s clear that Apple is working on a smartphone for kids. Although they’re late to the game, Apple will probably dominate this market as well.
There will still be a low end. Apple won’t make a $25 smartwatch. It’s a good thing that they exist, as not everyone can afford a $149 or even $99 smartwatch for their kids. Apple’s children’s wearables may come down in price over time; however, they’ve never been about making the cheapest products. They’ve earned a well-deserved reputation for creating higher quality products than their competitors. Perhaps brand loyalty and safety concerns may sway parents to spend a little more for a smartwatch.