Apple Watch Product Cycle Predictions

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by lowercaseperson, Mar 1, 2015.


How long do you think the Apple Watch product cycle will take?

Poll closed Mar 22, 2015.
  1. 1 year

    35 vote(s)
  2. 18 months

    8 vote(s)
  3. 2 years

    22 vote(s)
  4. Other (post reply below)

    1 vote(s)
  1. lowercaseperson, Mar 1, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2015

    lowercaseperson macrumors 6502

    Oct 5, 2006
    What kind of product cycle time frames do you guys expect to see with the Apple Watch? iPhone-esque yearly updates? Longer? I imagine it will be driven, in part, by chip sets (the S series), which we currently have little information about. But also to factor in will be the addition of new sensors. It seems like a highly variable market.

    P.S. I am thinking a yearly update - just curious to see what everyone else is thinking.
  2. Flow39 macrumors 68000


    Sep 7, 2014
    At the Apple Store
    I am hovering in between a one and two year cycle. The one year cycle seems likely, but will people be willing to upgrade a watch every year? The two year cycle, however, may possibly slow down the sale of the watch because people will lose interest. Confusing stuff :)
  3. lowercaseperson thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 5, 2006
    Well said - we are all so used to the 1 year cycle with the iPhone, but it seems to me like there are a lot more factors involved with the watch product cycle. For example every year people's contracts run out with their mobile companies and they go out looking for a new phone...that precedence was already fairly well established when Apple came on the scene. How often do people get new watches?

    I wear watches every day at work (CRNA) and it took me a long time to find one that I could actually tolerate, and then one that I really like (my Pebble). I've had the Pebble since the first kickstarter and will hold on to it until the Apple Watch is released. Honestly though, were Apple not releasing a product with the extra features I want...I would have used my first Pebble until it died.

    I'm sure there are many other like me who will look at smart watches like me...something that is non-essential, tells me the time, makes notification retrieval a little easier, and I can't imagine needing the newest/best every year or even two years. All this makes timing really tricky in my eyes.
  4. lewisd25 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 6, 2007
    I believe that the internal hardware and exterior design will be updated on a two year cycle. I predict that Apple will release material variants in between cycles, such as titanium, ceramic, white gold, and platinum. I also think that new strap designs would also be introduced.
  5. The Doctor11 macrumors 603

    The Doctor11

    Dec 15, 2013
    New York
    I think we'll see the second gen Apple watch along side new iPhones in September 2016. From there it will be a 1 year cycle.
  6. jordanst macrumors member


    Aug 18, 2014
    I'm sure it will be a one year cycle. 2 years is an incredibly long time in tech. Not only in terms of increasing processing speed to keep up with new software, but to add more sensors.
    Right now all it has is an accelerometer and heart rate sensor. There's no way we'll have to wait 2 years for more (with competitors releasing new products with various health/fitness sensors along the way).
  7. Che Castro macrumors 603

    May 21, 2009
  8. Flow39 macrumors 68000


    Sep 7, 2014
    At the Apple Store
    That would be horrible haha
  9. dctid macrumors member

    Feb 15, 2015
    It really depends upon the technology drivers, yes 2 years in tech is a long time but there are other considerations. For me the two key issues with the watch are its battery life and its requirement to be tethered to an iPhone.

    These are not necessarily easy things to solve additional memory to run standalone apps will be required which will drive up power usage so any battery improvements made will be offset by the increased power usage so we will be little better off

    Im going with the sport, i will get a leather strap separately be that Apple or a third party and wait to see what the future holds.
  10. boomhower macrumors 68000


    Oct 21, 2011
    I'm hoping yearly for increased battery life if nothing else. I'd imagine additional sensors will also be added. The more I see the more it looks like I won't be buying it. Barely one day battery life is going to make that impossible with the first generation. I'm hoping future generations can improve on that. It's not a knock on Apple. With a display and all the sensors going on with the size constraints of a watch it makes battery life a difficult proposition. I'll likely be sticking with bands for a few years.
  11. BvizioN macrumors 601


    Mar 16, 2012
    Manchester, UK
    Can't see them upgrading every year. Maybe every 2 years. Smart Watches are not like smartphones that people feel the need to really have them. But then again it depends how successful the first version will be I guess.
  12. gcooldude86 macrumors 6502

    Jul 28, 2014
    Ontario, Canada
    I predict a new generation of the Watch every year. I can't see them going every 2 or 3 years, they gotta keep up and compete with other smart watches.
  13. brock2621 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 8, 2007
    IF it were totally up to Apple I think they'd do a 2-3 year cycle, but the cats out of the bag, every major manufacturer will be pushing out cheaper and cheaper Android wear devices now using cues from Apple's structure. Google will step up their efforts and start pushing for a major update soon with probably 90% of Apple features, and manufacturers will be disassembling Apple watches as soon as they are out and calling "old pals" in the manufacuring partner suppliers to get as much info on supply chain costs, options, prices and contracts to leverage their own manufacturing.

    Sadly it's a race to the bottom first, and then it will level back out once smart watches are an everyday commodity. I'd use what's happened on the phones as a good indication although a little less explosive, more subdued in the results graphs.
  14. lowercaseperson thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 5, 2006
    I'll be interested to see the construction of the S1 chip. I'm wondering what nm scale it will be on, and what the possibility of shrinking to a 14nm process would do to battery life. Like you said with all the sensors on board the chip may be the least of Apple's energy constraints...but then again maybe every penny counts.
  15. Arran macrumors 601


    Mar 7, 2008
    Atlanta, USA
    I think the cycles will differ by lines (Sport, Watch and Edition)

    The technology innards for all three lines won't change for years. A bit like Airport Express or EarPods, where Apple sells the same product for years on end and holds the price steady. Watches are expensive and highly personal devices. Nobody will want to see their precious watch obsoleted in a year.

    Similarly, the Apple Watch and Sport cases won't change for years. Regular software updates and new bands will permit owners to freshen things up or entice non-owners to buy in.

    The Edition cases will - i think - change very frequently. Two or three times a year. The hardware inside will stay the same, but I can see Apple commissioning various celebrity designers to produce "Limited-edition" runs of say 10,000 watches in a unique design. When they sell-out, they're gone! That will maintain buzz around all lines of the watch in the stores: Folks will enter the stores just to see what the new "diamond-encrusted" limited edition looks like. For the folks who actually buy these $1000+ watches, the rarity value will help justify the high price.
  16. lowercaseperson thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 5, 2006
    I think you're on to something as far as having the "limited edition" watches, but I have to disagree on the innards. The specs of this gen1 watch are too poor to not take advantage of the newest technology. I think a yearly upgrade is probably in works with possible designer special editions between.

    I understand what you are saying about the innards, but things would be different if there was a 2-3 day battery life and incorporated more of the sensors they "wanted."
  17. Arran macrumors 601


    Mar 7, 2008
    Atlanta, USA
    I do actually agree with you on the innards. Maybe in 5-10 years, once the tech matures and expectations stabilize it might be reasonable to expect a longer cycle-time?

    So maybe Apple could offer an "innards-upgrade" program for the early years? Prevent early adopters (particularly Edition buyers) from feeling they got burnt? Price it at around $200 for an in-store upgrade while you wait. $200 is nothing for an Edition owner to rejuvenate their expensive watch, whereas it might prompt the sport buyer to just purchase a brand new watch for just $150 more and hand the old one down to a friend? Either way, the value customer has two options now and doesn't feel abandoned.
  18. /dev/toaster macrumors 68020


    Feb 23, 2006
    San Francisco, CA
    This is a tough one ..

    On the tech side there are only so many features you can add into a watch. Better battery, faster processor, better screen ... maybe more sensors ?

    For that I say 2 years.

    But, Apple is marketing it as a fashion item. Fashion changes fast and Apple will have to keep up and be the trend setter. On that front I say yearly.
  19. Sodner, Mar 2, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2015

    Sodner macrumors 68020


    Jan 12, 2011
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Gotta be every year. Technology changes to quickly to be anything longer. Sure it's a watch but it's a Smart Watch. Some people will upgrade yearly while others will keep the one they have.
    Plus many people will be waiting for Gen 2 to get on board and Apple won't want that two years off.
  20. Julien macrumors G4


    Jun 30, 2007
    My guess, 2ed gen 18 months (puts it on a holiday cycle) and yearly after that.

    Also I believe the design (case) will stay the same for 2 or more gens.

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