Okay Apple, what will be the next big thing? Pay and Watch won’t be.
Two days ago, Apple introduced its new payment service and their much rumored smart watch. Probably most of us were thinking the same: the presented stuff wasn’t as new as expected. Sure, the new iPhone, Pay and Watch are great products and we will certainly love to use them. But neither are they innovative nor the next big thing.
Apple is ingenious in transforming markets through beautiful products with an outstanding User Experience. Sure, from the technological perspective Apple is still behind but User Experience is what matters to the user in most cases. Thanks to Steve Jobs its within the DNA of Apple to reinvent markets — but it seems to decrease. Is Apple still a company that is able to create the next big thing as they were with the iPhone in 2007? They’re not quite there yet.
Let me explain why I think the new payment service and Apple’s new smart watch won’t be the next big thing starting with Pay. Pay is a comfortable way to use credit cards. The service works as the rumors had predicted long before: Based on NFC, you simply need to tap your phone on a payment terminal and put your finger on the home button for Touch ID. Especially in countries where credit cards are the primary payment method. Unfortunately, it appears to have one big problem: It is doomed due to its base on an old technology stack. It is just a cozy wrapper for a legacy solution. This dependency causes the high possibility for pay being outdated soon. What will Apple do if the Technology stack including interfaces change? I don’t know.
A solution through completely reinventing the whole system cooperating with one of the big credit card providers such as VISA, MasterCard or Barclays would have brought the urgently needed disruption.
Now let’s switch to Watch. Although it’s not the first smart watch on the market it probably has a good chance becoming the market leader thanks to its cool features such as the included health and activity tracking or Digital Touch. Not to forget: Apple’s strong brand. But: Why would you buy the new apple smart watch? Our old-fashioned watches as we know them are status symbols (especially for guys often the only jewelry they wear) and have a long lifecycle. This makes it hard for Apple to enter the market for watches. When the iPhone launched in 2007 it was much easier to get into the market because there has been no competition — the market for smartphones was completely new. Also is the lifecycle of smartphones shorter: an average contract lasts two years, after that period you get a new phone in most cases. But who is willing to buy a new watch every other year?
The next big thing is not about features. It’s about creating new markets, completely disrupt them or changing the world. With smartphones data has become ubiquitous. With Facebook people were able to connect to people from all over the world and share personal information easily. But a world with everybody wearing Apple Watch will not exist, I believe.