Bands, Stands and Battery Life (But Not Apps)

Apple Watch enthusiasts have very specific interests.

I ran an experiment this summer: a newsletter for Apple Watch enthusiasts featuring the best accessories. You know, third-party bands, charging docks, etc.

I discovered two things.

1. Publishing a newsletter these days is easier than ever, but building an audience for it is harder than ever.

2. Apple Watch enthusiasts have very specific interests.

Accessory Enthusiasm

It’s no secret Apple Watch has been a success among non-technical consumers. According to Apple sales and satisfaction numbers are high. Which is surprising for a first generation product that, even by enthusiast’s standards, feels unfinished.

But the enthusiasm doesn’t stop at liking Apple Watch. My short-lived newsletter experiment made that clear.

Bands, Stands, and Battery Life

The numbers tell the story. Overwhelmingly, readers were focused on articles about extending Watch’s battery, clicking on every article that promised to show them tweaks to settings to improve battery life.

Unsurprisingly, third-party bands, particularly silicon knock-offs of Apple’s official fluoroelastomer sports band, were popular.

While many readers appreciated high-end luxury stands and docks for Apple Watch, too. It seems Watch users want a nice place to charge their wearable on the nightstand.

No Love For Apps

Then there are the lowly Apple Watch apps. Readers simply were not interested in them despite highly rated apps being featured alongside popular accessories, like in our running issue, for example.

In fact, apps were less popular than any other category, including the odd assortment of items that fell under ‘other’.

Obvious Opportunities

For the next few years at least, I’m convinced the aftermarket opportunities for Apple Watch will be around bands and stands. Not exciting, but also not unexpected.

As for apps, we may have to wait until Apple Watch 2 or later for an Apple wearable with enough processing power to run apps with any meaningful use. At least that seems to be the perception among Apple Watch users. I expect Apple will work hard on future versions of the Watch to counter this.

While rumors hint Apple Watch 2 will have more battery capacity, the challenges of improving battery life remain. Small is hard. Small and energy efficient are even harder.

If you crack the battery thing with an innovative accessory, let me know. I’ll be the first in line to buy it.