Google, Samsung, and Fitbit might overtake Apple Watch, but it won’t matter
Apple could stem that tide by allowing Apple Watch to pair with Android phones, but that’s unlikely to happen. In short, it doesn’t care about market share as much as the experience. It’s why it doesn’t license macOS to third-party PC makers or sell its chips to other manufacturers. Even though it sells more iPhones than any other individual handset, Apple’s success is built on quality over quantity, and its market share pales in comparison to the 3 billion-plus active Android devices in the world.
This new partnership is both a smart and desperate move by Google, and one that makes a ton of sense. Much like Android itself, Google is once again following Apple’s lead and there’s a strong possibility that it pays off. Even with inferior hardware and a lesser experience, the first Wear watch to come out of this new partnership will be as exciting to Android users as a new Apple Watch is to iPhone fans. With Fitbit’s sensors and Samsung’s design, I have no doubt that it will be a massive improvement over what’s available today.
It might even be a true competitor to the Apple Watch, which has been hard to come by. Apple is dominating the wearable space because there really isn’t anything worth buying on the other side. If Apple cared about market share, it would have opened up Android compatibility long ago. So as Apple famously once said of IBM, “Welcome, Google-Samsung-Fitbit. Seriously.” Google’s new Wear venture very well may work and within a few years overtake Apple’s strong smartwatch position. My guess is Apple will barely notice.