More importantly, Apple takes fees from the credit card company side of the equation in a transaction – i.e. not from the retailer – and so having more people with easier access to Apple Pay is a big bonus, both for Apple, consumers and retailers.
In the video accompanying the unveiling of the Apple Watch, Ive says that, "We conceived, designed and developed Apple Watch as a completely singular product", and this is how the Watch should be viewed: separate and distinct from the iPhone and iPad. Just as the iPod was reliant on the Mac when it first launched, the Watch is reliant on the iPhone now, but only for as long as Apple deems the partnership viable.
Currently, the iPhone sells (or will sell, rather) Apple Watches and vice versa (just as iPods sold Macs) but once technology moves on significantly enough to enable an Apple Watch as a standalone unit, Apple will release it into the wild. Some pundits are speculating that this is a few years away, but Apple is likely playing a long game with the Watch, just as they have done with the iPad.
Following in the iPad's footsteps
In terms of comparisons with other Apple products, the smartwatch most closely resembles the iPad upon release. As Benedict Evans of the investment firm a16z tweeted, the Apple Watch has a lot of uses, but it is still unclear what they are.
The iPad was largely mocked by the technology press upon release for not having the 'hallmark' features of a tablet – a keyboard, an operating system that can run apps such as Office, and so on – but it has gone on to become a standard device within many businesses, with apps springing up every day that introduce new uses in a myriad of different use cases. The Apple Watch could well follow a similar path.
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Max Slater-Robins has been writing about technology for nearly a decade at various outlets, covering the rise of the technology giants, trends in enterprise and SaaS companies, and much more besides. Originally from Suffolk, he currently lives in London and likes a good night out and walks in the countryside.