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Apple Watch: Here are five business models it will disrupt

Here are five industries that the Apple Watch is going to disrupt. There may be more, but these are the five that are going to feel the entry of the Apple Watch the most.
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Introduction

The Apple Watch is coming, and while pundits and consumers are undoubtedly getting excited about the prospect of buying something new and shiny, Apple's entry into this market will undoubtedly shake up a number of industries.

Here are five industries that the Apple Watch is going to disrupt. There may be more, but these are the five that are going to feel the entry of the Apple Watch the most.

See also:

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Smartwatches

Let's start with the most obvious business model that's going to be disrupted.

Without even once uttering the word 'smartwatch,' Apple has dropped an atomic bomb into the existing smartwatch market.

Rather than focus on making a small, awkward, hard to use companion device for a smartphone, Apple has not only designed an accessory that brings a raft of new features to the table, but come up with innovative solutions to some fundamental problems that have plagued smartwatches.

Take for example the Digital Crown. Here's an idea that takes the concept of a crown found on a wristwatch and gives it a 21st century spin. It's one of those forehead-slapping "why didn't I think of that" ideas that Apple is so good at bringing to products.

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Fitness wearables

Both the iPhone 6 and the Apple Watch place a huge emphasis on fitness, counting your steps and how many flights of stairs you've done, and encouraging you to move like a friendly drill instructor.

Apple's products now feature a raft of sensors – from accelerometers to barometers to heart rate monitors – to monitor your movements and cajole you into shifting your carcass more.

While this is great for people's health, it's not so good for the existing players in the market. Companies such as Jawbone and FitBit are going to have to gaze deep into the ideas well and start innovating, and fast, perhaps moving to paid-for apps that leverage the sensors in the iPhone to compliment a physical wearable.

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The entire wristwatch business

Think it's just the smartwatch market that Apple has disrupted? Think again.

The Apple Watch will be offered in three lines, and at the top-end will be the Edition line, which will be crafted from 18-karat gold and feature a polished sapphire crystal lens. Throw in the different finishes and straps and these are features that you find on high-end timepieces.

For the first time, Apple is making a clear play for the fashion market, and this could lead to the company doing a lot more interesting things. After all, if there's one market with a bigger markup than Apple currently enjoys, it's the luxury goods market.

Let me be specific. The market most at risk is the mainstream one. Cheap watches will still be cheap (Casio, Timex, etc), and high-end will still appeal to those who want to throw many thousands on their wrist attire (Omega, Rolex, etc). Those in the middle are most at risk of being crushed by the Apple Watch, especially since Apple wants its watch to be mainstream (because that's what sells).

Those at the high-end which may be vulnerable to the Apple Watch could be those which could be considered fashion accessories. Apple is spending a lot of money courting the fashion industry and fashion magazines. Apple is clearly eyeing this market.

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Messaging

While the likes of WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger might be enjoying more column inches than iMessage these days, the Apple Watch could change that.

While traditional messaging tools allow people to communicate using words and emojis, the Apple Watch will take this several steps on, allowing people to communicate in new and more intimate ways, with sketches, taps, sound bites, and even heartbeats.

These are methods which are personal. Specific. Intimate.

Think these are gimmicks? People thought the same about emojis, and look how popular they are now.

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Internet of Things (IoT)

More and more home devices connect to, or are controlled by, our smartphones. But what's easy to do with a smartphone that's buried in a pocket or bag will be easier to do with a device that sits on the wrist.

I see the Apple Watch becoming the tool of choice for unlocking your doors (and possibly your car), switching your lights off and on, twiddling your thermostat or AC, and so much more.

We're going to see a lot of interest in the Apple Watch from companies involved in IoT.

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