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3/5/2015
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Kelly Sheridan
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Apple Watch: 5 Facts, 5 Questions

As Apple's March 9 event approaches, we break down what we know, and what we want to know, about Apple Watch.
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(Image: Apple)

(Image: Apple)

Now that Apple has released the invitations for its upcoming press event on March 9, rumors are flying about the Apple Watch that's expected to debut that day. It's time to separate fact from fiction -- while giving Apple our own list of demands, of course.

Wearable tech has been around for some time but has failed to generate much excitement among consumers. Devices such as Microsoft Band, Fitbit, and Jawbone are nifty for tracking fitness data and getting smartphone notifications, but most are perceived as little more than pricey accessories.

Can Apple Watch assume leadership of an otherwise dull market? The energy around its upcoming event suggests the possibility. After the watch was announced in September 2014, smartwatches have been getting some serious attention.

However, not all attention is positive. Despite its modern design and promised functionality, many consumers fail to see what Apple Watch will offer that smartphones do not. Plenty of us have already abandoned wristwatches altogether in favor of iPhones, which are required for the Apple Watch to function, and many consumers don't see the value for the watch's price tag.

[Not buying Apple Watch? Check out these gadgets instead.]                                       

There is little doubt that the watch will make a smaller splash than did the iPhone, but that doesn't mean it will be a flop, either. We may be underestimating it. Shortly after it was announced last year, Morgan Stanley predicted that Apple would sell 10 million to 30 million smartwatches in 2015, and said that 30 million is an "arguably still conservative" estimate.

Morgan Stanley's isn't the only opinion holding that Apple could drive market growth. When it comes to consumer tech, we can usually trust Apple to turn heads -- and spark sales. Now that the company is venturing into the wearables space, its competitors are preparing for battle.

Early smartwatch player Pebble got a boost from a Kickstarter campaign designed to garner funds for the color smartwatch Pebble Time. The project raised more than $10 million overall, and $1 million in just 30 minutes, a new record for the crowdfunding site. Pebble expects the smartwatch to roll out in May 2015, which is about a month after the anticipated availability of Apple Watch.

What will Pebble -- and other wearable makers -- be competing with? On the following pages, we take a look at five things we can expect from Apple Watch, followed by a few questions we hope Apple will answer on March 9. After you've reviewed these, we want to know what you think about Apple watch -- and wearables in general. Tell us all about it in the comments section below.

Kelly Sheridan is the Staff Editor at Dark Reading, where she focuses on cybersecurity news and analysis. She is a business technology journalist who previously reported for InformationWeek, where she covered Microsoft, and Insurance & Technology, where she covered financial ... View Full Bio

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Thomas Claburn
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Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
3/5/2015 | 4:13:20 PM
It will be neither a hit nor a flop
My prediction is that Apple Watch will sell reasonably well, but won't really catch on. I just don't see a killer app for it.
Kelly22
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Kelly22,
User Rank: Strategist
3/5/2015 | 4:16:30 PM
Re: It will be neither a hit nor a flop
I can see that happening. It seems like it'll be a hit among big Apple fans, gadget junkies, tech-savvy fashionistas, etc. but I don't see a great need for average consumers to buy. It's more of a nice-to-have than a must-have.
D. Henschen
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D. Henschen,
User Rank: Author
3/6/2015 | 3:33:24 PM
Apple Watch is a waste of time!
The dependence of this watch on being teathered to an iPhone for connectivity and location awareness makes it waste, in my book. I know people who no longer buy watches because they always have their phone on hand. When I'm running, I don't want to (and don't need to) carry a phone. My GPS watch has all the sensors I need. I'm with Tom that this will be neither a big success or a big failure, but with Apple, anything less than complete success falls short of expectations.
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