The year 2015 is definitely going to bring revolution to the wearable industry. After the record pre-booking of Apple Watch on last Friday, reports are making rounds over the internet that Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOGL) is eyeing on the prospective market of Apple Watch by making Android Wear platform support iPhone. According to few people close to the development team of Google, the company is almost ready with the technical details required to make Android Wear support iPhone, claims TheVerge. And, if this happens, Smartwatches powered with Android Wear, will start competing with Apple Watch to a large extent.
But that doesn’t mean that Android Wear is completely incompatible to iPhone. In its current state, the platform supports few of the basic functionalities like notification in iPhone through some companion apps. However, to make it more adorable for iPhone users, Google has been working on own iOS apps that would possibly close the gap and allow Android Wear powered Smartwatch users to have a better in-sync with their iPhone. Functionalities like replying to Gmail messages would be a welcome move by iPhone users wearing an Android Smartwatch.
Why Does Google Need iPhone Support
Google’s own smartphone operating system Android is witnessing a phenomenal growth in most of the emerging markets. By the end of 2014, nearly 1.25 billion Android devices were in use. In comparison, only 660 million devices were found powered by iOS. In 2014 alone, 1 billion Android-powered smartphones were sold to end users, as compared to 191 million units of iPhone. Therefore, it is clearly evident from these numbers that Google has got a huge potential market for Android Wear – double than Apple Watch. So why is Google eyeing on Apple Watch market?
Android market share is strongest in relatively lower income countries. On the contrary, two of the three biggest smartphone markets, US and China, are dominated by iPhone. A majority of the iPhone users have deep pockets and intend to spend more on apps and accessories. According to various reports, Apple users spend nearly 4X as much as Android users spend on apps. The mobile analytics company Flurry found that, unlike Apple, Android users are the greatest consumer of free apps.
BusinessInsider estimates that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) would sell nearly 15 million Apple Watch this year, while few others claims that the figure could go as high as 40 million in 2015. Apple Watch saw a strong turnout after the pre-orders opened today, reports Reuters. In fact, some of the colors sold out within few hours from the time pre-booking commenced. In China, Apple Watch Edition has already sold out and it took less than an hour for the most luxurious gold edition to go out of stock. This clearly indicates the huge demand and strong potential market Apple Watch could create for the iPhone maker.
On the contrary, in the last two years, many Android Smartwatch manufacturers, including Samsung, Sony and Motorola, launched their smartwatch but failed to get the similar market response. This has probably made Google re-evaluate its Android Wear market strategy and the company is looking beyond Android smartphone manufacturers to capture a sizable share of the smartwatch market.
Will Apple Allow Google Apps?
The big question is, Will Apple allow Google’s companion apps into its App Store? Certainly, it is a tricky question to answer but considering that Apple is leaving no stone unturned to ensure the success of Apple Watch, apparently Google will have to bite the bullet to get listed on Apple App Store.
Besides, Apple and Google have a long history of antagonistic app approval process – Not long ago Google Maps app and Voice apps were the cause of concern. However, off late not much traction has been noticed between the two tech giants over the apps. But that is not the end of the problem; Way back in 2010, Apple had added a term in its app approval process that the iPhone maker can reject any app that contains the name of its competing platform, and that is still valid.
So, if Google decides to approach Apple Store with apps that are pegged to Android Wear, Apple has all the rights to turn the request down. Whether Google’s companion apps will make way into Apple App Store is highly anticipated, but is also eagerly awaited.