At a board meeting recently I bet a fellow board member that Apple could easily ship 10M watches this year and according to IDC data today, it looks like I am well on the way to doing so by shipping 3.6 million units in Q2 alone. This is crazy for a product that has 25 "little use" use cases and no killer one that it can hang its hat on, especially in what is essentially its first real quarter of shipping. Add to the equation how half done all of the first party apps were and how badly the API hobbled all of the third party apps and it becomes an even bigger head scratcher.
I'm not sure we'll know the exact reasons for the early success of the Watch for a while (or even if we can call it early success) but presuming for a moment that it will get to the 10M mark and soon eclipse Fitbit as the most popular "wearable" in terms of unit sales for the sake of understanding a key point: as these devices go from being technology products to fashion accessories that happen to be convenient, we may find ourselves increasingly in the land of "little use" use cases where it is the sum total of them that convince people to adopt rather than the one big use case to rule them all. I suspect wading into existing categories that are thriving on the basis of taste and utility will only exacerbate this both for Apple and its competitors. Which is interesting to think about now that all of the big tech companies have set their sites on the car as the next "big" market, especially if the first versions of only partially autonomous and thus have to win through a combination of these little use use cases.