In the months leading up to the launch of the Apple Watch next year, early opinions about the smartwatch have been quite mixed. While some believe that the Apple Watch will be as successful as iconic products released ahead of it, including the iPhone, iPad, iPod and Mac, others are more skeptical about how much of an impact the device will truly have.
While the wearables market is forecasted to become over a $5 billion industry by 2018, it hasn’t reached that point just yet. But T-Mobile CEO John Legere certainly thinks it will sooner than later, predicting that the Apple Watch launch in 2015 will be the turning point in which the wearables market goes from niche to mainstream.
“I love what Jawbone, Fitbit, Samsung, LG, Microsoft and others are doing in the wearables space,” wrote Legere. “But we haven’t begun to see the potential of this category. It’s going to go from $1 to $20 billion in the next few years. And though we won’t see its full impact in 2015, I believe that the Apple Watch will mark the tipping point when wearables go from niche to mainstream.”
Multiple rumors suggest that mass production of the Apple Watch will begin in January, ahead of an “early 2015″ release. Apple CEO Tim Cook recently demoed the Apple Watch for Chinese officials during a U.S. visit and Apple Stores have been recruiting fashion and luxury experts ahead of the smartwatch’s debut.
As far as sales figures are concerned, Morgan Stanley predicts that 10% of users with an iPhone 5 or newer will purchase an Apple Watch, leading to first year sales of around 30 million units. Apple Watch will start at $349, likely for the entry-level Sport edition, while the luxurious gold model will reportedly sell for between $4,000 to $5,000.
In his prediction letter, Legere also mentioned the strides that T-Mobile has made over the past year and reiterated that the company will soon overtake Sprint to become the U.S.’s third-largest wireless carrier. The CEO added that T-Mobile will expand its LTE network in 2015 to cover some 300 million Americans, up from its current 264 million footprint.