Apple Watch is ready for the spotlight

Apple’s original initiatives for the Apple Watch were probably too big at the time. So instead, the company imagined it as, in essence, a more human version of your iPhone.

The iPhone accounts for most of Apple’s earnings, and iPhone users — who also spend for iCloud and Apple TV Plus and purchase headphones, cases, cables, and smartwatches — account for even more.

Apple has been The iPhone Company for over a decade, and that’s not changing anytime soon.

The iPhone is Apple’s most significant product and is not remotely close. So don’t get distracted by all the individuals pining for a car, wondering what Apple’s AR headset might look like, arguing the iPad is the future computer, or hoping Apple would go forth and assemble a TV already.

Keep an eye on Apple’s smaller screen because the essential device category Apple will discuss this week is the Apple Watch. Apple seems equipped to announce as many as three new smartwatch models, including an Apple Watch Pro, which is more powerful and valuable than previous watch versions. And in the process, it could finally start to make a case for the watch as the next great Apple device.

As the smartphone market persists in settling and people keep their phones longer and stay rooted in their ecosystems, the watch offers Apple a chance to have the following significant thing already here. The smartwatch is an old hat, but the wrist-computer era might be just commencing.

You don’t own to grope it out of your bag a hundred times a day since it’s on the wrist. It has biometric sensors that allow the device to understand how you’re physically accomplishing at any given moment. It utilizes Siri to perform most simple tasks. Put those fortes together, and you’d have a device that could be a digital partner to improve your energy, not a big blinking screen that endeavors to suck your life out.

Apple has pivoted the watch into a super flourishing iPhone accessory. First, however, Apple must finally make it happen — because we’re not all bringing Apple headsets anytime soon, and good luck lingering for that car to ultimately ship.

Since then, the watch has become a fitness and health device primarily. But, of course, almost every other smartwatch has turned into that, too. And Apple’s is excellent: the stories you hear about life-saving fall detection or heart rate notifications are real. The Fitness Plus ecosystem has become one of the best beginner workout tools on the market.

And from what we understand of watchOS 9, the latest software that will power this new health, smartwatches, and fitness, continue to be the driving forces after the devices. Apple’s adding improved medication, sleep tracking, heart rate tracking, and more fine-grained controls and analytics for athletes. However, the watch remains a fitness device.

But hang on: there will now be an Apple Watch with a larger screen, reportedly more buttons, likely more reasonable battery life, and maybe even satellite connectivity. Not only could that drive the watch into a better fitness device, but it could also spread some of the things Apple hasn’t been competent to do before.

Apple resumes leaning into what it does best, too. The new smartwatches will have body temperature sensors, and Apple’s rumored to be working on glucose monitoring. The Watch Pro is, by all narratives, going to be a solid multisport fitness device, taking on the likes of Garmin and Polar with a more rugged body and a more sophisticated build.

The watch’s small battery always meant you couldn’t ask it to do intense things, and the small screen made it tough to type or tap around too much. But even a slight expansion of both battery and display could prevent some of those problems.