In a note to clients — as reported by “AppleInsider” — Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster says Apple-built wearable computers (think a Dick Tracey-ish iWatch) may be long-term replacements for the iPhone — at least in some markets.
Munster issued the note (read more at http://tinyurl.com/b56nv6h) in response to a rumor that Apple and Intel are working ona “smart watch” that could tap into high-end iPhone functions including voice calls. The analyst doesn’t see a such a device debuting any sooner than 2014, but he does believe that wearable computers could replace the iPhone and smartphones in general over the next 10-plus years.
“We believe technology could progress to a point where consumers have a tablet plus wearable computers, like watches or glasses, that enable simple things like voice calls, texting, quick searches, navigation, etc. through voice control,” Munster says. “Longer term, screens in glasses or projectors could replace the necessity of a screen from a smartphone or tablet.”
He thinks iWatches could eventually prove to be cheaper to manufacture than the iPhone. The could be the company’s “best answer to addressing emerging markets,” says Munster.
Personally, I think that he’s right in that such a device might be a solution to a low-cost iPhone in SOME markets. However, for most of us, it would be more practical as an iPhone accessory than as a smartphone replacement. After all, the iPhone is used for a lot more than just making phone calls. It’s used to take photos, surf the web, check Facebook, even make videos. Those tasks would be a lot more difficult, if not downright impossible, to do with a screen less than half the size of that of an iPhone 5.
And can you imagine using iMovie on a wristwatch-sized screen? Me neither.