The Next Great Gold Rush: Apps and Accessories for the Apple Watch

Apple CEO Tim Cook introduces the new Apple Watch on Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014, in Cupertino, Calif. Apple's new wearable device marks the company's first major entry in a new product category since the iPad's debut in 2010. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Apple CEO Tim Cook introduces the new Apple Watch on Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014, in Cupertino, Calif. Apple's new wearable device marks the company's first major entry in a new product category since the iPad's debut in 2010. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Apple CEO Tim Cook introduces the new Apple Watch on Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014, in Cupertino, Calif. Apple’s new wearable device marks the company’s first major entry in a new product category since the iPad’s debut in 2010. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

 

(Wired) – Every time Apple modifies a connector, changes a form factor, or launches a new gadget, it impacts countless companies. There’s a robust third-party market for anything and everything that attaches to or wraps around the iPhone, one that’s constantly adapting to the evolving shapes, sizes, and specs of new handsets.

Now that the Apple Watch is official, we’re going to see an entirely new frontier of accessories and apps.

It’s fitting that even as Apple announced the Watch, it killed the iPod Classic. The iPod was the device that created the initial wave of third-party iAccessories, from alarm clocks to speaker docks and, of course, protective cases. So many cases. With those add-ons, the iPod became more than a music player. It became a music hub. By plugging it into a secondary device, you could expand the capabilities of both.

In the pre-iPhone years, iPod accessories were a billion-dollar business. Nowadays, add-ons and cases for smartphones generate at least $20 billion in revenues, according to an ABI Research report.

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