Digital Insights

Can Apple’s New Watch Impact Local Search?


Published: September 23, 2014

Apple’s long-awaited entry into the smart watch market has just been unveiled – the Apple Watch. That’s the official name that was apparently favored over the Apple Watch moniker that most tech watchers expected to see; in recent months, trademark registration documents for “Watch” were quietly filed without fanfare in Japan, Taiwan, Turkey, Mexico, and Columbia. No official explanation has been given for the name change.

The Apple Watch made its official debut at Apple’s fall media event held on September 9th in Cupertino, California. Sharing the spotlight with the Apple Watch were the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, making it a triple-treat day for Apple fans everywhere. The Apple Watch is the first all-new product category launch for Apple since the original iPad was introduced in 2010.

Apple’s wearable digital device is slated to go on sale in early 2015, and will be available in 3 different versions starting at $349 in the U.S. Pricing for other markets have not been announced.

What Exactly does the Apple Watch Offer?
The Apple Watch comes preloaded with a variety of easily accessible apps including

  • Messages
  • Calendar
  • Mail
  • Maps
  • Local search capabilities through Bing
  • Music
  • Photos
  • Weather
  • Health and fitness monitoring
  • Apple Pay

Can the Apple Watch Live up to Expectations?
There has been much speculation of late about Apple’s ability to remain in the forefront of technological innovation. With the passing of legendary founder and resident visionary Steve Jobs, Apple is in the difficult position of proving itself still worthy of carrying the torch of viable innovation for a technology-crazed world.

The Apple Watch will be the acid test for Apple and its new CEO Tim Cook. Success in the marketplace will silence the critics and revitalize the legions of diehard Apple fans and customers. Failure may not doom the company, but it will strengthen the conviction held by some that Apple without Steve Jobs is no longer the Apple it once was.

How the Apple Watch Ties-in with Local Search
The Apple Watch is the latest entry into the growing wearable digital device market, which includes Google’s Android Wear, Samsung’s Gear 2, and Motorola’s Moto 360. Initial reaction to Apple’s newest product introduction has been extremely encouraging; a survey of 1,000 U.S. respondents following the Apple Watch launch resulted in 33 percent indicating an intention to buy.

Apple Watch owners will be able to initiate local searches on the Bing search engine through the Siri interface, and receive turn-by-turn navigation to a local business. Maps can easily be accessed, which users can effortlessly zoom in and out of with the touch of a finger.

The implications for local search marketing opportunities are clear. Assuming that the power and magic of the Apple brand carries over to the Apple Watch, the entire wearable digital device market will receive a tremendous boost in interest and acceptance. This will in turn present today’s mobile consumer with new options and choices for faster and easier access to the local products and services he or she is looking for.

Now more than ever, your business needs to be optimized for local search. The train is about to pull out of the station, and if your business isn’t on board, it’s going to be left behind.