UBS: The Apple Watch Is Bogged Down With Unnecessary Features

Apple watchAppleAnalysts are worried the Apple Watch is just a bucket of features.

In the wake of Apple unveiling the Apple Watch last Tuesday, analysts have already begun dissecting the device — and they’re not afraid to pull punches.

In their latest note to investors, UBS analysts discussed the Apple Watch launch. Their main criticism was that the watch acts like a bucket of features and isn’t focused enough.

“There appear to be almost too many jobs [for the Apple Watch] with over 50 applications, some merely extensions of the phone and some new,” said UBS’ Steven Milunovich.

In order to be successful, Milunovich thinks the Apple Watch should focus on a handful of key features, rather than trying to be everything to everyone.

“Apple needs to highlight the jobs unique or advantaged to the Watch, such as (1) paying without reaching into the pocket/purse, (2) responding to texts by voice without resorting to the phone, and (3) receiving directions through touch prompts,” he said.

UBS is right that Apple Pay — the company’s new mobile payment platform — could be a major function of the Apple Watch. But that alone doesn’t justifying buying the watch, since Apple Pay also works with the iPhone 6.

The other two features UBS thinks Apple should focus on are also thorny. Responding to texts with the Apple Watch is potentially convenient, but can be awkward in social situations.

Using the Apple Watch for navigation is also difficult in the short term since developers haven’t had an opportunity to come up with apps for the Watch’s operating system yet. Apple Maps doesn’t have a great reputation, and the company is struggling to fix it. (Still, there’s nothing stopping Google Maps and other navigation apps from coming to the Apple Watch.)

It’s not all doom and gloom for the Apple Watch, though. UBS expects that communication features will sell 24 million units by the end of 2015.

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