Google’s Android Wear Problem

Ben Bajarin, in a piece titled My First Week With the Apple Watch:

In many ways the Apple Watch untethered me from my iPhone the way the iPhone untethered me from my PC. I was free to leave my phone somewhere in the house, at my desk, or in my pocket, and focus more on the moments of real life. Sometimes it was a meeting, at home, out in my yard, at the kid’s tennis match, etc. There was peace of mind knowing I can leave my phone out of sight or mind but still have access to the relevant information or notifications and even be able to interact and respond to them. The most important interactions and information are no longer only accessible on my large screen smartphone. This experience, of moving key functionality from my iPhone to my wrist, proved to add a significant amount of value to my overall day.

Bajarin’s Apple Watch experience is emblematic of others’. Over and over again, people have said Apple Watch liberated them from their phone. This is no coincidence — Apple Watch was designed to free people from their phones.

If people use their phones less, Apple is no better or worse off, since Apple profits from selling you an iPhone, not from your use of it.

Google, however, is worse off if people use their phones less. People will search less frequently, so Google will show them fewer ads, and the company will thus make less money.

This is, from Google’s perspective, the inherent flaw of Android Wear. If it becomes a mass market success, phone usage will decrease, and Google will make less money.