On Monday, AppleInsider noted that the latest updates for the Google (GOOGL, GOOG) Maps, eBay (EBAY), Amazon (AMZN), and Target (TGT) apps were missing one element they used to have: companion apps for the Apple Watch.
Google later tweeted that it intends to bring the Apple Watch app back at some point. But the larger question remains: What’s going on?
Are these changes a canary in the coal mine, indicating waning interest in developing for the Apple Watch? In the last year, the Up bands ceased production, the Pebble Watch is no more, and Fitbit laid off 6% of its staff; maybe the world just isn’t as excited about wearables as the industry had hoped.
Or is this just a temporary hiccup that means nothing? “The fact that these high-profile removals have gone largely unnoticed could be a sign that the apps simply were not widely used,” says the AppleInsider story.
On Tuesday, during Apple’s financial conference call, CEO Tim Cook said that Apple Watch sales have nearly doubled since last year (“in six of our 10 top markets,” whatever that means). Yet the company still doesn’t disclose how many Watches it has sold. You still see few Apple Watches on wrists outside of the early-adopter and techie crowd, you still have to take the thing off to charge it every night, and (as a result) it still can’t track your sleep, as the latest Fitbits do with astonishing accuracy.
So which is it? A sign of impending doom, or a minor wobble in the timeline that means very little?
Tune in five years from now to find out!
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David Pogue, tech columnist for Yahoo Finance, welcomes nontoxic comments in the comments section below. On the web, he’s davidpogue.com. On Twitter, he’s @pogue. On email, he’s firstname.lastname@example.org. You can read all his articles here, or you can sign up to get his columns by email.