One of the challenges the Apple faces is a generation of people who, in part because of the advent of cellphones, simply don't wear watches.
To get people to start wearing an Apple Watch, the company is going to have to present them with either a compelling feature or, more likely, a set of features that, when combined together, become compelling. Ariel Adams writing for A Blog to Watch:
I've said that compared to the Apple Watch, most other smartwatches (especially those with digital screens) feel like toys. I don't say that to insult other companies or because I love Apple, but I say it as a way of explaining the build and feel of the Apple Watch. Most of today's Google Android Wear-based devices look like facsimiles of a watch, but not something a serious watch lover would ever consider as "nice." The Apple Watch feels like a genuine modern manifestation of the watch, complete with quality materials and a very pleasant ergonomic and tactile experience. It is a watch product that would have naturally come about if the traditional watch industry continued to modernize and develop after the quartz watch became the status quo. After putting the traditional watch industry in a bad place, Apple has now come to the rescue of the watch truly bringing in to the 21st century, which is exactly what I said after my initial first-hand experience in my Apple Watch hands-on article.
The entire article is fascinating, since it's written by and for watch people on a watch site, not gadget people on a gadget site. And it sums up what Apple faces with the watch industry.
Apple has the dual role of having to convince people to buy their smartwatch as well as having to convince people to wear watches again. Apple has taken upon itself the large task of developing a nascent market and educating a large base of consumers. Perhaps no one is better equipped than Apple, but I think it is important to understand this when judging the short versus long-term success of the Apple Watch. My feeling is that the first year will be an important awareness and eduction-building time for Apple with the Apple Watch. That is because, in my opinion, most people will only develop a desire for one by having personal experience with it and seeing other people around them using it. Unlike other tech products that people have experience with or can understand in pictures and videos, the Apple Watch is part of a new category of technology products that consumers need to learn to love and want.
It's a long read, but a worthwhile one.