Apple released its first foray into the smartwatch market in April. At an event in San Francisco today, the company revealed how it’s doing on a key metric: apps. More than 10,000 apps have now been developed for the Apple Watch, said Jeff Williams, Apple’s senior vice president of operations, on stage Wednesday. Hitting the 10,000 mark is critical in showing that the Apple Watch can do more than tell the time and offer basic notifications. It also exceeds the 4,000 apps available on Android Wear, the Google-made software tailored for wearable devices.
The Apple Watch was the first major new product category produced by the Cupertino, California, tech giant since the iPad in 2010. Released in April, the watches range in price from $349 to $17,000.
For CEO Tim Cook, the Apple Watch plays a vital role in showing that Apple is still an innovator without co-founder Steve Jobs and that it can expand beyond the smartphone market, which accounts for two-thirds of the company’s revenue in recent quarters. When Cook introduced the Apple Watch a year ago, he called it a “breakthrough” product. He described the smartwatch as a “comprehensive” health and fitness device, walkie-talkie and remote control for the Apple TV streaming-box. Those factors alone set the Apple Watch apart from other smartwatches on the market, which tend to simply track steps, provide notifications and run very basic apps.
The Apple Watch has faced some criticism. The company has not released specific sales numbers for the smartwatch, leading some analysts to speculate that it has not sold as well as hoped. Still, in its first three months on the market, the Apple Watch managed to unseat Samsung’s Gear devices as the world’s top smartwatch by nabbing 76 percent share, according to Strategy Analytics. Samsung recently showed off its latest smartwatch, the round Gear S2, which has received generally positive reviews.