A reader asked me why I didn’t mention smartwatches like Apple Watch Series 3 along with smartphones as the perfect match for transit platforms like Suica that are on Apple Pay. Apple Watch is a very popular choice for using Apple Pay Suica in Japan but there is one big drawback: you can’t load Suica directly into Apple Watch, you need an iPhone.
Apple Watch is a hit product but not revolutionary, not yet. Fitness and phone functions are extremely handy, necessary for some but not a must have for the many. An Apple Watch that can directly load a Suica card is just that, a must have device. It’s the kind of product that school systems built programs around so the parents can get one at a discount for their kids who ride the train or bus to school everyday. Pre loaded with Suica school commuter passes or course. And because Suica is stored value, parents control the allowance.
It’s not for kids either. Elderly parents who don’t want a fancy smartphone or operate one can just use a preloaded Apple Watch with Apple Pay Suica given to them by their children. The phone function is the necessary backup when one is needed.
If Apple gets there first, they will sell a ton of Apple Watches in markets like Japan where Apple Pay is matched with transit platforms. There is nothing better than transit for driving devices up the Golden uptake path.