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Lack of developer interest may hurt Apple Watch sales

Apple plans to announce some form of sales for the Apple Watch later this month for its third quarter fiscal earnings report, and investors are eager to make sure Apple is on track.

Reports of one to two million sales in the first 24 hours pointed to a huge success for the Apple Watch, but word on the street is that popularity bombed after a few weeks (opens in new tab). It is now managing to flog just over 15,000 units per week, according to some reports.

There was a lot of hype surrounding the Apple Watch, but when the reviews came in and people started buying the smartwatch, it quickly became a tale of a slow, half-baked system that lacked most of the apps on the iPhone and iPad (opens in new tab).

Apple cannot dig out of the app hole, with Facebook and Snapchat both confirming they have no plans to launch an Apple Watch app any time in the future. Both companies have issues with the form factor, claiming it is not large enough to cram all of the features available.

Facebook wants to see how Apple Watch users spend time on the watch, before committing. The only problem is without these apps people spend a lot of time users, the data is quite small for the social network, leading to a catch-22 situation.

It is not a huge problem, considering the Apple Watch is released with a higher amount of apps than the original iPhone or iPad. The only worry is the percentage of growth in the app store over the past few months is much lower than the iPhone or iPad.

Apple needs to be able to show all the amazing experiences customers can have on the Apple Watch, but with no Facebook, Snapchat and several Google apps missing, it is a hard task. Only five of the top 20 apps on the iOS App Store are available on Apple Watch.

This might get better with the update that allows developers to create native Apple Watch apps, which don’t need to work in conjunction with an iPhone app. This workaround didn’t appeal to a lot of developers, who already seemed to know how to optimise the app enough to work on Apple Watch.

David has been a technology journalist for over six years, covering a wide range of sectors. He currently researches apps, app sectors and app markets for Business of Apps, and has written for ITProPortal, RTInsights, ReadWrite, and Digital Trends.