The Apple Watch has only been available a few months, but it has already captured a sizable portion of the wearable market. The Apple Watch is only compatible with the iPhone 5 and later models running at least iOS 8.2, cutting off a huge proportion of consumers who use Android handsets.
Apple Watch can only work with iPhone because it does things that require the two be developed together. The hardware and software on both the Watch and iPhone all work together. Apple could make the apple watch to support both iPhone and Android. If Apple were to follow this path. Apple Watch apps could be made available via Apple’s very own Android app store, which would offer apps for the Watch. Of course, an Apple Android store for Apple Watch isn’t really required. All Apple would really need to do is introduce an SDK Android developers could use to create Apple Watch apps.
If Apple wants its new smartwatch to have genuine mass appeal, it will struggle under these terms. Making the Apple Watch compatible with Android phones is a tall order. Both the Apple Watch and recent iOS releases have been developed concurrently with compatibility in mind. The Apple Watch could conceivably be modified to work with Android handsets, but the functionality would be severely reduced.
Keeping the two ecosystems separate offers its benefits too. It ensures that iOS and Android remain distinct, giving consumers a greater range of devices to choose from.