Apple Watch To Elevate Wearables From 'Niche to Mainstream' Says T-Mobile's John Legere

T-Mobile boss John Legere has never found himself at a loss of words, and love him or hate him, you have to appreciate the fact that he speaks his mind. It's a double-edged sword, as he can sometimes say foolish things, but we'll take that over the canned responses that PR people are known for giving. As we embark on a new year, it doesn't look like Legere will change his strategy of saying anything and everything that comes to mind, and though this is just the first day of 2015, he's already given us plenty to quote, including his take on the Apple Watch.

"I love what Jawbone, Fitbit, Samsung, LG, Microsoft and others are doing in the wearables space. But we haven’t begun to see the potential of this category," Legere stated in a blog post offering up his predictions for 2015. "It’s going to go from $1 to $20 billion in the next few years. And though we won’t see its full impact in 2015, I believe that the Apple Watch will mark the tipping point when wearables go from niche to mainstream."

Aple Watch

That's probably not all that far fetched, considering that Apple has a knack for popularizing categories that already exist (like tablets, smartphones, and so forth). The challenge in this case will be in convincing mainstream users that they need (or want) to go back to wearing watches when most of them ditched those accessories after feature phones and smartphones came into play.

Legere also predicted that T-Mobile will go "toe-to-toe with Verizon's network" in just about every location, and of course win the battle. He points out that T-Mobile's LTE network reaches 264 million Americans, which isn't terribly far behind the 303 million that Verizon's reaches. I'm a bit skeptical myself, as I've tried wading in T-Mobile's waters on more than one occasion only to be disappointed by lack of coverage in my area, but I suppose we'll see.

And of course Legere used his blog post to throw jabs at the competition. Here are three worth quoting:

  1. "AT&T will find new ways to cause their customers pain -- especially those on grandfathered unlimited plans. Just to squeeze more money out of them."
  2. "Sprint will continue throwing out campaigns, offers, and promotions -- anything to see if it sticks. It'll be confusing as hell."
  3. "Verizon will keep trying to baffle American wireless customers with BS promos, like the one they did this year telling customers they could get a free iPhone 6 (don't forget to read the small print!), as well as misleading advertising about everything from coverage maps to device trade-ins."

John Legere

Legere may sometimes lack tact, but it's hard to argue against some of the things he says. The challenge for him will be to deliver his message without saying things so far over the top that people stop taking him seriously. We'll see how that pans out in 2015.