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Three reasons the Apple Watch might still flop

Don't get too excited about all the positive Apple Watch reviews just yet. The device still has some big challenges ahead if it is to move the needle for Apple, industry experts say.


Consumers are already bored

One big problem–peculiar since the device isn't even available yet—is that consumers appear to be already losing interest in it.

According to data from Argus Insights published Thursday, interest in the Apple Watch —dropped considerably since its big reveal in September. The market intelligence firm measured 7.8 million social conversations and more than 65,000 consumer reviews during the last six months and determined that other wearable device makers, including FitBit and Pebble, actually garnered more attention than the Apple Watch during certain periods.

Women are especially disinterested. In fact, only 9.6 of women in the age group of 18 to 24 who made an effort to learn about the watch are likely to buy it. That's compared to 26.9 percent of men in the same age group who said they would buy it, according to Bespoke Market Intelligence.

Men show a stronger interest in purchasing the Apple Watch, but according to Bespoke's data even they showed declining interest during the period of November through February.

High price tag

One reason for the diminished enthusiasm? The price.

Unlike the iPhone, the Apple Watch is not subsidized, making it an expensive investment for most consumers. While the watch begins pricing at $350 for the Sports model, the device only works with newer iPhone models.

So, if a you have an older iPhone, you'll have to upgrade to an iPhone 5 or newer model for the watch to be compatible. That's another $200, minimum, for an iPhone 6 that is subsidized by a wireless carrier.

"A huge part of the reason that the iPhone is so successful is that it is subsidized in a lot of places," said Max Wolff, chief economist at Manhattan Venture Partners. "You are not going to buy this watch unless you have the latest phone. You are already paying a lot if you buy a subsidized phone, but if you are in the rest of the world where the phone isn't subsidized and you have to buy both the new phone and the watch, that's pretty expensive."

A headache for developers

The push-back may not just come from consumers. App developers—who will have a lot to do with whether or not the device is a success long-term—are figuring out how their watch apps will be different from their phone apps, said Mike Wehrs, the head of U.S. operations for the app developing company Appster.

"The watch represents a different kind of beast," Wehrs said. "You can't as an app developer just think about the watch as a replacement for the phone, because it's not."

Developers are still struggling to figure out exactly what the killer use cases for the Apple Watch and wearables in general will be, said Matt Johnston, chief marketing and operations officer of the app testing company Applause.

Part of this problem stems from the fact that there is simply much less screen real estate on the smartwatch than a smartphone to work with, Johnston said.

"There's not that much screen to work with. Developers are asking 'how do I give users what they want when they want it?' They are rightly identifying that they have to tighten up the use cases and only give users what they really need," Johnston said.

The limited battery life is another challenge, as developers have to be more conscious about power useage.

When fully charged, the Apple claims the watch will be powered all day. However, power hungry apps could drain the battery much quicker and developers are having to be much more conscious of this when building for the smartwatch.

"App developers are going to have to get really, really smart about how to use anything that amps the power up use on the device," Wehrs said.

If developers create an app that sucks up battery life, users will be sure to delete or never use that app, he said.

By CNBC's Cadie Thompson. Follow her on Twitter @CadieThompson.