Entering the smartphone market—and the lifestyle market by extension—is not as big of a leap for Apple as some have suggested, Raymond James analyst Tavis McCourt told CNBC on Monday.
"I would argue they've been managing a lifestyle brand for quite some time," he said in a "Squawk on the Street" interview. "Part of the magic of the iPhone is clearly the ecosystem."
Further, the iPhone can be seen as a lifestyle success story in foreign markets, where fewer carriers subsidize the cost of smartphones and tariffs apply, making Apple's handset an $800-plus product.
Apple is expected to reveal new details about its smartwatch at an event in San Francisco at 1 p.m. EDT. The company gave market watchers a glimpse of the device's look and functionality in September.
Reports indicate Apple will release the watch in an array of casings and straps and allow buyers to customize the look to some extent. The priciest model—a gold Apple Watch—is expected to run as much as $10,000.
That decision shows the difference between the cultures of Apple and Samsung, said Ken Segall, a former creative director at Apple who worked with Steve Jobs for 12 years.
While Samsung came out with its Galaxy Gear watch first, it released a standard, one-size-fits all version, he told "Squawk on the Street." Apple studied the market and decided to launch a greater variety of devices, he added.
"I think it's the beginning of really mainstream wearable technology. We've seen a lot of things out there, but nobody has the ability to do what Apple does, to really come up with a world-changing device," he said.
Apple still faces significant challenges, McCourt said, noting that with revenues running close to $200 billion it will be tough for the Apple Watch to move the needles on the company's overall earnings.
"The watch market today is $30 billion or so, so they've got to not only take some share but actually grow that market," he said. "They've done that in smartphones and tablets before."
About 10 percent of iPhone users—or roughly 30 million people—have serious interest in buying an Apple Watch, according to a Raymond James survey. For every 10 million watches sold, depending on the price, the watch could add 25 to 40 cents to Apple's earnings per share on an annual basis, according to McCourt.