Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Apple's $10,000 question: How to stop Apple Watch from becoming obsolete

Apple enters the high-end watch market with the 18-karat gold Apple Watch Edition. But CEO Tim Cook stays mum about how to keep the smartwatch relevant a year or two down the line.

Apple expects some iPhone owners to shell out more than $10,000 for a smartwatch. And it hopes they don't care if it becomes outdated in a year.
The Cupertino, Calif., electronics giant on Monday revealed pricing for the three models of Apple Watch, which will be available April 24 in nine countries. The device starts at $349 for the basic Apple Watch Sport version and goes up to $17,000 for the premium Apple Watch Edition.
That huge price gap comes from the use of the materials in the watches -- 18-karat gold for the high-end Edition versus aluminum for the Sport -- but not for any of the actual features. iPhone owners won't be able to do any more with the expensive gold number than with the entry-level model -- beyond showing off their ability to afford a wearable device that costs more than some cars.
By pricing its smartwatch that high, Apple, one of the world's largest makers of smartphones andtablets, is setting itself up as a luxury watch seller. But the transition could be tricky. The computing world is moving faster than ever before, as technology executives like to tell us, and what's new one day may easily be outdated a few months later. Spending $10,000 to $17,000 on a golden gadget that could become obsolete in a year is a risky proposition, especially since we don't yet know if Apple will have a trade-in program, how it will support older devices in the future and whether any of the components in the device are replaceable.
"Although the watch's features are exceptional, almost all activities can be done with an iPhone, rendering the watch a completely discretionary gadget, highly dependable on disposable income, price and recent expenditures," noted Sarah Kahn, an IBISWorld technology analyst.
Apple declined to comment for this report beyond the comments made Monday by CEO Tim Cook.
"Apple Watch is the most advanced timepiece ever created," he said during a press event in San Francisco. "It's a revolutionary new way to connect with others and a comprehensive health and fitness companion."
History has shown that buying the first generation of a new Apple product often isn't the smartest move. Apple tends to update its products in short order -- usually within a year and sometimes even earlier. And it incorporates new features in each update that make the prior model less attractive. Consider the bigger screens andApple Pay mobile payments in the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, introduced in September 2014, the TouchID fingerprint sensor for the iPhone 5S the year earlier, and the Siri digital voice assistant for 2011's iPhone 4S.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Tell Us What You've Got...