As was expected, Apple Inc. released more details about the Apple Watch at yesterday’s event. Among the details we learnt the price –starting at $349 all the way up to, and possibly over, $17,000 –and a more detailed look at features, such as expected battery life, a range of apps and tight fitness integration. As is expected after such an event, analysts and others have offered up their initial response to the new wearable:
While admitting that the Watch’s features are exceptional, Sarah Kahn, a tech analyst with IBISWorld, believes the Apple Watch is a completely discretionary gadget as almost all of the functionality already exists on the iPhone. A consumer’s decision to buy an Apple Watch, she said, will depend on their disposable income, the price of the Watch and whether or not they have recently invested in a new iPhone.
Responses from other analysts included Katy Huberty, from Morgan Stanley, who noted that the Watch extends Apple’s already valuable platform.
Gene Munster, from Piper Jaffray said that the design of the Watch is its “killer” feature and that his firm “believes that the Apple Watch is the first Apple product with design as the lead feature and technology as a supporting feature and believes this makes sense because the Apple Watch competes against other traditional watches, not other smartwatches.”
Apple’s competitors, meanwhile, can breathe a sigh of relief, according to James McQuivey from Forester:
“Apple will outsell all the rest of them combined in 2015. But in so doing, Apple will bring very valuable attention to the market, essentially releasing a rising tide that will float all their boats. Where Apple has clearly blown past the pack is in its emphasis on fashion, at a variety of levels, too, including all the way up to the luxury level.”
The problem with Forester’s statement is that the fashion industry doesn’t seem to agree.
Despite Apple’s effort to appeal to the fashion conscious, the industry was less-than-awed by yesterday’s announcements.
Apple CEO Tim Cook shared the stage yesterday with Supermodel Christy Turlington Burns and the company has invested a considerable amount of time and money on promoting the wearable in Paris through partnerships with various designers and boutiques.
According to Reuters, fashion industry heavyweights involved with brands such as Chanel, Givenchy and Hermes don’t see the Apple Watch as a must-have accessory, but rather as a gadget.
“I haven’t heard anyone talking about it,” said Dutch model, Julia Van OS. “It’s a different world; it’s more technology rather than fashion. People don’t wear that kind of watch in fashion.”
A salesman from Printemps said that the famous Paris department store –which carries brands such as Rolex, Montblanc and Longines –will not be stocking the Apple Watch. “You have to understand. We are luxury brands, and [the Apple Watch is] more technology,” said the salesman at Printemps.
The Apple Watch is available for pre-order starting April 10 and is set to start shipping on April 24.