Most people either own an iPhone or an iPad, but Apple has recently begun running ads for its Apple Watch. While the product itself has a futuristic look to it that will definitely appeal to the most ardent Apple product enthusiasts, we can’t help but wonder what its purpose is. What features will make people run out and purchase it? How will people use it? These are questions that the Apple team certainly asked themselves before product development began. Can Apple actually make a run in the luxury watch market? Or become the top dog in a ‘smartwatch’ market?
There were doubts about the iPad when it was released in 2010. Laptop users were comfortable with what they had for mobile computing. The iPad was simply viewed as a luxury, not a necessity. However, the new age of tablets would begin, with the iPad setting the standard for the competition. By the end of 2015, there will be an expected 1 billion tablet users worldwide. But when you think of luxury watches, you think of established brands like Cartier or Rolex. Not Apple. In the case of the iPad, Apple had the biggest hand in creating a new market for tablets. Could a ‘smartwatch’ market suddenly take off? It will depend on how Apple addresses the product’s flaws.
There are issues that Apple may need to address sooner, rather than later. If Apple is too late, there is a good chance the Watch will be a guaranteed flop. One of the biggest concerns people have is the need to have an iPhone on them while wearing the Watch inorder for it to function. Some users may not want to advertise they have all these expensive gadgets on them at any given time. Another issue that has come up is in regard to battery life. Apple announced that the battery life of the Watch is about 18 hours, instead of the 24 hours that technology analysts had hoped for. Other unanswered questions pertain to durability, user interface and the types of apps the Watch will have.
Marketers are already trying to figure out ways to utilize the Watch’s features. The biggest changes we expect to see are the need for faster content and more responsive web designs. With a much smaller screen, content will have to be quicker for the users to consume. While this may be a challenge for some, it is important to note that some companies still haven’t grasped technology on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. If a website isn’t mobile-friendly, it will struggle even more with the Apple Watch. While all of the Watch’s bugs have yet to be recognized, we can’t help but wonder about the marketing potential of Apple’s newest gizmo.
A base model Apple Watch will sell for $350, but gets higher depending on the model. Apple expects sales to be in the 2-3 million per quarter range. While viewed as more of a luxury item, rather than a necessity, the Watch will certainly have its share of buyers. But how many? Time will tell.
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