According to a new report from re/code, Apple executives are said to be discussing price points for their forthcoming wearable device, giving consideration to $400 as the cost for the entry level model. The new wearable, unofficially dubbed the iWatch, might make its debut at the upcoming September 9th event. It will share a very big stage at the Flint Center, alongside the iPhone 6. A sale price of $400 for Apple’s new wearable would be for the entry-level model, one of several models.
Though Apple’s new wearable is slated to be introduced in a matter of weeks, it won’t be available until early 2015. John Gruber notes the delay would mean Apple wouldn’t have to worry about keeping the device a secret when putting it through a number of FCC filings necessary before the product launch. Announcing early also provides the added benefit of giving consumers a reason not to buy a competitive product, provided Apple is able to wow potential customers. Samsung and LG have released a number of smartwatches, none of which have seen any critical success. Motorola’s smartwatch effort will become clearer next week with the release of the Moto X. A recent Best Buy leak suggests it will be priced at $250. Samsung’s second generation Galaxy Gear sells at $299. Based on competitive pricing, it would not be surprising for Apple to sell at a slightly higher premium, something that has worked with tablets.
Wearables rely on and require a smartphone. Anyone tech savvy enough to wear a smartphone watch, is going to own a smartphone. Like CarPlay, you can expect tight integration with your iPhone or iPad. It’s not going to work with an Android phone. That’s no different than Android Wear, the operating system that powers wearables powered by Google’s software. If you want an Android Wear watch, you’ll need an Android phone. High-end accessory products are the ultimate platform lock. If you are an iOS customer who wants a smartwatch, you have only one true choice. Sure you can pick up a Pebble, but it’s a safe bet that come early September, the feature set on that watch will look dated.
Apple’s iOS 8, also due out next month, will feature HomeKit and the new ‘Health’ app. Their new wearable will seamlessly transfer important health and fitness data including heart rate, calories burned and blood pressure to your iPhone, which can in turn, be transferred to your doctor (provided you give authorization). It wouldn’t be surprising to see Apple offer control of your lights and more, from their new wearable.
This isn’t a new story. By controlling software and hardware, Apple is often able to provide a superior experience. When you combine that with hardware lock-in, a $400 price point seems likely.
Would you pay $400 for an iWatch?