“One more thing,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook, invoking the classic line by Steve Jobs typically used before unveiling a major innovation.
This time, not only is the smartwatch a major milestone for Apple, it also marks the first introduction of a new product category under Cook at the helm.
No doubt, Apple Watch is impressive and sets the bar higher for the industry. Among the key features include the use of a ‘digital crown’ to minimize screen blockage with fingers, as well as and an integration with mobile payments system.
Do consumers really want a smartwatch? No less, one that costs as much and potentially more than their iPhone, which is needed for it to be fully functional?
At this point, there are some lingering doubts Apple can pull off the same revolution it did with smartphones (iPhone), music players (iPod) and tablets (iPad).
In most parts of Asia, at least, handset costs to consumers are typically cushioned by telco subsidies. Can we expect to see the same for the Apple Watch, which currently has an indicative price of at least US$350?
Apple fans will probably have no hesitation getting one, but the rest of the crowd is unlikely to jump on the bandwagon until they see a more compelling price point, or a stronger reason to justify their spend – such as a more independent smartwatch with 3G/4G connectivity.