The most compelling update is not a feature but the price: You can now buy an Apple Watch for $ 199. It's a significant saving over the cost of previous models, as well as the recently announced series Smartwatch starting at $ 399, or $ 499 with mobile connectivity.
Apple ( AAPL ) pulled down the price of its Apple Series 3 watch, a two-year device, in an attempt to attract new users – a tactic the company has long used used with their iPhones. Last year, the 3-ounce series cost $ 279.
Smartwatches typically start in the $ 300 range or higher, with the exception of Fitbit ($ 169), the second most popular portable brand behind Apple.
"Apple loosely bases its pricing on the cost of producing a device, but it's more about the price a consumer is willing to pay," Canalys analyst Ben Stanton told CNN Business. "A cheap price point for Apple Watch is important because much of the device's growth right now comes from consumers who have never owned Apple Watch before. It tries, and seems to succeed, to appeal to different demographics with different devices and price points." [1
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 While not new, the Series 3 watch offers a handful of appealing features such as and fitness features, notifications and, yes, control time. The company quietly killed its Series 4 model on Tuesday to further differentiate between the lower end and Series 5, providing a faster processor and an always on display that still promises 18 hours of battery life.
"The lower price of Apple Watch 3 is a gateway to get people engaged," said Ramon Llamas, a research director at market data company IDC. "Relatively speaking, you pay 50% less than a new model – a cost that is much easier to swallow."
The Apple Watch originally appealed to luxury consumers, but the $ 200 price tag makes it more accessible to a larger audience. Now about the same cost as a pair of AirPods, it's about as close to a stocking filler as Apple gets.
Apple Watch came from humble beginnings, but it has made great progress since its launch in 2015: It now offers mobile connectivity, which means it doesn't have to be tied to an iPhone to be fully functional and has a strong foothold in the wearables market.
The category is still behind the iPhone in terms of sales, but ahead of the iPad. According to IDC data, Apple shipped a total of 23.3 million units last year – a number expected to total 25.9 million this year.
"It's strange to think that there are brand new users out there waiting Given that it's been more than four years since it first launched, Stanton said. "Apple Watch was a very slow starter compared to its recent sales, but this can be a unique feature of portable technology. The more people who wear it, the more potential customers will see it. "
For several years, Apple has relied on partners in the research and medical field, from the University of Michigan to the World Health Organization, to drive its presence At the iPhone event earlier this week, the company showed a video of customer testimonials about the health-related effects of carrying the device, from marking early signs of a heart attack to helping a pregnant mother know she needed an emergency C-section. "Hearing these stories just makes my heart sing," Tim Cook said at the time.
The company recently announced a new app called Studies released later this year that will allow more Apple Watch users to participate in health research.
"Apple's strategy for the clock is developing in an interesting way," Stanton said. "It used to be about fitness with running, cycling or swimming, but now it's cker it to wellness. It started this effort with features like guided breathing, but now the latest tools, such as sound level tracking and menstrual cycle tracking, have really taken this focus on wellness to a new level. "
Still missing on the latest Apple Watch, however, is a built-in sleep tracking feature – one of the more sought-after user tools.
" The & # 39; We have prioritized day functions that require enough power [to get you through the day] says Frank Gillett, a VP at the research company Forrester. "You can get third-party apps that monitor sleep, but when will you charge [the device]?"
Maybe those upgrading to Series 5 will use their older Apple Watch and a third-party app for sleep monitoring while new ones are charging.