LOS ANGELES: Who’s ready for an Apple Watch? It’s Apple’s first foray into a new product category since 2010’s iPad, and its debut in the growing wearables market.
The watch, which will be previewed Monday at a press event in San Francisco, is poised to become Apple’s most expensive product ever.
While the watch starts at $350, few are expected to walk out of the stores paying less than $500 or $600, dressing it up with expensive step-up bands.
The watch comes in three editions, with the top-of-the-line edition expected to garner anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000, easily dwarfing Apple’s current most expensive product, a tricked out $4,000 Mac Pro computer.
The watch does much of what an iPhone can do — reveal news alerts, incoming texts and e-mails, mapping directions and health information. Do we need this on our wrists?
We went out and spoke with consumers this week, and if they’re any indication, Apple has a tough sale.
“I wouldn’t go out and buy one, but if someone gave it to me I’d wear one,” says Jennifer Egilson, from British Columbia, Canada.
The watch goes on sale in April.
James McQuivey, an analyst with Forrester Research, says the wearable market has yet to produce any smash successes. The Pebble Watch has sold 1 million copies, and smartwatches from LG, Samsung and Motorola have sold just over 750,000. He predicts sales of at least 10 million for the watch in its first year.
“Right now the wearable industry isn’t a full industry yet,” he says. “Apple is about to give it a level of legitimacy that no one has done yet. This is a very big opportunity.”