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Apple Watch with focus on fitness

Thursday, 8 September 2016

Apple COO Jeff Williams announces Apple Watch Series 2 during a launch event on September 7, 2016 in San Francisco, California. Apple Inc. is expected to unveil latest iterations of its smart phone, forecasted to be the iPhone 7. - AFP Photo

 

SAN FRANCISCO: Two years after unveiling the Apple Watch with apps and styles that tried to appeal to every need and every customer, Apple Inc has honed its marketing strategy, debuting a second generation product aimed squarely at the health and athletic audience.

The focus on fitness will enhance the watch’s appeal to its core audience but also cements its status as a niche device, analysts said.

The first new device released under Chief Executive Tim Cook, the Apple Watch has not attracted a mass audience, selling 1.6 million units in the second quarter, down more than half from a year ago, in the run-up to the new version, IDC data showed.

Apple’s original pitch touted the ability to send doodles, make phone calls and track fitness, while the company described it as essentially a fashion accessory.

But at a San Francisco launch event on Wednesday, where the iPhone 7 also debuted, Apple Watch videos, advertisements and demos focused narrowly on features for health enthusiasts, with the notable exception of a Pokemon Go app.

The new Watch starts at $369, includes a GPS chip, and is waterproof. Apple designed a special edition with sports giant Nike Inc.

Exercise buffs on social media cheered the new features, particularly the internal GPS system designed for runners who want to track workouts without dragging along their phones.

Still, the device is likely to remain a niche offering, said Colin Gillis, an analyst with BGC Partners.

Apple has not broken out Watch sales, but Wall Street analysts suspect it is a small and growing contributor. Sanford Bernstein analyst Toni Sacconaghi estimates the watch will generate $4.1 billion in revenue for Apple this year, up from $2.7 billion in 2015.

While the focus on fitness helps, Apple still needs a breakthrough app to nudge the smartwatch into the mainstream and it remains unlikely to find it in Pokemon Go, the popular augmented reality game that is coming to the gadget later this year.

Source by: Internet

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