From higher price to lower battery life, Apple might not see sales of its latest smartwatch soaring high in China
Chinese market has always been in its own exclusive bubble and because of its size and density it remains to be an important domain for almost all the players of the industry.
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Just like with every new product, there have been different views on the Apple Watch and according to the industry experts, the watch is definitely a very exciting phenomenon in the Chinese market but it doesn’t bring any major appeal for them. Apple has considered the demands and requirements of the market and it is offering some tailor made features exclusively for the Chinese market but the battery life and jaw-dropping price tag is going to be a huge obstacle in sales.
"Since what you wear is an expression of who you are, we designed the Apple Watch to appeal to a whole variety of people with different tastes and different preferences,” said Tim Cook.
The users in China will not entirely feel alienated while using the smartwatch because Apple has been considerate of that segment and has added WeChat, Tencent Holdings Ltd's messaging app along with Alibaba Group Holding Ltd's mobile payment feature.
Nicole Peng, research director at Canalys China, said: "I believe (the Apple Watch) is an exciting product and it has created the 'want' from consumers, rather than the 'need’. In terms of features, I believe the heart rate monitor will be an important deal breaker if it can provide highly accurate data.”
Despite the doubts about the Chinese market, some analysts are painting quite a positive picture of the Apple Watch in terms of sales for this year. According to James McQuivey, an analyst from Forrester Research Inc, Apple will manage to sell about 10 million smartwatches this year. He points out that "The Apple Watch will at last fully launch the wrist-based wearables category. With it, Apple will propel the rest of the wearables market to move forward.”
As far as China is concerned, there won’t be a hype similar to the iPhone 6 and the 6 Plus but the watch would still manage to intrigue a wider audience because of its unique luxury element. Sales are expected to be compromised highly due to the low battery life, high retail price and heavy dependency on the iPhones, as pointed out by Ge Hantao, a senior researcher at Beijing-based consultancy Analysys International.
One major hindrance is also the compatibility issue of the Apple Watch; not all iPhone owners can fully enjoy the benefits if the watch because it is only compatible with the phone launched after the iPhone 5. This is a major disappointment since the most basic functions are dependent on the iPhone such as the ability to answer phone calls, receive e-mails and monitor basic health data.
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Source: Jakarta Post