Apple announce their £8,000 premium gold watch, but is it a waste of time?
It’s 1997, Apple is in a crippling financial state and relies on it’s founder, Steve Jobs, to return and whip the company back into shape.
In the August of ‘97 Jobs accepts $150 Million from friend Bill Gate’s, courtesy of Microsoft. This money would kickstart Apples heart and keep it alive for a little while longer, whilst at the same time offer some decent PR for Microsoft, from an outside perspective fueling a potential competitor no longer makes you look like a monopolist. Fast forward a month later and Apple reveals a series of ads that would build the foundation of the Apple ‘ideology’.
The ad’s show a montage of black - and -white footage from some of the most culturally relevant people in history, from Albert Einstein, Jim Henson, Bob Dylan and even Ghandi. These ad’s looked serious, slightly cliche but most of all, they gave viewers an important message; ‘Think differently and inspire’.
An unseen narrator accompanies this montage with this message:
“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The trouble-makers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They're not fond of rules, and they have no respect for the status quo.”
‘Think differently’, it’s pretty interesting to think about this message from ‘97 to 2015, because of course, this message was given in an advert, which of course is just a form of propaganda with a profitable motive, and rarely messages or ideas come away from adverts, rather the impulse of a purchase.
In another roll of the dice, Apple’s focus of the ‘status quo’ (Microsoft) whose target market was the business sector at the time, focused on those running the world, not those who wanted to change it. This is where Apple began talking about how they wanted to design, produce and create products that wouldn’t just do the job, but gave the consumer a humane and unique experience. If we look at the market today, 700 million iphones are used daily, pioneers in the world of technology, they strive to deliver high quality products to the mass market. This was Apple, until now.
On March 9 2015, apple announced its new Apple Smart Watch, in premium gold for an ‘affordable’ price of £8,000 ($10,000), CEO Tim Cook emphasises that this is the most ‘personal device’ they’ve ever created and that the most advanced timepiece ever created is also available in many different versions.
The Watch Sport, the cheapest model, starts at £299 for the 38mm face and £339 for the 42mm face, from here we also have the stainless steel watch for £479 and goes up to £949, all watches will be available in the U.S and UK on Friday April 24th.
Apple have always been an expensive taste, it’s their brand, but it’s always been accessible to the mass market, and in a sense I can understand the business side of this move. Over the years the profit margin for the iphone has rapidly increased, so why not try it with new products? Boost prices for the upper class. It’s a bold move that I have every expectation to succeed, but it feels that Apple has now lost it’s way.
At this point it’s clear that Apple’s statement of producing high quality and revolutionary products for the mass market was purely a strategy. A company that was proud of their products now seems to be losing touch with their initial ideology.
The watch’s features don’t differ too much different to the iphone, which coincidently is a necessity for the watch to work. With slimmed down apps it restricts users from the majority of apps available on the store with exclusive watch apps and a limited three hour battery life shows little use for this new product. The main attraction is the health monitoring apps available, but with purposely designed products already available at a fraction of the price, it’s still not selling itself.
The same company that virtually built the market for tablets with the iPad, Apple’s new product virtually has no USP, essentially it works just like any other wrist-based computer system from various other brands.
Apple is answering a question that no one really asked with this latest product, similar to the Samsung gear which was a major failure when looking at their sales figures, it’s a piece of tech that looks amazing but doesn’t help accomplish day to day tasks.
The main idea of pricing a premium gold watch at a starting price of £8,000 is to aim at the high end swiss-watch market, which is still thriving, but, there’s only three main and fundamental reasons why this market buys watches at high prices; to pass down as a family heirloom, those who are avid watch collectors and for high end fashion purposes. So where does this watch fit in for those of us that aren’t collectors? Serious watch collectors are already frowning at the idea, it’s not looking particularly positive.
It’s without a doubt the Apple Watch collection will sell thousands if not millions around the world. It’s a bonus for Apple, but it won’t change the way we live, which is a loss for the mass market, but it’s clear which kind of consumer will pay £8,000 for a watch that will be obsolete in a year or two and they’re not going to be a misfit or a rebel.
We can applaud Apple for it’s continued devotion to innovation and bringing ideas to life. However, if we look further, it’s impossible to see if Apple are attempting to actually aid us and help our everyday lives or if this announcement is simply a reflection of the world as it dives further into a consumerism driven society.
What do you think? Is the Apple Watch the next big thing or just another novelty that will blow over in a couple of months, let us know over on twitter @FollowEpicTimes.