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Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Sep 3, 2014.
I'm in LA and China, where people are more direct.
We have two wrists. I'll wear a Rolex on the right and apple watch on the left
This link was in a thread of its own - but I thought very appropriate for this thread also...
'Switzerland has already lost the wrist war. Only one of every 200 watches produced [worldwide] is a Swiss watch. However, the profit made on that one Swiss watch is greater than that of the other 199 combined. So, weve won the profit war.'
Sounds like another company I know. Apple goes to where the profit is - not necessarily just the volume.
'Smartwatches are not going to completely replace mechanical watches just like the Kalashnikov assault rifle is not going to make samurai swords any less desirable.'
So, Tag Heuer wants to make a proper smart watch.
Several Swiss brands will reportedly be showing off this stuff at Baselworld in March.
Are we really discussing if watch will kill the luxury watchmakers? Seriously? can anyone here really imagine a CEO or and executive, lawyer or politician replacing their luxury watches with a watch that every teen will wear? Pretty optimistic.
Switzerland is in trouble? LOL
watch = overpriced Chinese made watch.
I know who won't be making smart watches: Patek Philippe, Lange & sohne, Breguet, vacheron constantin, etc.
These companies have nothing to worry aboutz
There are people who see a watch as a status symbol, and there are people who want to get good use out of a watch. The Rolex buying crowd think that other people actually care about their watch, and even notice it. I don't think Switzerland has anything to worry about just yet, but the day is coming sooner or later. And the game changer (whoever that might be) will not have a round display. Anyway, off now to read a round book/newspaper, then watch some tv on my round monitor.
Will I buy an Apple Watch? Probably yes, but not the first edition, it needs a bit more added to it.
And that is fine, since the only mechanicals that could be acceptable to pollute would be lower end.
Now, if the smarts were powered by mechanics, we can go a bit higher.
Solar is also cooler than changing or recharging batteries, so that would work for the Japanese as well.
No need for a screen for a proper fitness watch.
I think you are stereotyping the 'Rolex crowd' a bit there. Not everybody who buys a Rolex does so for status and to get attention. Watches have a huge worldwide community of enthusiasts and there are millions of Rolex owners who appreciate the craftsmanship and history of the brand for their own personal enjoyment and couldn't care less if people notice it on their wrist or not. It wasn't long ago the Rolex Submariner was standard Royal Navy issue and they were very much a work horse rather than a status symbol. Of course there are Rolex owners who buy for status, but be careful not to generalise everybody as it is ill founded.
I don't think the traditional wrist watch will ever bite the dust and lose out to the smart watch industry with any significant threat. People underestimate just how big that industry is and how many watches are released each year. I think the smart phone industry is yet to equal its size. The smart watch will have its place, but the watch industry is split up into many markets. Unless smart watches start to price themselves over 2 grand +, they are only eating into the very lower tier of the entire watch industry.
VERY interesting take on the Watch announcement by John Gruber. He's a very smart cookie.
His guess at starting prices are remarkably higher than what I would have guessed:
Apple Watch Sport (aluminum/glass): $349 (not a guess)
Apple Watch (stainless steel/sapphire): $999
Apple Watch Edition (18-karat gold/sapphire): $4999
He's sure there will be models selling for far over $10,000.
He also believes:
Apple are going after the whole $100+ market
They will place a large emphasis on targeting the luxury watch buyer.
There is much more to be announced before the official launch.
I love his comment 'There’s a massive pricing umbrella in the luxury watch world, and Apple is aiming to take advantage of it.'
A few days ago I linked to an article that stated Switzerland had won the watch profit war... and Apple goes to where the profit is. If John is right - Apple is putting extraordinary resources to become the winner of the 'wearables' profit war.
I offered a wager that was not taken - and so I guess I'll make a different kind of bet now - and load up on more apple stock. I'm more convinced than ever they are on the right path.
I earlier opined that Apple will be attacking those markets, but I don't get the sense that it will be with any of the watches currently announced. At the $10k price point I expect them to attack using some different brand in the stable of Apple brands. Beats Watch at the low end, perhaps adding waterproofing and such, Apple Watch in the middle, and something else at the top end. I expect they may even purchase some other company to go there. I doubt the already-announced watches will go much past $2k.
It's a good piece.
The only thing that doesn't make sense - as Gruber himself admits - is that electronics have a very limited life span so "investing" in a $5,000 Apple Watch is kinda silly.
People with money tend to know the difference between an investment, like a $30,000 Rolex, and a frivolous expense like a $5,000 computer.
Having an upgrade path for the electronics, or a trade-in program might help this. But a traditional watch doesn't need it, it doesn't age, and it might even appreciate in price if it's a particularly desirable model.
Anyway not to distract from the Apple Watch - I am sure the vast majority of models sold will be sold for less than $500. I don't see how the steel version would be $1,000 either - steel isn't more expensive than Aluminium?! Sapphire glass isn't expensive either. I'd be surprised if the difference to the low end was much more than $100 or $200.
Gold - well the watch is huge so the raw material alone will make it very, very expensive.
In summary rather than betting the house on the luxury market, I think Apple is
- Making a very compelling product, that does interesting things, for a good price
- Producing the product with a fit and finish worthy of Jony Ive - what other watches are machined to iPhone-like precision? I am guessing, none.
- Also selling a Gold model to the luxury market to see how that goes. They're tipping their toes, with not much lost if it doesn't end up selling well.
I don't see the luxury market as the end-all-be-all here. More like an experiment they can tackle thanks to their very specific expertise in user interface, materials science, and high-end manufacturing.
If it turns out they can't compete with the likes of Rolex, for that part of the market? Nothing's lost. They've still made the first actually useful smart watch and people will buy it in droves. And that's the bet.
The bet isn't on the luxury market and its mysterious workings. I don't think, for example, Apple will ever compete on the level of Louis Vitton - making a product that sells on brand name alone with no actual merit for the product itself, were it stripped of the brand name. That's not who they are.
I agree with what you said.
The edition edition is probably going to be a limited edition similar to the red edition products on some apple products.
I'm guessing that not that many people may buy the gold version, but then not many will be available anyway.
Regarding Louis Vuitton, that's just how most women's accessory brand names are.
Louis Vuitton makes better quality products than bargain brands though.
That would be like some designers who massively inflate the price of relatively average watches to try to make them desirable.
I think its funnier that people are discussing this like Ive was serious and not speaking tongue in cheek
well now what we have seen that funny looking watch, a watch that looks like it was for a 80's movie about the year 2015, the swiss can breathe easy
Even if you think it was a joke (if he actually said it), it does not mean you can't discuss the hypothesis, which some posters seem to believe. You may make fun of the latter.
Yeah the latter is what I am finding funny. Discussion of the hypothesis is fine, people calling ive an idiot and acting like he's a clueless morom who would say this seriously are hilarious.
I saw something today that reminded me about this thread from a year ago. It's from a Seeking Alpha report:
Year/Year Swiss Watch Exports for September - First Unit Sales then Value of those sales:
0-200 Euros - (7.6%) and (10.7%)
200-500 Euros - (18.3%) and (14.5%)
500 - 3,000 Euros - (7.5%) and (6.7%)
3,000 + Euros - (9.5%) and (8.1%)
That's a lot of negative number across all price points but especially in the 200-500 sale price that compare directly to Apple watches.
The fall of exports has been greatest where Apple watches are strongest.
Estimates are that Apple has sold 4 million watches in their fiscal 2015 Q4. Per month that's 1.3 million. Switzerland is down roughly 600,000 watches.
As each new version is released I expect these numbers to get worse. In a few years... much worse.
Someone is dreaming... give it another year and Apple will be secretly subsidizing the watch just to save face and keep it in the product lineup. The world's greatest Hype & Spin Machine.... Apple will never let this product fade away.
I'm not sure Apple will be in a position to do that. With economic concerns in Europe and China combined with a strong dollar, the iPhone 6S may turn out to be that iPhone that finally provides lower profits than the prior generation. That may not show up on Tuesday's results, but I suspect it might show up in the next quarter report and perhaps Apple's projections.
Point is, since the iPhone is such a large percentage of Apple's profits, a loss there would cause Apple to have less flexibility in hiding lack of profits on the Apple Watch. It seems Apple may have reached its peak performance and the only way to avoid it would have been to come up with another major device desired by consumers. That doesn't seem likely to occur under Tim Cook's leadership anytime in the near future.
Just ordered another OMEGA, i don't think good classic watching building has anything to worry about when it comes to the feature lacking already obsolete AW.
Yeah, Switzerland's done...
Jony Ive said.
Who is he again?