Apple unveiled its most anticipated product in years yesterday – the Apple Watch.
The San Francisco technology giant announced the pricing, release data and features of its new high-tech wristwear. But what do Wall Street and the City make of the $700bn company’s latest gambit?
”We believe Apple has the world's most valuable technology platform, which it continues to build upon with new devices and services today. We remain bullish on the Watch as developers have already built thousands of apps for new use cases.
“Tim Cook better articulated the purpose of the Watch, positioning it as (1) accurate and customizable timepiece, (2) intimate communications device, and (3) health and fitness tracker. These use cases are supplemented by other “brief interactions,” such as Apple Pay or “glances” at third-party apps.
“The company plans to launch the device in China, its second largest market, in the first wave of countries which will help drive initial volume despite limited distribution early in the product cycle.”
“Although management again highlighted various applications, most emphasize improved convenience over pulling the phone out—there still is not a sense of a killer app. Cook has said the breadth would surprise consumers, and perhaps that is sufficient."
Richard Windsor, Edison Investment
“Apple held its “Spring Forward” event last night where the only spring was in its name. The event was aimed at giving more details around why users would want to buy an Apple watch and in that regard Apple has failed to answer the question.
“There already are, and will be many more, third party apps for the Apple Watch but none of them is really anything more than extensions of what already exists in the iPhone.
“I think that Apple will outsell all other wearables but it will do so on its brand and fan base alone.”
George O’Connor, Panmure Gordon
“Yesterday I left the house at 5:03am – I returned at 12:34am – on Apple I would not have a working watch. I wouldn’t be looking at the watch anyway. Nonetheless – the ‘buy anything Apple’ fraternity should ensure $10 million plus sales in year one.”
Michael Hewson, CMC Markets
“While the presentation was slick and smooth and the watch was undoubtedly impressive, it still feels very niche. The fact that you also need an iPhone for it to work is a negative, particularly with a starting price point of $349, and with 18 hours of battery life its yet another device that needs charging regularly.
“Apple Watch fans will point to the new health apps that are likely to be made available as a result of this launch, but a lot of these apps are already available on the iPhone as well, and while Apple aficionados will probably lap up the new Watch, a lot more people are likely to be more difficult to please.”