Apple is cutting the price of its Apple Watch. Well, sort of.
In a trial at a string of stores across the United States, the Cupertino company is offering anyone who purchases an iPhone $50 (£32) off the price of its smartwatch.
Not all models are included. The top–end Apple Watch Edition and Apple Watch Hermes won’t see their price come down, but when you’re paying upwards of $10,000, $50 isn’t exactly something you’re going to worry about.
Apple has confirmed the price reduction and said the promotion, which started on October 30th, will run until November 15th.
Beyond that, it won’t say what its next move is. Black Friday is approaching though and you can bet the smartwatch will see its price drop accordingly.
As far as Apple is concerned, the post–Thanksgiving sales are the only time the prices of its brand new products ever come down (its refurb store is a different matter).
That’s what makes this new move so interesting and why it’s set tongues wagging in the tech world.
Discounts at this early stage in a product’s life cycle usually only mean one thing: Sales are struggling to match expectations.
This is nothing new when it comes to the Apple Watch. Apple was forced to deny over the summer that sales of its latest product were nowhere near what analysts hoped.
Some even suggested a 90% slide in there two months after its opening weekend. Others claimed Apple’s suppliers wouldn’t even reach break-even volume.
Apple CEO Tim Cook has said in the past that sales were ‘beyond expectations’. What those expectations were he didn’t say.
Neither would he reveal exact figures, lumping the Apple Watch in with iPods and Mac accessories on Apple’s quarterly results sheet. Cook claimed this was because he didn’t want to give competitors an advantage.
That now seems patently untrue. There can only be one reason for Apple slashing the Watch’s cost. It’s not doing the numbers. If it was, Apple would be shouting from the rooftops about it.
It trumpets record quarterly results and dazzling opening weekend iPhone sales.
If the Apple Watch was doing well, it’d be getting the same treatment. It isn’t, and so Apple isn’t talking about it.
The device got nary a mention in Apple’s most recent investors’ conference call.
If that stays the same when Christmas’s results are revealed, expect Cook and co to be facing serious questions about a piece of kit that was supposed to herald the next step in the Apple revolution.