Business / Technology

Apple's smartwatch price tag gives customers the pip

By Gao Yuan and Liu Zheng (China Daily) Updated: 2015-04-11 10:11

Apple's smartwatch price tag gives customers the pip

A customer tries on an Apple Watch in a shop in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, on Friday. [Photo/China Daily]

Apple Inc's first smartwatch has failed to excite the Chinese market, according to an online survey published on Friday-but enthusiasts have still rushed in numbers to Apple stores to take a look at the long-awaited gadget.

The high price tag of the Apple Watch appears to have scared off buyers, according to the poll conducted by news portal run by Tencent Holdings Ltd.

The lowest price for the wearable is nearly 2,600 yuan ($418) while the premium version reaches a staggering of 128,000 yuan.

Its short battery life was also a big concern for buyers as more than one quarter of the people polled said they may purchase the personal device, but only if Apple improves an 18-hour working life for each charge.

More than 22,000 people were polled, with only 4,040 saying they will definitely buy one.

George Colony, CEO of Forrester Research Inc, said he thought the device was beautiful, but a niche product, estimating that just 10 percent of the 250 million iPhone users worldwide will buy one of the new devices.

"That's approximately $8-12 billion of revenue for Apple-not bad, but hardly the 'breakthrough' or 'new chapter' claimed by its California-based officials," Colony said.

Apple is looking to China to provide a larger chuck of its global product sales, including the Apple Watch, which will actually go on sale from April 24.

The long queue of those hoping to try one out at the Apple Store in Sanlitun in downtown Beijing, however, may give Apple CEO Tim Cook some comfort.

"I'll choose one, probably the sports collection," said one visitor from the city of Harbin, capital of Heilongjiang province, who is hoping that its online payment functions will be easier and more convenient-a simple click of the wrist, for instance, when using a taxi app, rather than having to pull an iPhone from his pocket.

Another buyer, surnamed Tong, was considering buying one to track health data.

"Compared with the existing smart band that I'm using for exercise, the sport collection is a bit heavier than I expected," Tong said.

Although not a price-sensitive buyer, he said many other sports brands are priced at 1,000 yuan or below, and he did not think the additional features offered by the Apple Watch warranted the price, given his iPhone can do the same job.

"In order to build a new shopping experience for customers, we can provide different 38 units selected from the three collections on display," said one staff member.

Chinese customers interested in learning more about the Apple Watch can either make an appointment online or visit their local Apple Store for a personalized session to try on, fit and size their own band, he said.


Hot Topics

Editor's Picks