The Apple Watch is now available with a $100 discount at Best Buy, Target and possibly other stores. For instance, the 38mm Sport model now costs $249 and the 42mm version costs $299. You might think that it means that the Apple Watch 2 is right around the corner, but it’s unlikely.
Instead, it seems like Apple wants to grab market share with its first smart watch. The Apple Watch (at least the Sport version) is now available at Walmart and was also discounted before the holidays.
In other words, Apple is firing with both barrels to capture market share as quickly as possible. If you buy an Apple Watch now, chances are you’re going to buy another one down the road in a couple of years. And the product life cycle of the Apple Watch is just beginning. There’s a long road ahead full of updates, late adopters and better margins.
Even more important, your Apple Watch only works with your iPhone. Selling more Apple Watches is a way to increase brand loyalty. When it’s time to upgrade to a new phone, these Apple Watch users will buy a new iPhone because it works with the Apple Watch.
An Apple event on March 15 seems likely now, but you shouldn’t expect a major update for the Apple Watch. There could be new bands and partnerships with fashion companies, but it’s going to be the same watch.
Also worth noting, it’s interesting to see that Apple doesn’t want to discount the Apple Watch in its own stores. Instead, the company relies on third-party stores for these discounts, keeping the Watch at its original price point in the Apple Stores.
It all comes down to perception. Apple wants to keep the premium perception around its brand and especially around this product. Other than the Sport variant, the Apple Watch is a luxury item. And luxury items aren’t supposed to be on sale.