For a first time, technology consumers seem to show higher interest in an Apple product different from the iPhone. Or do they? The Apple Watch is one of the most anticipated electronic devices of the year. However, the company is expected to release a limited number of devices, possibly aiming at making the Apple Watch a rare find, or simply to test the market and the strength of the consumer’s demand.
In a recent interview for Bloomberg, analyst Gene Munster shared an interesting view on the upcoming release of the Apple Watch. According to him, the smartwatch market is still a very small market that is yet to grow. Therefore, Apple will not jump recklessly into it. Instead, the technology giant will enter this niche in a more gradual and careful manner by initially releasing a limited number of Apple Watches. It makes sense.
Munster predicts that the tech giant will release somewhere between 10 or 20 million smartwatches as a start, but it is possible the number to be far smaller. Even that is a very limited number of units when compared to iPhone availability, for instance. Usually, Apple orders a production of around 200 million iPhone units when a new model is initially launched. The analyst adds that, as of now, a wearable product can hardly sell in 50 million units. Therefore, releasing 200 or 300 million Apple Watches would be a hazard for any company.
Many researchers on consumers’ opinions about Apple Watch also prove that the wearables market is quite green for the time being. A new Quartz research examined the attitudes towards the product by focusing on U.S. iPhone owners, which traditionally tend to be the most loyal Apple consumers. It showed that only 2.2% of them were extremely likely to buy Apple Watch in the coming year. A little over 3% were very likely to get the smartwatch, while 14.3% responded that they were somewhat likely to do that. The majority of U.S. iPhone owners (61.4%) did not intend to purchase Apple Watch at all.
According to Gene Munster’s own research on the topic, as the launch of the Apple Watch approaches, less and less consumers show willingness to get the wearable. Back in September, when Apple introduced its smartwatch, 10% of U.S. iPhone users said that they plan to get the gadget when it will be available on the market. Just three months later, however, this percentage has dropped to 7%.
A third survey conducted by UBS offers a more global picture, since it includes consumers not only from the U.S., but also from China, the U.K. and Italy. It has found that only 10% of the respondents were very likely to buy Apple Watch in the next twelve months. Another 17% of them were somewhat likely to purchase it in the upcoming year.
Will Apple Watch be a Mirage for UAE Consumers?
Given the young and still fragile market for wearable devices, Apple Watch’s status as a first such gadget produced by Apple and the consumers’ attitude towards the device, it will truly be surprising if the company decided to release more than 30 million units of the gajet. Chances are that Apple’s next smart product will debut on the market as a highly limited device. Moreover, it will probably be launched in a small number of countries.
The big question for local consumers is: Will Apple Watch make its way to the UAE Apple Store at all!
Most probably YES!
Middle Eastern shoppers can take a deep breath and relax, because Apple Watch will almost certainly be released in the United Arab Emirates. The official Apple Store for UAE already features an entire section dedicated to the wearable since the day the gadget was unveiled. The page gives detailed information on Apple Watch’s design and features and it offer both photos and videos of the device. Furthermore, at its very top are the words “Available in 2015.” In addition to that, Apple Watch will probably arrive in the UAE in all of its editions, since all three collections are listed at the UAE Apple Store.
Are you surprised? Most probably not, because the local tech enthusiasts are notorious spenders and therefore they constantly are wooed by tech giants with expensive and exclusive limited editions of popular models.
Many other regional Apple Stores, however, do not even mention the U.S. company’s latest product. Among them are Indonesia, Portugal, Poland, the Philippines, Hungary, Malaysia, Vietnam, Ireland, the Czech Republic and Luxembourg. This suggests that Apple may not even bother launching its smartwatch there or offer it in even more limited quantities.