Are there any fashion suitors for the AppleWatch?
It’s been a whole 7 days since Apple took pre-orders for their spanking new Apple Watch. It is their first wholly new product since the iPad was released back in April 2010. It only took 6 hours for the 24th April delivery batch to sell out. As of today the estimates are that the Apple Watch has already clocked, in terms of global pre-orders, over 2.3 million units.
When it comes to future sales, analysts have forecasted that Apple will sell between 20 and 22 million units in its first year of release.
Those who have been closely watching the wearable market expand know that the Apple Watch is not the only debutante coming out at the wearable ball. There is currently a plethora of wearable devices on the market vying for the consumers’ attention like a suitor trying to catch the eye of a deb they are interested in.
In order to stand out among the other smart watches, Apple’s marketing strategy was to woo the key Fashion insiders. They whispered sweet nothings into their ears months before Apple Watch’s release, with the objective to get the golden nod of approval from the influential and respected.
The Apple Watch is the first product produced by the tech company that will be worn on the body. The device made its first store appearance during Paris Fashion Week at French boutique Colette. Apple invited fashion industry royalty that included Karl Lagerfeld and Vogue Editor in Chief Anna Wintour.
Their hard work paid off. The Apple Watch first appeared on Vogue (China) Cover, followed by a 12 page advertorial in Vogue US and a review from fashion’s premium online magazine Style.com. It soon became clear that all the attention received from the fashion world did not take away from the fact that fashion is an industry that has proven to not be early adopters of technology. An example of this is the iPhone. It did not become every fashionista’s BBF until the third version of the Apple phone was released. Many fashion editors held onto their blackberry with their will manicured fingers for a long while after the 2007 release of Apple’s first generation iPhone.
You cannot deny that Apple’s efforts to align themselves with the fashion industry was a very smart idea. The fashion editors are the gatekeepers to the money spending consumers. We all know that Apple already has the money of their fans in their pockets but they are yet to tempt the net-a-porter shopping, luxury loving, Vogue reading female (and some male) consumers. They are salivating for their attention and they are spending some of their PR money on the fashion editors and designers who have the power to influence.
I think that for such an expensive product, ranging in price from $350-$17,000, could leave many wondering how functional is the Apple Watch? and how will it improve their lives? So far those who have tried the Apple Watch were “unimpressed by the watch’s appearance” . They felt “it was not intuitive as expected”. Other’s comments were that “when on it felt too heavy”, that the “the magnetic strap felt like wearing a handcuff” and that their Sports version “looked cheap and not on trend with what is happening in the sports market right now”.
Trend forecaster Rachel Arthur, who is the global senior editor of WGSN, is planning to wait for a later more developed version of the Apple Watch to become available because “overall, it’s just clunky.” She states “if I was really sporty, I might be more inclined” and continues,“…but it is certainly the best version of what’s out there.”
With all that being said you cannot deny the amount press that has been generated about the Apple Watch. Whether people are loving it or they are not convinced (yet), the Apple Watch is a smartwatch that has generated more interest than all the other smartwatches combined. It seems that their plan of gathering all the fashion editors in one room, hypnotising them with an expensive ‘fashion forward’ timepiece did somehow grab their attention, but I do wonder, did they actually manage to convince them that the Watch is a stylish must have?
All I know is that Apple has proved to us that they are the leading device in a wolf pack of smart watches but we still think that unless it’s a ‘fuck you, I’m rich’ Tag Heuer what is the point.
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