Apple Watch To Hit India Not Before June-July
Tech enthusiasts in India will have to wait longer to get their hands on the Apple Watch as the country does not feature in the nine countries chosen by the iconic brand to unveil its much-awaited smartwatch. Analysts are of the view that the watch is expected to hit market in July this year. However, a section of the market feels that considering the growing importance of India, the watch could see its India debut even in June, says a PTI report.
Internationally, the watch is being made available for preview from April 10 in 9 countries including US, China, Japan, Hong Kong, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, and the UK, says the agency. The smartwatch will be up for purchase from April 24 and it is estimated that Apple will sell 26.3 million units by the end of 2015.
Launched in three variants (Apple Watch Sport, Apple Watch and Apple Watch Edition) and two sizes (38 mm and 42 mm), the Apple Watch will be priced between $349 (over Rs 21,800) to a whopping $17,000 (Rs 10.66 lakh) for the gold model. In India however, as per estimates, the price of the Apple Watch will be about Rs 28,000-35,000, which will bemore than the cost of wearable products sold by rivals Samsung and Sony.
“Apple Watch begins a new chapter in the way we relate to technology and we think our customers are going to love it,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said. ”We can’t wait for people to start wearing Apple Watch to easily access information that matters, to interact with the world, and to live a better day by being more aware of their daily activity than ever before,” he added.
The smartwatch would require iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus running iOS 8.2 or higher versions. It delivers up to 18-hour battery life and has digital face that can look like a traditional time piece. According to the company, users will be able to make and receive calls, read e-mails, control music, manage Instagram photos and keep track of fitness using the smartwatch.
Apple Watch is the first new product category to be launched under Cook, who took over the reins of the company after Steve Jobs stepped down. This is also the first new device category since 2010, when Apple entered the tablet market with its iPad.
In a latest Accenture’s Digital Consumer Tech Survey, of more than 6,000 people in six countries, consumers in India ranked highest in their keen interest in buying wearable technologies, and nearly two thirds have shown the preference for smartwatches (76%) and Internet-enabled eyeglasses (74%). Apple’s Retail SVP Angela Ahrendts says that, “the AppleWatch has the potential to become a bestseller in India, after iPhones and iPads.
Apple has also reportedly engaged Indian developers to create apps for the device, according to a source, who added that Apple is bullish about the success of the Apple Watch in India since it already has a base of more than 4 million iPhone and iPad users who are initially the potential target.
Counterpoint Research points out that the wearable market in India is still very small, at 1 lakh units this calendar year, Apple Watch is expected to give it a boost next year, when it is expected to grow five times. The researcher expects several new vendors will launchaffordable smart wearable products next year.
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