Eternal flame: Hanging on to the idea that Apple needs to lower prices


Close your eyes, give me your hand, darling. Do you feel the same? Do you feel… that Apple needs to lower prices?

No? Then what is this burning? A rash?

Oh, god.

ZDNet runs this old saw up the flagpole which they should totally not do because that is a very mixed metaphor.

“Apple must slash smartwatch price to see more sales: Telsyte” (tip o’ the antlers to Jim Neal)

Apple “must” lower prices, you say? Surely a most intriguing argument that has never been made before. The Macalope looks forward to this heretofore unheard advice.

Industry analyst firm Telsyte has revealed new figures for the use of smartwatches in the Australian market…

You may scoff that this is just a survey of about 1,000 Australians but, remember, as Australia goes so goes Tasmania.

Actually, that’s probably not true. The Macalope wouldn’t want to impugn the independent-mindedness of the Tasmanians, who have many exports and whose country is a vital gateway to Antartica.

…saying that only 205,000 of the wearable devices were sold during the first six months of 2015.

The Apple Watch was, of course, only on sale for a little over two months of that time period and in extremely limited quantities. As far as the smartwatch category goes, Apple’s doing pretty well in it. But, yeah, no smartwatch vendor is racking up smartphone-like numbers let alone hotcake-like numbers which are huge particularly when you include silver dollar pancakes which you always get more of.

Telsyte's Australian Smartphone and Wearable Devices Market Study 2015-2019 attributed the negative growth in the smartwatch sector to a lack of apps…

Telsyte’s press release says nothing about “negative growth”, probably because given the laws of thermodynamics there’s no way that’s true. Have smartwatch sales been huge and made all smartwatch vendors rich beyond the the dreams of avarice? Doesn’t look like it. But they haven’t dropped. Unless ZDNet is saying things in Australia that go up are actually going down from our perspective.

Look, it’s just really hard to write a piece that involves Australia in any way without making one of those jokes.

The Apple Watch has remained dominant in the smartwatch sector, with 64 percent market share in Australia for the half…

Wait, with just two months of sales Apple sold 64 percent of all smartwatches sold in six months in the land that’s literally trying to kill you? And the supposed takeaway is they need to lower prices? Down really is the new up.

"The Apple watch remains a luxury gadget, with its sales price typically more than twice the average of rival Android-compatible smartwatches," Telsyte managing director Foad Fadaghi said on Tuesday.

But these things are not comparable. The Macalope feels he said enough about the current Android Wear offerings in his Tuesday column (other than forgetting to mention that none of them have NFC). Apple enjoys another advantage, however: Its customers are more likely to want the full experience. Per person, iPhone owners pay more for apps than their Android counterparts. The Macalope would expect this to play out in terms of add-ons like smartwatches as well. In fact, not only is this probably true, it kind of has to be true since Apple is now the largest smartphone vendor in unit sales and revenue despite its smaller market share.

"The ideal price point, we think, is AU$200 to AU$300 for both individual buyers and for the gifting market."

That’s about $140-$210 USD. Apple will probably use the “sell last year’s model for less” strategy but the Macalope wouldn’t suggest holding your breath until the Watch gets down to $140 unless light asphyxiation is a thing for you.

In July, market research from Slice Intelligence…


Look, people, it’s 2015 and Apple’s products still command a premium. Please try to accept that and move on with your lives.

Subscribe to the Best of Macworld Newsletter