A new report puts a $400 price tag on the likely high-end version of Apple’s iWatch, or iBand, the wrist device that has the potential to jumpstart the new line of wearables.
But will consumers pay $400 for a device and app that performs the same or similar functions that a smartphone can?
Apple, of course, is betting on it. So is Timex, which just announced a digital fitness watch that doesn’t need a smartphone companion, in a partnership with Qualcomm and AT&T.
Apple leadership has discussed a $400 price for its wearable device, according to Dawn Chmielewski and John Paczkowski of Re/code. Paczkowski also reported this past week that Apple’s iWatch/iBand would debut at the company’s Sept. 9 event, but wouldn’t arrive until early 2015.
The new report from Re/code says Apple is still working on a starting price for its wrist device. But sources close to Apple told Re/code “consumers should expect a range of prices for different models including lower priced versions.”
A $400 price tag is high but not out of the ballpark. Fitness wristbands are cheaper, including the Nike+ FuelBand SE ($99) and Jawbone’s Up24 ($149). Android’s wearable devices from Samsung and LG cost $200 each.
However, Timex has announced its Ironman One GPS+ watch, which doesn’t need to be tethered to a phone (a big selling point). It will retail at $399 and be available in November in time for the Christmas shopping season. The Timex wearable is produced in “close collaboration” with Qualcomm Connected Experiences, a subsidiary of Qualcomm, and AT&T, Timex said.
“Wearable devices like smartwatches can deliver so much more value for customers when they are fully connected,&lrquo; said Glenn Lurie, president of Emerging Enterprises and Partnerships, AT&T Mobility. “Timex Ironman One GPS+ is a perfect illustration. It gives the user a simplified yet robust experience he or she needs during and after a workout without having to rely on a smartphone.”