The device that has a processor that is more powerful than Apple’s original iPad is tipped to go on sale in March 2015 a move that JB Hi Fi executives believe will be a “major stimulus” in the first quarter, the Apple Smartwatch will use a chip called the S1 specially developed by Apple.
“It will get consumers back in store to have a look” said a Harvey Norman franchisee.
Apple is also confident that their new watch range will be a major contributor to their revenues in 2015, earlier this month the Company lured a top executive from UK fashion retailer Burberry, following the hiring a year ago of former Burberry CEO Dame Angela Ahrendts who is being paid $80M a year to run Apple Shops.
The new hire is former Vice President of Digital and Interactive Design Chester Chipperfield, he will work with the “Special Projects” group who are responsible for the new watch range.
According to a new report by market researcher Creative Strategies, fewer than 2 million smartwatches have already been sold during the past 18 months.
Worldwide sales of digital wristbands of all kinds are in the tens of millions. But what companies like Apple and Samsung are aiming for is much greater.
Some 1.2 billion wristwatches are sold every year. If 10 percent of those billions of watch buyers could be persuaded to buy a smartwatch that would be tremendous growth said a Samsung executive at CES 2015.
The new Apple Watch will have a Retina high resolution display screen that is significantly sharper than in the original iPad.
The big problems for brands such as LG and Samsung who have already launched a range of smartwatches and are now into generation two and three is battery life with insiders claiming that is set to be a key issue for Apple with their watch said to deliver 19 hours on a single charge.
Research conducted by ChannelNews reveals that 55% of consumers who purchased a smartwatch in 2014 say that “battery life” is the biggest issue.
Several owners complained that they are now having to charge a Smartwatch tablet and smartphone.
Apple is believed to be working on new software in a bid to improve battery life before its expected ship date in March.
9to5mac’s Mark Gurman said ‘According to our sources, Apple opted to use a relatively powerful processor and high-quality screen for the Apple Watch, both of which contribute to significant power drain.’
The S1 processor in Apple’s Watch will be far more powerful than the Apple A4 chip on the original iPad, launched back in early April 2010 by Steve Jobs.
9to5mac says that Apple wanted the Watch to provide roughly 2.5 to 4 hours of active application use versus 19 hours of combined active/passive use, 3 days of pure standby time, or 4 days if left in a sleeping mode,’ it says.
However, the site’s sources say that Apple will only likely achieve approximately 2-3 days in either the standby or low-power modes.
Nearly 3,000 test units are said to be currently roaming around as Apple tries to get the battery life of the product right.
It comes just weeks after leaked screenshots revealed the app owners will use on their iPhone.
Called the companion app, the shots reveal several new capabilities of the Apple Watch – including the ability to customise its display with a monogram.
It also shows how users will rearrange the watch’s display, moving the apps they want.
The Apple Watch will link to a special app on the user’s iPhone via Bluetooth.
The Apple Watch will be available in three versions: Watch, Watch Sport, and Watch Edition, a high end version made of specially developed precious metals.
Apple is tipped to start training programs for retail management and their own store staff between February 9th and February 16th.’
The employees will then train the rest of their store’s staff, it is believed.
Samsung, LG, Motorola and Microsoft have already launched their own smartwatches, but Apple is expected to face unprecedented demand for its watch.
Quanta, which is building the watch, has upped its number of workers from 2,000 to 10,000 and is ultimately aiming for 20,000.
The initial round of shipments will be 3 to 5 million watches.