Will Apple Get Eased Out of the Luxury Smartwatch Market?

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By Jacob Maslow

Smart WatchYou got to hand it to Tim Cook of Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) . The man has a vision and courage. There’s really no other way to describe it. Apple is going to go into the luxury watch market. It’s not going into the wearable wireless market. Let’s get that clear. If Apple was going into the wearable wireless market, it would have priced its smartwatch much cheaper.

As I’ve maintained all along, the wearable wireless market is really a race to the bottom. It really is. It’s all about hardware. It’s all about getting hardware out there at the lowest price possible. That is not Apple’s game. If Apple were to play that game, it will lose again and again. It’s just going to waste money. It’s going to be throwing good money after bad. Instead, it’s going after the other side of the market. It’s going after the high-end luxury timepiece market.

At this end of the market, Apple might not be a slam dunk as market analysts think it would be. If anything, Apple will pave the way and energize the market, but I highly suspect that existing global players like Swiss luxury watchmakers will predominate.

First and foremost, even if Apple was to make a dent on this market, it would be a relatively small segment of Apple’s total business portfolio. Second, this might be the shot in the arm the luxury watch industry needs to take that industry from the late 1800s all the way to the 22nd century.

Make no mistake about it, brands like Rolex are not going to go away anytime soon. Even if watches become fully digital and solar powered, Rolex will still find a way to be relevant. That is the reality Apple has to face and overcome for it to be a truly credible player in the high-end luxury watch market.

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