What would you want a $300 iWatch to do?

What would you want a $300 iWatch to do?

Summary: If Apple is developing an iWatch that would retail for $300, what would it need to do to justify that price?

SHARE:
TOPICS: Mobility, Apple
23

The other day Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty crunched the numbers and worked out that if Apple could sell 30 million iWatches over a year, and that each of those iWatches were priced at $300, then this would add a cool $9 billion to the company's revenue pot.

See alsoApple could sell 30 to 60 million iWatches over the first year

Now there are a lot of ifs and buts and assumptions and guesses in that equation, but the number that popped out at me was the $300 a unit figure that Huberty used. And while it's a number plucked out of the air, it's a good place to kick off a thought experiment.

If Apple is developing an iWatch, and that would retail for $300, what would it need to do to justify that price?

First thing to note is that Apple products tend to pull in a profit margin of at least 30 percent, so for the purposes of this piece, let's assume 33 percent. This means that a $300 iWatch would cost Apple around $200 to make, excluding research and development costs, and marketing.

Special Feature

Wearables: Fit For Business?

Wearables: Fit For Business?

The explosion of interest in wearable computing is one of tech's fastest rising trends. While big moves from Google, Apple, and Samsung will likely attract a lot of attention, we're going to examine the broader potential that wearables hold for driving innovation in business.

So we're looking at what Apple can make for say $200.

The answer to that is a lot. After all, the iPhone 5s had a bill of materials of just under $200 at the time of release, and this is a device that includes a 4-inch retina display, a 64-bit processor, and a huge battery.

Even if Apple decided to pull in a 50-percent margin on the iWatch, at $300, money is not likely to be a problem.

If I were to put $300 down for an iWatch, here's what I'd like to see included.

  • Wireless charging: While there's an argument for using a cable to charge smartphones and tablets — because it allows you to carry on using the device while it's charging — using a cable to charge a wearable seems pointless, and wireless charging technology is now good enough to supersede being tethered to a cable.

  • Solar power: This is an option to help keep the battery topped up.

  • Sunlight-readable display: The iPhone and iPad can be hard to read in sunlight, so Apple needs to address this with the iWatch. 

  • App support: Apps are a cornerstone of iOS, and the iWatch would benefit tremendously from third-party developer support.

  • Go beyond being a second screen: I have no interest in a small, wrist-mounted second screen for my iPhone or iPad, neither do I want a huge "iPhone without the phone" on my wrist. That said, having it display emails, iMessages and other notifications would be useful in tying the iWatch in with the iOS ecosystem.

  • Multi-day battery life: Charging the thing daily would be a pain, and increases the chance that it is left to gather dust on a shelf.

  • Fitness and health sensors: It should feature a pedometer and heartrate sensor, and these should tie in with the Health app coming in iOS 8. There are rumors that Apple could take this further and fit a glucose meter and sweat sensor.

  • Security token: Use it as a token to unlock Macs and other iOS devices.

  • Locate feature: I want to be able to find my iPhone or iPad — perhaps by making it emit a sound — with a tap of the iWatch.

  • Robust: It has to be able to put up with the rough and tumble of daily life. That means being waterproof and shockproof, and resistant to knocks, bumps and scratches.

  • Control the Apple TV: I want to be able to ditch the remote!

What would you want from a $300 iWatch?

See also:

Topics: Mobility, Apple

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

23 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Same as any Apple product

    Make me thinner, richer, and more attractive, of course! Well, at least in my own mind as I spend myself into bankruptcy buying overpriced doodads I don't really have a use for.
    dilettante
    • What would I want a $300 iWatch to do???????????????

      I'd want it to sheer about $250 off the price tag, or find itself on someone else's wrist.

      Or be able to shoot a James Bond style laser that could cut through 3" plate steel. Ya, you know what? If it can do that I'm in for the $300.

      Otherwise its one of the most obvious wastes of money in history. Made for people with more money than brains. Look, honestly, have just a little empathy for the real world. Don't buy this piece of over priced nonsense for $300, if you have that much money to just blow, send it to charity and actually do something constructive with your money.
      Cayble
  • First off it would need to keep time accurately

    Never being more than a few milliseconds off NIST... meaning it has to keep accurate time in between synchronization events which might be periodically sporadic or infrequent. For sure it would need to do other things but if its unreliable as a time piece its a waste of time and money.
    greywolf7
    • Other tech I'd like to see move from current watches

      Would have to be mechanical and solar charging to prolong the battery life.

      The display will be crucial - absolutely not, in anyway retina or hd or whatever; low power should be prioritised over gimmicks. But I think how they present the info will be the real test. You want a nice clear, easy to read time right in the center.

      Your notifications should probably be represented by logos. In terms of what is should do other than the usual fit stuff, I'd say a second screen to the phone - show who's calling, control Siri, what music you are listening to and let you select music from the watch (music should actually be on phone still obviously)

      In calls show the call timer, maybe the photo of the called/allow you to access other info such as other peoples numbers whilst talking on the headset.

      Control voice memos and dictation. Basically internet browsing and videos aside, you should be able to control your phone entirly for day to day stuff without taking it out of your pocket. That is $300 worth - if it's like current devices that need this app installed and have some functionality, then no, it's not worth it in my mind
      MarknWill
  • What would you want a $300 iWatch to do?

    For $300 I can't say what I would want it to do because that goes against ZDNet TOS. But I'll take the next best thing, stream lots and lots of pr0n.
    Loverock.Davidson
  • It would have to have lasers, and a canoe

    Anything less and it wouldn't be worth it. It needs to be better'n a Swiss Army knife!
    ego.sum.stig
  • What would I want a $300 watch to do?

    be sold to someone else. There's a limit to even my gadgetry aspirations!
    Mac_PC_FenceSitter
  • For $300

    I expect it to make my bed, clean my place and cook all my meals
    Blogsworth
  • Teleportation

    Yeah, that would be worth it.

    Seriously, not sure about what I would want it to do, as I really have no needs at the moment.
    William.Farrel
  • You still banging on about this?

    Crap $50 bills every minute........
    Boothy_p
  • No iWatch!

    There was an article somewhere (I think it was with a Tag Heuer exec) that took the entire "smart watch" industry to task. The gist of the article was that the designs were horrible and that the people they need to impress the most are fashion conscious and the smart watches just don't cut it. One of the problems cited is that people don't want square watches. Even with the electronic gizmos, they want round watches. But nearly every "smart watch" is square or rectangular.

    As opposed to other tech people, I love watches. I think watches make a great fashion accessory and their basic function is useful. I am a fan of chronographs or the watches you can see through to see the gears work. I own several watches. All the watches have a round face and analog hands. Some have digital features to pair with the analog watch, and all are relatively simple (by my standards) to use.

    The only feature I wish I could add to any watch it to provide time-based alerts. Even then that is a "nice to have" because my iPhone does that. Unless someone is going to really wow me with a "smart watch" that can be really useful and look good, I am just not interested. I'll save my money for the next iPhone 6!
    sbarman
  • Sorry, but I stopped reading and laughed out loud at...

    An "analyst crunched the numbers" and took 30 million, multiplied it by $300 and came up with 9 billion! Man, that must have taken her all day!

    When you lead with that, the rest cannot be take seriously...
    omdguy
  • Not what but WHY...

    Why would you want a $300 iWatch? No thanks.
    Oknarf
    • Well, someone with a

      TAG Heuer or Rolex would be the perfect canidate to be interesetd in something like the iWatch
      William.Farrel
      • Order of magnitude fault....

        The question related to a $300 smart watch

        Not a $3000 smart watch.
        Henry 3 Dogg
  • Last more than a week

    on a charge. As a watch wearer the notion of having to charge my watch daily, even weekly, is an anathema.
    Low_tech
  • I've read that $300 price rumor before and I don't believe it.

    Yes, I know what price figures those "reliable pundits" have speculated on but my best price guess for the mythical iWatch is somewhere between $200 to $250. Indeed, the price may even be lower considering the device probably will not need as much RAM memory as an iPod or an iPhone.

    So, what would I expect to receive if I purchased a $300 dollar iWatch? Well, for that price, I would expect to get TWO iWatches. Grin.
    kenosha77a
  • It would have to

    let me know what time I should leave for my next appointment. It should inform me of tracking information of any packages I having shipped. It should give me my flight information without me prompting it to. It should automatically give me the weather , how my favorite teams did and how my morning commuter looks like

    oh wait.................
    jonandkelly
  • umm

    Pleasure my manhood and cook me breakfast in the morning!
    slickjim