At the company's iPhone launch event, Apple CEO Tim Cook ran a video showing a bevy of Apple Watch customers who used the device to get ahead of heart conditions, dial 911, and get life-saving alerts. The Apple Watch starts at $399 for Series 5 with GPS and $499 for the cellular version. Apple is keeping the Series 3 at $199, a price that should get Apple Watch more converts.
The stories are legit -- we have one of our own at ZDNet -- and the not so subliminal message is clear: Apple Watch is your health and wellness companion. "Hearing these stories really makes my heart sing," said Cook.
Apple Hearing Study, looking at the health impact on noise.
Apple Women's Health Study, looking at conditions and how they apply to menstrual cycles.
Apple Heart & Movement Study, which is looking at interventions that affect the heart.
You can enroll via the Apple Research app available in the US later this year.
Among the key features:
An always-on display;
A new low-power display driver and better refresh rates;
Same all-day 18-hour battery life;
Optimized workout metrics on the display and apps;
Updated Maps app and built-in compass;
More selection in cases and finishes with silver, gold, and space gray aluminum as well as titanium and ceramic.
Apple's healthcare building blocks in place
Apple laid out its blueprint to expand the Apple Watch into healthcare and human resources wellness programs last year. The 2019 iPhone event outlined a continuation of a broader plan for the Apple Watch to dominate digital health and wellness.
Apple Watch Series 4 featured the ability to offer an ECG direct to consumers. Apple Watch Series 4 was reengineered for better battery life, but many customers still had to charge their device overnight. That reality meant that functions like sleep tracking were feasible but often fell by the wayside.
Nevertheless, Apple last year added a bevy of customizations for breathing, meditation, and other wellness activities.
While revenue from corporate wellness programs is likely to be a rounding error to Apple, these efforts make the device more sticky. Apple is also able to leverage its iOS, iPhone, and iPad momentum in the enterprise to extend its Apple Watch applications.
Another development to watch is Apple's AirPod lineup, which can also have health applications that'll go with Apple Watch. IDC said second-quarter wearable shipments were up 85.2% in the second quarter to 67.7 million, with hearables representing most of the growth.
IDC noted that consumers were buying so-called "hearables" to go with smartwatches and trackers. Apple has 50.25% of the hearable market, followed by Samsung.
Here's a look at how the wearable market will be split between smartwatches, hearables, and trackers.
Apple's moat will be connecting Apple Watch and AirPods for healthcare applications and data.
Meanwhile, Fitbit is also selling trackers at a healthy clip. Fitbit's ultimate ambition is to use its customer data on an aggregate scale to sell premium services and subscriptions.
What's unclear is whether Apple will gain so much scale that the enterprise data, apps, and ecosystem will overrun Fitbit. However, there are likely more than enough corporate health plans and health system accounts to go around.
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