Apple hones marketing for Watch with focus on fitness

Wed Sep 7, 2016 10:16pm EDT
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Julia Love

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept 7 (Reuters) - Two years after unveiling the Apple Watch with apps and styles that tried to appeal to every need and every customer, Apple Inc has honed its marketing strategy, debuting a second generation product aimed squarely at the health and athletic audience.

The focus on fitness will enhance the watch's appeal to its core audience but also cements its status as a niche device, analysts said.

"Apple is responding to what has resonated with customers," said analyst Jan Dawson of Jackdaw Research. "The problem is there are only so many people who want to wear a health and fitness device. If they want this to be really massive, they're going to have to go broader."

The first new device released under Chief Executive Tim Cook, the Apple Watch has not attracted a mass audience, selling 1.6 million units in the second quarter, down more than half from a year ago, in the run-up to the new version, IDC data showed.

Apple's original pitch touted the ability to send doodles, make phone calls and track fitness, while the company described it as essentially a fashion accessory.

But at a San Francisco launch event on Wednesday, where the iPhone 7 also debuted, Apple Watch videos, advertisements and demos focused narrowly on features for health enthusiasts, with the notable exception of a Pokemon Go app.

The new Watch starts at $369, includes a GPS chip, and is waterproof. Apple designed a special edition with sports giant Nike Inc.

Exercise buffs on social media cheered the new features, particularly the internal GPS system designed for runners who want to track workouts without dragging along their phones.   Continued...