Apple Watch sputters; analog making a comeback?


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After the April rollout, sales have proven slow, with 75 percent fewer units sold than iPhones over the same time period. Experts are sounding alarm bells. The Apple Watch hasn’t lived up to the early hype.
 
It doesn’t mean the Apple Watch is dying; it does, however, mean consumers are slow to respond to some new forms of technology. That’s not a new trend.
 
The Apple iPod, the high-selling first-generation portable MP3 player, sold under 2.5 million units in each of its first 12 quarters. That 13th quarter – first quarter 2005 – saw a rapid increase to nearly 5 million units, thanks to the launch of the Classic 4G Photo iPod. One year later, Apple’s Classic 5G iPod soared to 14 million units sold in one quarter.
 
Despite the alarm bells, be cautious and give the Apple Watch time, updates and the right market – namely, late-period millennials who will be of college-consumer age in three years. Also, during this genesis period, alternate forms of fashion can emerge. 
 
In 2004, the third year of the iPod’s genesis, the Internet share of the platforms used to purchase music grew from 5.9 percent to 8.2 percent, according to the Recording Industry Association of America. Record clubs, meanwhile, shot up from a 4.4 percent to 8.5 percent share. While technology emerged, people hesitant to buy sought analog methods.
 
The analog wristwatch represents an alternate form of fashion competing against the Apple Watch, and retailers are seeking to draw millennial consumers hesitant to buy into the new technology. The Lorenzo Buffa + Analog Watch Co. held a recent successful Kickstarter campaign to produce wristwatches made of stone. The hook? Forget digital – your watch can be a work of art.
 
Does this mean an analog renaissance? At the very least, there’s opportunity for disruption.
 
TRENDPOST: Wristwatch retailers from the young Lorenzo Buffa to the established Mondaine – with its modern Helvetica watch – are taking advantage of the millennial love of beauty to pull in new business. The result is a small disruption phase for the analog wristwatch, whose sales should rise steadily over the next two years, regardless of the Apple Watch’s long-term success.

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