The Apple Watch is about to get a run for its money. The French conglomerate LVMH, proprietors of products such as Luis Vuitton and Zenith, has announced plans to produce their competitive answer to Apple’s infamous wrist-strapped smart watch. The Apple Watch has been notoriously unbalanced in sales, compared to their usual dominance in the market over other devices, such as laptops, tablets and cell phones. Apple has refused to even announce the actual numbers of their sales, which is uncommon for the oft-boastful corporation. So when LVMH has announced a similarly high profile watch, one has to wonder whether they’re making the right business decision.
The smartwatch market seems undervalued at the moment. As Ariel Bogle of Mashable reports, “Jean-Claude Biver, president of the LVMH Watch Division, told the German newspaper Handelsblatt he was enthusiastic about Apple’s watch foray, saying it would help create a new set of clients interested in luxury watches. He added that the LVMH rival product should cost 1,400 euros ($1,516.20).” In short, Biver believes that Apple Watch may not have piqued the consumer’s wallet, but it has reached out to their interests.
And it’s worth noting that the Apple Watch, or any smart watch for that matter, is remarkably engaging in concept. There’s something appealing about having your smartphone at an even closer range than ever before. But the two main problems this corner of the market face have more to do with 1. The price and 2. The lifespan. LVMH are actually considering charging more for their watch than Apple currently does, which might not bode well with consumers. However, it could mean the competitor is looking to offer a much more spectacular device than Apple’s already pricey product can offer. Bogle reports that so far, LVMH is aiming high in this regard: “In April, Biver announced TAG Heuer’s smartwatch would have a 40-hour battery life.” In comparison, most Apple Watch users have criticized that their luxury watch doesn’t make it through the day without needing a pick me up from a nearby wall charger.
There’s a lot to consider when looking at this tech industry news from a distance. Why hasn’t the Apple Watch taken off like Apple was hoping? And what does LVHM hope to gain? More importantly: is the world even ready for a high-end luxury item that’s only true measure of worth is whether it can tell time? Time, of course, will tell.