Apple Inc. has been selling the Apple Watch for just about six months, and the wearable device has been selling well, if not spectacularly. CEO Tim Cook and the Apple sales team may have an idea of how to boost those sales heading into the holidays, and it appears Apple is testing a theory in some of its U.S. stores. You can now purchase the Apple Watch in a bundle deal packaged with the iPhone 6S.
MacRumors broke the story about a discount on the Apple Watch in some stores in California and Massachusetts, and it was quickly confirmed by Apple. Right now the deal is very limited. Only a handful of stores have the offer, and it’s only going to run from October 31 to November 15.
Apple sells iPhone 6S, Apple Watch bundle
For now the deal is only available in specific retail locations, and you can’t get access to it through the Apple website. The stores are all in California and Massachusetts, and they include, according to Mac Rumors, Burlingame, Chestnut Street, Corte Madera, Hillsdale, San Francisco and Stonestown, and Boylston Street, Burlington, CambridgeSide and Chestnut Hill in Boston.
In order to avail of the deal you’ll have to show up at one of those stores and buy an Apple Watch and an iPhone 6S, or iPhone 6S Plus. The deal gives you $50 off the cost of the entire bundle, so it’s not a major discount. The lowest price you’ll expect to pay for an iPhone 6S is $649, while the cheapest Apple Watch costs $349.
That means that the total cost for the base models of the Apple gadgets is, right now, a combined $998. The $50 saving is a 5 percent cut on the price, before tax is paid it’s assumed. That’s nice, and it may convince more people to splash out on the Apple Watch, but it’s not going to make or break most who can afford $1,000 consumer goods purchases.
Where this deal will really matter is with shareholders. Apple hasn’t been able to sell the Watch in numbers expected by many on Wall Street, and the firm may be trying something new in order to push the device.
Apple finds new ways to sell gadgets
Apple has been harried by stories of slowing growth in recent months, and the less than stellar sales of the Apple Watch haven’t helped. In response to claims that it can’t grow any more the firm has unveiled some new ways to buy its products, and so far Wall Street is impressed.
The major change has been in sales of the firm’s latest smart phone release, the iPhone 6S. Anyone can now buy the smartphone at a cut rate directly from Apple, and pay the remainder in monthly installments. That’s aping a new style of cell contract in the US that allows users to pay for a phone separately from their cell deal, and encourages quick upgrades to the latest device.
Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray said, in a recent report on sales of the iPhone 6S, that the upgrade program is a “meaningful tailwind” for Apple going forward. In his view the program will convince more people to upgrade their smartphone each and every year, and increase sales at Apple as a result.
Steven Milunovich of USB agrees. In a note published after Apple’s big September 9 event he said “The iPhone Upgrade Program could be a big deal.” In his view the program could increase demand for the smartphone and drive the price of Apple shares up to $200.
With the impetus apparently behind sales of the iPhone 6S as a result of the upgrade program, it will be interesting to see whether Apple can make a similar sales change that could increase the volume of the Apple Watch. Apple shareholders are worried about the firm’s growth going forward, and the Apple Watch seems like an easy fix to their problems.
Sales of the device have been less than satisfying so far, however. Though the device appears to be doing well, it’s not going to replace the iPhone any time soon. Since launch Apple has sold around $1.7B worth of the device. That’s neat for a new product, and very few other firms could pull that sort of momentum off, but it pales in contrast to the $48B in sales the firm as a whole booked in the quarter.
Will we see a holiday Apple Watch iPhone 6S bundle?
Apple hasn’t announced that the bundle in California and Massachusetts is a piece of market research, but that’s not the kind of info the firm usually releases. There doesn’t seem to be much reason for such a small rollout without it being a test for larger deployment. Apple retail boss Angela Ahrendts has already won plaudits for her smart retail strategy, and this may be the start of something big for Apple.
The Apple Watch is, still, of little use without the iPhone. As we get the rollout of Watch OS 2 and more native apps become part of the device we’re going to see more and more cleavage between the two devices. The Watch will, for years at least, remain attached to the iPhone, and users who have the device are going to want a new iPhone to attach it to.
If sales of the Apple Watch are strong in California and Massachusetts over the next two weeks, Apple may well roll out the iPhone 6S Apple Watch bundle to the rest of the country. That may be a boon to some people who want to get their hands on the device at a small discount, but it may mean more to those who have been waiting to see sales of the Apple gadget go up.
If you’re really looking for a deal, however, 9t05Mac relayed an even better discount on the Apple Watch that may be about to hit store shelves. A leaked ad from Target shows that the firm may be planning to offer some models of the write-borne PC at $70 lower than their list price. You’ll still have to buy a new iPhone 6S in order to get the deal.
Apple’s new sales tactics are certainly exciting. We’ll be watching to see if the firm’s bundle, despite not being the best deal out there, gets rolled out to the rest of the country ahead of the holidays. That could be a key move in the race to make the Apple Watch the king of wearables, a title that Apple has yet to secure in any concrete way.