To say Apple’s launch of its first wearable has been out-of-character for the usually steady company would be an understatement. From a convoluted rollout to messy software updates, it was a bumpy first few months for Apple Watch. Now we’re coming up on the 3rd quarter of its availability and although inventory levels have settled and most early bugs have been squashed, Best Buy has just hit it with a massive $100 price drop across the board.
That’s the first full $100 price drop we’ve seen though both Target and B&H offer $100 in combined discounts and gift cards. For the smaller 38mm Sport model, that’s a discount of nearly 30%. In years’ past Apple products were almost never discounted at all, let alone a relatively new, hotly-anticipated gadget like Apple Watch. One outlier is the original iPhone that received a swift $200 price cut.
Apple most certainly has a say as to whether or not a major retailer like Best Buy can discount Apple Watch. So what gives? Is this Apple acknowledging that it overpriced Apple Watch for the market? Is Apple feeling the heat from low-cost alternatives, especially since Android Wear is now compatible with iOS? Or maybe demand has been sagging and this is Apple’s way of trying to jumpstart sales? Perhaps Apple would like to clear out inventory now that a new model is expected in March.
There’s no way to know for sure, but it’s certainly an interesting turn of events. There’s no doubt Apple has loosened its typically tight grip on pricing, but if relatively slow growth is any indication, there may be more to it than that for Apple Watch.
Big discounts haven’t been limited to just Apple Watch this holiday season either. Over at 9to5Toys we’ve seen the brand new Apple TV with Siri go 25% off, iPad Air 2 regularly available for $100+ below retail, and even iPhone 6s has received several substantial promotions. It’s possible that this pricing strategy is part of Apple’s plan to outsource discounting to authorized resellers. No matter the reason for more frequent Apple product discounts, it’s a win for consumers and a welcome relief for holiday shoppers
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