Holiday Shopping Stories December 9, 2015

Why is Apple Watch receiving unprecedented 30% discounts at authorized retailers?

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

Holiday Shopping Stories November 25, 2014

The latest stats from Swirl Networks, the company behind a number of beacon deployments at high-profile retailers, shows that shoppers in the US are embracing Bluetooth beacons and along with it Apple’s iBeacon framework for app developers sending location sensitive notifications to users. More specifically, data collected from the company’s beacon deployments in recent months shows that beacons are influencing the way we shop with more than half engaging with the feature and many redeeming beacon offers when making purchases.  expand full story

Holiday Shopping Stories November 21, 2013

Springpad for iOS updated with customized smart notebook templates

Springpad, the popular personal organizer app, makes it even easier to stay organized with their latest update by introducing customized notebook templates. These themed notebooks include different categories: Recipes, For Later, Tasks, Work Project, Holiday Gift Planner, Books, Movies, and Home Improvement. These templates are great for helping unorganized people get organized.

Some of these templates are “smart templates,” meaning that the app knows the information you are putting in and either organizes it for you or provides you with more information. My family goes out to the movies frequently during the holiday season. Using the Movies template, entering  movies we want to see automatically organizes them based on whether each movie is playing in theaters, available to stream on Netflix, or available to rent. Another new template, the Holiday Gift Planner makes it easier to come up with your shopping list. When entering items, you are able to either scan the product’s bar code or type it in manually. This allows you to look up more information about the product and quickly buy it. If you are buying tech-related gifts, don’t forget to check out 9to5Mac for product reviews and 9to5Toys for the best deals this holiday season.

Springpad is a free app available for iOS, Android, Windows, Kindle and on the web.

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