Apple made the somewhat surprising announcement at its special press event on Monday that its Apple Watch is becoming a bit more affordable.
The tech giant
touted its Apple Watch is now on sale for $299, a $50 price cut compared to the $349 starting price the device was offered for last year when it launches. It’s the first time Apple has dropped the price for its connected smartwatch.
In addition to a price cut, as expected, Apple showcased some new watchbands for the device, including a woven nylon option available in four colors. Apple added a space black version of its Milanese Loop will also make its way to the Apple Watch on top of new sport and leather watch bands.
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Apple held its special press event on March 21 at its headquarters in Cupertino, Calif. The company hinted that watchbands could make a showing at the event in coyly naming the show, “Let us loop you in.” Several Apple rumor sites also suggested that the company had been planning to debut new wristbands at the event in addition to leaks earlier this year suggesting the iPhone maker was working on more accessories for its wearable.
CEO Tim Cook justified his company’s decision to launch new wristbands, saying that “about a third of our Apple Watch wearers regularly change their bands.”
Still, Cook wouldn’t provide the single data point that many Apple investors and analysts have been hoping to hear: how many wearables the company has actually sold. While most industry analysts agree that the Apple Watch is the most popular smartwatch in the world, Apple has said that it won’t announce its sales figures. Cook and others have argued that doing so would help competitors.
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Nevertheless, Cook would only say that Apple Watch owners “love” the device and have become a part of their daily lives.
Apple’s decision to cut the price on its Apple Watch, however, calls into question just how well the Apple Watch is doing. Price cuts are usually employed to boost sales. While it’s unknown how many Apple Watch units have sold, several major retailers, including Target
, have been selling the Apple Watch at a starting price of $299 for months. It’s possible that’s been a reaction to slowing sales or just an attempt to garner some attention in the crowded field of retailers already selling the wearable. Whether Apple’s price cut is an effort to build demand or just catch up to its retail partners is unknown.
Read more: Apple March ‘Loop You In’ Event: Live Blog
Regardless, the new lowest-end Apple Watch Sport is available now for $299 on Apple’s website and in stores. The company’s online store has also added several new Apple Watch models featuring the new wristbands.