Target Lands Apple Watch, Device Positioning Sends Mixed Messages

Since its introduction, the Apple Watch has established itself as a status symbol. Big name celebrities were donning them, and high-profile Apple execs flashed them on their wrist at every turn. And although the concept of wearable technology was nothing new (Pebble debuted a smartwatch in 2011, and Google launched Android Wear in mid 2014), Apple has established it as a hip, fashionable luxury item. And now, a common retailer will begin carrying the Apple Watch soon.

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Sources say that later this month the American retail chain Target will begin selling the Apple Watch later on this month. The retailer will be carrying twenty different models, ranging in price from $349 to $599. However, the much sought after gold-encased Edition models will be missing from the lineup. The goal is to have all Target stores carrying Apple Watch devices by the 25th of October.

This comes not long after big-name retailer Best Buy began carrying the wearable device back in August. In fact, their distribution of the Apple Watch was so successful that Best Buy “reported a rise in domestic comparable sales of 3.8% for the second quarter.” The CEO, Hubert Joly, even noted that there was a strong demand for the device online and in-store.

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Apple is most likely hoping the introduction of the smartwatch into Target will boost their relative less-than-extraordinary sales. Apple reported that they sold 3.6 million Apple Watches in the second quarter, yet they are looking to extend their distribution to retail stores outside of their own.

Surprisingly enough, Target’s distribution of Apple Watches comes shortly after Apple decided to release a Hermes version of the Apple Watch, which starts at around $1,100 for the single strap option. This leads sources to wonder whether or not Apple is sending mixed messages by promoting their “luxury gadgets” whose less expensive kin are readily available at chain retail locations like Target and Best Buy.

Is the Apple Watch a luxury item or not? Is it a good idea for Apple to sell the Apple Watch in general stores like Target?

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