|The newly unveiled Apple Watch--Courtesy of Apple|
Apple ($AAPL) has dealt with setbacks for its Apple Watch since rolling out the product earlier this year, shelving certain health features prior to launch and facing complaints over the accuracy of the device's heart rate monitor. With its med tech aspirations for the watch on the back burner, some analysts think the company could turn to corporate markets to boost sales for the product.
By 2017, business will represent 15% of watch sales, FBR Capital Markets analyst Daniel Ives told Bloomberg. But corporate adoption could drive sales in the immediate future. Business users comprised 2% of Apple's watch sales last quarter, but the company will likely focus more on enterprises in the next one to two years, Neil Mawston, executive director at Strategy Analytics, told the news outlet, giving Apple some upward momentum with its device.
More people are signing onto wearable devices, with users of smartwatches and other gadgets more than tripling by 2019, according to eMarketer data cited by Bloomberg. Apple is wise to these numbers and is already striking deals with businesses to increase its presence in the corporate arena.
The company counts a partnership with Cisco Systems to its name and is also working with tech giant IBM ($IBM), which has 14 apps that work on the watch covering industries such as healthcare and public safety.
Still, the watch's cost could be a barrier to signing on corporate customers. The watch runs at $349 for the lowest-price models and thousands of dollars for amped-up versions. For comparison's sake, Sprint has a limited-time iPhone offer for as low as $1 month with a trade-in and service plan, Bloomberg points out. Apple will likely need to work from the bottom up to spur watch adoption, getting consumers to bring wearables into the workplace rather than businesses giving the devices to workers, Oliver Conze, a global president at SAP, told the news outlet.
Meanwhile, Apple continues to flesh out its healthcare offerings on the watch. In July, Novartis ($NVS) launched a navigation app for the visually impaired that runs on the Apple Watch. The app offers voice guidance and vibrations to flag landmarks and intersections for users.
- read the Bloomberg story