In a period of high inflation, is it worth spending up on a new smartwatch? Apple Inc.
executives noted earlier this summer that economic pressures were having some impact on the company’s wearables business, and they seemed to nod to those dynamics as they unveiled the company’s latest Apple Watch lineup on Wednesday. Read: Apple keeps iPhone prices the same, offers free satellite connection for 2 years
The company kept prices the same for the new Apple Watch Series 8 lineup as the Series 7, and it also cut the price of the new Apple Watch SE model. Even so, the prices are considerable in light of heavy spending pressures on consumers that leave them with less disposable income. The new Apple Watch SE starts at $249 with GPS and $299 with cellular, while the Apple Watch Series 8 starts at $399 with GPS and $499 with cellular. Perhaps in acknowledgment that higher-income consumers have seen less pressure from inflation than other brackets, the company also showed off its Apple Watch Ultra, a newly designed watch with a $799 price tag. Don’t miss: Apple CEO Tim Cook won’t raise iPhone 14 prices. He must first deal with a fierce rival — and it’s not Samsung As with Apple’s recent iPhone introductions, the feature changes seen in the latest Apple Watch models are largely incremental. Owners of last year’s Apple Watch Series 7 will see some improvements, like car-crash detection and temperature sensing, if they upgrade to the Series 8 line, but the overall differences will be more minor. Owners of older Apple Watch models will see bigger changes in performance and functionality, but depending on needs, the features might not be worth the upgrade from well-functioning older devices. Those considering grabbing an Apple Watch for the first time will at least know that they’ll be getting Apple’s latest and greatest across a variety of price points. The new models feature additional health tools, which could draw more consumers into the fray. Additionally, the two higher-end models offer more intriguing battery options. The Ultra model is said to reach up to 36 hours of battery life during “normal use,” and up to 60 hours when on low-power mode. The Series 8 can get up to 36 hours on low-power mode, a new setting. Some people chafed at the idea of daily charging with other Apple Watch models, so t …