Apple gave shoppers their first hands-on have a look at its smartwatch Friday pushing into wearable tech simply as rival Samsung rolled out its new flagship smartphones.
With the world’s two largest gadget makers vying for shopper consideration, Apple scored factors by apparently promoting out of the Apple Watch as shortly because it opened pre-orders.
Clients ordering the watch, because of go on sale April 24, noticed messages saying deliveries now had been being pushed again into June or later.
“I actually debated if I should purchase the factor,” mentioned Eric Angelosanto, one of many clients trying to strive the smartwatch at a New York Apple retailer, who indicated that he had already positioned an order on-line. “It is tremendously overpriced, however a deal with.”
The Apple Watch begins at $349, with a limited-edition gold model priced at $12,000.
Angela Ahrendts, Apple’s senior vp of retail and on-line shops, mentioned she expects “that sturdy buyer demand will exceed our provide at launch.”
Some analysts weren’t so positive about prospects for the brand new wearable system. “The watch’s success is something however assured,” mentioned Roger Kay, analyst at Endpoint Applied sciences Associates.
In Paris, on the firm’s flagship retailer by the Place de l’Opera journalists outnumbered clients, with Apple encouraging clients to position orders on-line and with shops providing solely demonstrations.
Would-be early patrons queued for a “trial becoming” on the Apple retailer in Tokyo’s stylish Omotesando space. “I am very eager to purchase it,” mentioned Kazuki Miura, a 43-year-old know-how author, as he slipped the system onto his wrist.
Apple’s system, which connects to the iPhone to facilitate messaging, calls and apps geared towards well being and health, is a latecomer to the smartwatch market, and follows launches from Samsung, Huawei, Motorola, LG and others together with the crowd-funded Pebble watch.
And never solely tech firms: final month luxurious Swiss watchmaker TAG Heuer introduced it was becoming a member of forces with Google and Intel to develop a rival to the Apple Watch.
However due to Apple’s devoted buyer base, analysts anticipate the brand new watch to shortly take the lead and promote hundreds of thousands.
In the meantime, Samsung’s Galaxy S6 and its curved-edge variant, the Galaxy S6 Edge, went on sale in South Korea, dwelling of the electronics large, in addition to Europe, america and markets within the Asia-Pacific similar to Australia, Singapore and India.
Samsung, laboring beneath successive quarters of plunging earnings and booming gross sales of Apple’s iPhone 6, is hoping the brand new cellphone will reverse its fortunes. “Given the response from the market and shoppers… we anticipate the S6 to set a gross sales file for all Galaxy fashions,” Lee Sang-Chul, the vice head of Samsung’s cellular unit, advised reporters.
Joo Seung-Bin was one of many first in line to purchase an S6 in Seoul on Friday morning.
“It is a terrific design, and it is simply bought a terrific really feel,” the 23-year-old mentioned.
“It isn’t low-cost, however then I am not a kind of individuals who upgrades their cellphone yearly. There’s been a whole lot of buzz about this mannequin, so I assumed I would test it out,” Joo mentioned.
The S6 retails at round 858,000 received ($800) in South Korea, whereas the S6 Edge is available in at 979,000 received, broadly in step with their Apple counterparts.
Each fashions are powered by Google’s Android working platform and, in a break from their-plastic-backed predecessors, function metallic and glass our bodies.
“Demand for the brand new Galaxy mannequin is appreciable,” mentioned a spokeswoman in Germany for Media Saturn, the most important electronics retailer in Europe, though she mentioned shares had not been offered out.
Samsung has been struggling to remain atop the worldwide smartphone market amid a surge final 12 months from Apple after the discharge of recent large-screen iPhones.
However, regardless of fierce competitors on varied market fronts, there are indicators that Samsung is starting to battle again. Earlier this week it launched a better-than-expected revenue estimate for the primary quarter.
Samsung suffered a dramatic slide in earnings final 12 months, hit by slowing demand in an more and more saturated and aggressive smartphone market that it had largely dominated since 2011.
The corporate is in search of to fend off a double problem from Apple within the high-end market and rising Chinese language corporations similar to Lenovo and Xiaomi within the fast-growing mid and low-end markets.
Samsung not often discloses handset gross sales figures however analysts say the Galaxy S4, launched in 2013, set the agency’s gross sales file of 70 million items globally.