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Aetna insurance will subsidize the Apple Watch

By |November 16th, 2016|Apple, HealthCare (mHealth & TeleHealth), Smart Watches|

http://money.cnn.com/2016/09/28/technology/aetna-apple-watch/

Aetna insurance will subsidize the Apple Watch

By Hope King September 28, 2016 10:13AM EDT

If you want an Apple Watch to keep track of your health, Aetna might help you pay for it.

The health insurance provider announced on Tuesday it will subsidize the cost of the device for some of its customers.

Aetna (AET) didn’t specify how much it would contribute to the cost, but noted it would be “a significant portion.”

The company highlighted in a statement it will be the first major healthcare insurance to offer such a programwhich begins this fall during open enrollment season.

There are no health requirements to qualify for the smartwatch, an Aetna spokesman told CNNMoney. Employers who use Aetna decide if they want to offer the Apple Watch program to employees.

The new Apple Watch Series 2 costs $369 for the aluminum body model and $549 for the stainless steel option. The Apple Watch Series 1 starts at $269.

Related: Apple Watch 2 — There’s finally a reason to buy a smartwatch

In addition to subsidizing the cost of the watch, Aetna will create several health apps for other iOS devices, such as the iPhone and iPad.

The apps will be released early next year and focus on helping people manage their medications, long-term care and insurance plans.

Apple (AAPLTech30) released a new version of its smartwatch earlier this month. Compared to the first generation, the Apple Watch 2 is geared much more toward fitness tracking.

The smartwatch is water resistant, so you can swim with it, and comes with built-in GPS. This means you no longer have to bring a phone with you on runs — it’ll track your routes remotely.

But unlike the Fitbit or Jawbone, the Apple Watch Series 2 doesn’t come with built-in sleep tracking. It’s a popular feature on other fitness devices and can help give you a bigger picture of your overall health.

Related: Hands on with the new Apple devices

Using personal gadgets to track health for insurance purposes is a growing trend.

In 2015, John Hancock started giving members a discount on life insurance if they shared health, location and body data, while Oscar Health offered its members a free Misfit fitness tracker

SmartWatch Market Declined 52% for Q3 2016. 

By |November 16th, 2016|Apple, Outside Sources*, REPORTS & ANALYSIS, Smart Watches, Uncategorized|

It seems like smartwatch fans are numbered.

Smartwatch sales declined 51.6% worldwide to 2.7 million in the third quarter, compared to 5.6 million shipments a year earlier, according to a new report published by International Data Analytics today (Oct. 24). Much of the downturn can be credited to the market leader, Apple, which saw sales of its Apple Watch plummet over 70% to 1.1 million.

With 41% of the market share, Apple is still leading. However, it’s a huge slip from the 72% it captured in the third quarter of 2015.

A big part of the issue for Apple is timing. The refreshed Apple Watch was released just two weeks before the end of the quarter, while the original watch debuted in May 2015. With “lower price points and improved experiences, Apple could be heading for a sequential rebound in 4Q16,” IDC wrote in its report.

Beyond Apple’s limited sales, Google and Samsung didn’t release wearables during the third quarter, which “left vendors relying on older, aging devices to satisfy customers,” noted Ramon Llamas, research manager for IDC’s Wearables team.

While devices like the Apple Watch come loaded with a variety of apps, the only clear use cases so far for such wearables are receiving notifications and tracking fitness activities. For some users, the former is less of a convenience and more of an anxiety-inducing function.

But health is showing showing real promise. Doctors have recommended that patients use fitness trackers, and, last month, Aetna Insurance announced plans to subsidize the Apple Watch for its customers.

For further proof that smartwatches are gaining traction as fitness devices, just look to Garmin. The company’s whopping 324% increase in sales from the year prior is “thanks to its growing list of ConnectIQ-enabled smartwatches and the addition of the fenix Chronos,” according to the report. Instead of trying to diversify into multi-purposes devices, like the Apple Watch, Garmin focused solely on health and fitness. The 600,000 units it shipped in the third quarter were second only to Apple.

Apple seems to be going in this direction as well, positioning the latest iterations of the Apple Watch to fitness aficionados with waterproofing, built-in GPS, and more health and fitness-oriented apps. There’s even the Apple Watch Nike+ aimed squarely at the running set.

All this represents a much more targeted audience than Apple typically goes after, but it could prove to be one that clearly sees the utility in a product that’s had trouble proving its worth

Apple Watch 2 Rumored to Include Cellular Connectivity

By |May 14th, 2016|Apple|

In a new article centered on the first-year sales of the Apple Watch, The Wall Street Journal reports that Apple is working on including cellular network connectivity and a faster processor in the so-called Apple Watch 2.

There are relatively easy fixes for some concerns. Apple is working on adding cell-network connectivity and a faster processor to its next-generation Watch, according to people familiar with the matter.

The addition of standalone cell-network connectivity onto the wrist-worn device could bring some benefits to users, particularly those who are frustrated with the current generation’s heavy reliance on a tethered iPhone to provide basic iMessage and phone call functionality. Although such a feature would undoubtedly require an additional data plan, on top of one they might already have for both the iPhone and iPad, benefits like using GPS, making phone calls, and streaming Apple Music without an iPhone nearby could outweigh the cons for some users.

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The new hints given for the next-generation Apple Watch come on the heels of a collection of rumors that point to the upcoming version of Apple’s wearable gaining much-requested independence from the iPhone. Apple began implementing a third-party push for iPhone independency by announcing that all watchOS apps submitted to the App Storeafter June 1, 2016 will be required to be native applications.

Such updates to watchOS, which Apple introduced in watchOS 2, allow the wearable device to open apps more quickly and provide a smoother experience to users, instead of having to transmit data back and forth between a Bluetooth-connected iPhone. The mention of “a faster processor” in today’s report is something largely expected from a product update cycle by Apple, but it should compound the company’s efforts to introduce an all-around faster UI for the Apple Watch 2.

Using speculative analyst analysis, The Wall Street Journal also compared the first year of the Apple Watch to the first year sales run of the iPhone, from 2007 to 2008. The analyst estimate puts Apple Watch sales at 12 million units from its launch on April 24, 2015 to the same day in 2016. That number is double the original iPhone’s sales of 6 million units in its first year.

The latest rumors for the Apple Watch 2 conflict somewhat in regards to upgrade stats and release dates. One report has suggested that the new wearable will be 40 percent thinner and launch as soon as June, while a more recent research note from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo points to only minor form factor changes and a heavier focus on internal improvements. Kuo predicted the Apple Watch 2 will launch in the fall, alongside the iPhone 7.

http://www.macrumors.com/roundup/apple-watch-2/

Apple pushes iOS 8.2 beta 4 to developers | 9to5Mac

By |January 16th, 2015|Apple, News|

Apple pushes iOS 8.2 / beta 4 to developers

iOS 8.2 beta 4

Apple has released the fourth beta version of the upcoming iOS 8.2 software update for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. Previous builds include support for testing WatchKit apps for its upcoming Apple Watch release and changes to Apple’s Health app. We’ll update our coverage with what we find in the latest developer beta.

– The update is currently available over-the-air through the Software Updates section of the Settings app, but should be available through the iOS Dev Center shortly (now available)

– Build number increased to 12D5461b from 12D5452a

– Bluetooth section in Settings adds Apple Watch connection link, confirms Apple Watch app for iPhone

– Xcode 6.2 beta 4 with WatchKit (build 6C107a) now available on Dev Center

via Apple pushes iOS 8.2 beta 4 to developers | 9to5Mac.

Apple Inc. (AAPL) Will Dominate The Smart Watch Market In 2015!

By |January 11th, 2015|Apple, Market Data|

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) stunned the world once again on September 9 by launching its newest product, the Apple Watch.

This is the Cupertino-based giant’s newest addition to its product line-up since 2009, when the first Apple iPad was announced. As expected, the Apple Watch boasted some interesting features such as the digital crown and various health and fitness monitoring capabilities. The arrival of the Apple in the wearable device shipments category has re-ignited the fledgling smart-watch market, where shipments have already risen by 684% in the first half of 2014.

The Apple watch is all set to hit retail stores worldwide starting from 2015, and is already expected to dominate the market.

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Market Research Analyst firm Canalys has predicted that Apple will effectively dominate the smart-watch market in 2015. However, it would be smart bands that would lead the wearable market, atleast for next two years. Shipments of wearable band will grow 129% Y-O-Y, to sell a total of 43.2 million units in 2015.

Of these, 28.2 million sold will be smart-bands, while 15 million units will be basic bands.
Currently, the leaders in this segment are Samsung Electronics Co Ltd. (KRX:005930) , Jawbone and a host of other players  such as Motorola, LG Electronics Inc. (KRX:066570) and Sony Corp (ADR) (NYSE:SNE).

 

Why Would Customers Want  A Smart Band?

The new range of smart-watch devices have been greeted with much skepticism by consumers. Several vendors have offered no solid reason why a customer would ever need one.   Although wearable technology such as Google Glass, fitness bands, and health monitors already exist,  these are still early days for wearable technology as no one has figured out what they are truly meant for.

worldwide smart band shipments forecasts 2014 2015

Sensing the mood, Apple has tried to spark interest through health, fitness, navigation applications as well as workout, activity tracking and mobile payments. But the company is intelligently trying to satisfy two markets by loading features of a smart band and smart watch in one device, Apple Watch.

The other players in the market, meanwhile, such as Xiaomi have already unleashed a price war by launching basic bands such as the Mi band at a jaw dropping price of US $13.
Google too, has pitched Android Wear as a practical ecosystem to compete with Apple Watch.

The long term vision of all these device makers will be to extend the capabilities of smartphones, and offer clear value to customers who will be looking to prove the purchase of yet another connected product.

Apple Smart-Watch Expected To Dominate Market Next Year

Apple’s arrival in this field is extremely significant for good reasons. After pioneering the MP3 player, smartphone and tablet devices, there is immense pressure on the company to repeat the same with smart-watches. With a high price tag of US$349, the device will appeal to initial consumers with plenty of disposable income. Just as with smartphones and tablets, this will create an opening where cheaper and better products will soon enter the market, thus turning smart-watches into everyday mainstream products. Canalys analyst Daniel Matte explained the reason why is Apple’s smart-watch the clear winner among all other brands.

        ‘By creating a new user interface tailored to its tiny display, Apple has a produced a smart watch that mass-market consumers will actually want to wear. The sleek software, variety of designs and reasonable entry price make for a compelling new product.

Apple must still prove, however, that the product will deliver adequate battery life for consumers.”

Disruptions Will Affect Apple’s Performance Quickly

Apple may have the upper hand initially, but just as with smartphones and tablets the market is prone to several disruptions. As Apple is trying to satisfy two different breeds of hand-wearable device – Smart band and Smart Watch – Fitbit and Jawbone will have the advantage of low-priced products in the near-future, but competition is sure to escalate.

This will in turn push the prices of smart-bands even further down, and match the prices of basic bands.

With the market poised to grow to 373 million units by 2020, this is a segment with enormous opportunity. The current trends bear characteristics similar to the feature phone market, which was several disrupted when smartphones began to appear.

apple-watch

Apple still has plenty of opportunities ahead in the coming months with the release of the iPhone 6, and iPhone 6 plus.  Million of units of both devices are expected to be shipped worldwide and trigger Apple’s biggest iPhone upgrade cycle.

If the iPhone 6 Can Do It – So Can Apple Watch!

If the Apple Watch can match the iPhone’s success, the company will have transformed the world once again.  For now, though, Apple’s Watch has been criticized for being overpriced and under-innovative, but it has undoubtedly re-ignited interest in a device that has long been considered obsolete.However, it would be also interesting to see how Apple could kill two birds with one stone!

 

READ MORE FROM THE ORIGINAL SOURCE AND AUTHORS BY FOLLOWING THE LINK BELOW…


Apple Inc. (AAPL) Will Dominate The Smart Watch Market In 2015!

Apple Watch helps to Grow Demand for all SmartWatches [MarketWatch.com]

By |December 5th, 2014|Apple, Charts & Graphs, Consumer Wearables, Market Data, Outside Sources*, REPORTS & ANALYSIS, Sample Reports|

SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) – For a product that so far has no price tag, no confirmed release date and is still awaiting federal authorization before it can go on sale, the Apple Watch is already considered by many to be redefining the nascent smartwatch market.

Apple Watch is already considered by many to be redefining the nascent Smartwatch market.

And Apple’s AAPL, -0.38% decision to get into the smartwatch sector is enough to make consumers consider buying a smartwatch of any kind, according to research from UBS analyst Steven Milunovich.

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On Monday, Milunovich said that a UBS study based on 4,000 respondents showed that 10% of those surveyed said they were “very likely” to buy a smartwatch over the next 12 months. Milunovich also said that about two-thirds of those who said they were likely to buy a smartwatch would be making the purchase in addition to, rather than in place of, a traditional watch.

The worldwide smartwatch market is relatively small, and generated $700 million on sales of just 3.1 million such timepieces in 2013, according to Milunovich, who included FitBands with displays as part of the sales figures.

The top-selling smartwatch last year was the Galaxy Gear from Samsung, with 800,000 units sold and a 34% market share.

Milunovich reiterated that he estimates Apple will sell 24 million Apple Watches during the first nine months that the devices are on sale, a figure that is based on the possibility that 10% of current iPhone owners will buy one of the new gadgets. Apple Watch owners will also need an iPhone 5 or later phone in order to access all of the Apple Watch’s capabilities.

“Apple can’t afford to have a poor consumer experience with version one of any product,” Milunovich said. “The question is whether the first version will be sufficient to create substantial [consumer] demand.”

Milunovich, who has a buy rating and $125-a-share price target on Apple’s stock, estimates that the average selling price of the Apple Watch will be about $420 per device, and that Apple could grow sales of the Apple Watch to almost 68 million units by 2018.

Apple shares were off by almost 3% at $115.38 in late trading Monday.

Apple Watch expected to galvanise wearable technology

By |November 9th, 2014|Apple, Outside Sources*, REPORTS & ANALYSIS, RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT, Sample Reports, Statistics & Chartables|

Wearable Technology Show

A report from Juniper Research has revealed that the global retail revenue from smart wearable devices will treble by 2016, before reaching $53.2 billion by 2019.

It says that the market will be driven by an increase in sales of premium smart watches and smart glasses over the next five years.

The extensive new report – Smart Wearable Devices: Fitness, Glasses, Watches, Multimedia, Clothing, Jewellery, Healthcare & Enterprise 2014-2019 – asserts that the recent entry of key industry players within the wearables sector has helped fuel an explosion of new devices in this increasingly crowded market. However, it argues that vendors still need to get over the ‘technology first’ attitude and think in terms of consumer benefits for an increased product adoption.

The research observed that consumers are still unsure about the use case for many wearable devices, including watches and glasses. In particular, consumers are hesitant to adopt wearable companion devices with functionality that is very similar to that of smartphones.

Many of the recent developments, and much of the hardware, in the sector have come from start-ups and smaller companies. Key players have begun focusing on platform promotions, such as Google’s Android Wear, Samsung’s SAMI data architecture or Intel’s Edison design platform. This enables them to respond easily to new device developments, rather than developing the devices themselves.

Meanwhile, Juniper anticipates that many of the more advanced technologies for wearables will be developed first for the enterprise and healthcare segments, which have clearer use cases. These segments will drive wearable technology forward, before being adapted for the consumer sector.

Other key findings include:

· Smart watches will replace fitness wearables as the most purchased wearables category by 2017.

· With smartphones increasingly becoming commoditised, wearables will remain companion devices, with many tied to specific operating systems to differentiate offerings.

Apple Watch the most anticipated wearable, PwC study finds | CNET

By |October 23rd, 2014|Apple, Consumer Wearables, News, Smart Watches, Statistics & Chartables|

Apple Watch most exciting wearable on the horizon, consumers say..,

A new report pegs Apple gadget as the most exciting upcoming entrant in the wearable tech race. But getting consumers to purchase and continue wearing these gadgets will prove pivotal.

Apple-Watch-Live-02 The Apple Watch, due out in early 2015, is expected to breath new life into the wearable market. James Martin/CNET. The Apple Watch is not expected to arrive until next year, yet consumers are already crowning it as the most exciting wearable gadget out there.

Apple’s was the most highly anticipated wearable device among respondents to a survey from PricewaterhouseCoopers, released Monday.

Among the findings,

  • 59 percent of customers say they would be very interested in checking out the Apple wearable, followed by
  • 57 percent who were interested in a potential product from Amazon and
  • 53 percent interested in one from Google.

The survey’s results indicate the strength of the wearable market. One in five US adults owns a wearable today, according to PwC. At nearly 20 percent, the market for wearables now sits at roughly the same position as the tablet market two years after the release of the original iPad. The number of US adults that owned a tablet grew from 20 percent to 40 percent over the last two years, according to PwC.

  • PwC expects sales of wearable devices to hit 19 million devices by year’s end, tripling last year’s figure according to projections made by market researcher IDC.
  • By 2018, wearable sales could reach 130 million units and the market could rise to $6 billion dollars.

Wearables, which constitute everything from wristbands and watches to glasses and ear pieces, are poised to become the next frontier in consumer technology. Tech and even non-tech companies are pouring money into the space in an effort to capitalize on what may be the next big market after tablets and smartphones. The field now includes large players like Intel, Google, LG, Samsung and now Apple; startups like Fitbit, Jawbone, Pebble and Misfit; and traditional product makers like Nike and Fossil.

While the wearable device market is likely to grow quickly with so many interested parties involved, lingering questions remain. Among them is how much customers will actually use these devices. Users concerned with privacy and security were scared away from using them, the survey found, raising questions about how much customers trust the tech industry with their health and fitness information. As a result, PwC’s survey said 33 percent of wearable device owners abandoned their device after one year.

Furthermore, wearable devices on the market today are not offering enough value for the price, respondents said. The survey found that 76 percent of respondents said that they did not need a wearable device to replace an existing device like a smartphone, meaning these gadgets need to offer more distinct features to grab customer’s attention.

“For wearable products to take off, they will need to carve out a distinct value proposition. And, because the phone is such a fixture, for the short term, at least, wearable technology will need to seamlessly integrate with our existing technology,” the report says.

The target market for these devices is wide and varied, PwC said. Parents and caretakers for the elderly are considering wearable devices as an option to help keep their children and grandparents safe and monitor for emergency situations. Customers between the ages of 18 and 34, who self-identify as early-adopters, are also a large potential segment.

“Businesses must evolve their existing mobile-first strategy to now include the wearable revolution,” said Deborah Bothun, PwC’s entertainment, media & communications leader.

For Apple, its upcoming smartwatch has a laundry list of requirements and features to include if it’s to help energize the wearable market as the iPhone, iPad and iPod have done to smartphones, tablets and MP3 players.

Read Full Article & Surveys @CNET

Update at 2:30 p.m. PT, October 21: Added link to PwC report.

Apple Watch on: Charging Retail Box, Water Resistance, Calls, Offline | MacRumors

By |October 23rd, 2014|Apple, Companion |NFC, News, Smart Watches|

While Apple announced the Apple Watch today at its special event, it didn’t go over all of the new device’s features, noting that the company has a lot more to share in the future. Yahoo Tech’s David Pogue has found out some of the details Apple didn’t share on stage.

applewatch
The watch is water resistant, allowing users to not worry about the device when in the rain, or washing hands. However, the watch must be taken off before going for a swim or taking a shower. Additionally, the watch includes a microphone that can allow users to make calls directly from their Apple Watch.

Users will also be able to load apps onto the Apple Watch from their iPhone. To rearrange the apps, users will have to hold their finger on an app’s icon and move it around, similar to how one rearranges icons on an iPhone. There’s also a “Ping My iPhone” feature, which will allow users to play a sound on their iPhone so they can locate it in case they have misplaced it.

Finally, Pogue explains that the Apple Watch Edition, the most high end of the Apple Watches, comes with a special box.

The fanciest model, the gold Apple [Watch] Edition, comes in a gorgeous jewelry box — which doubles as a charger. The back of the box has a Lightning connector, and the inside of the box has the watch’s magnetic round charger pad, standing vertically. So as you retire each night, you can just lay your gold watch into its case and let it charge.

Additionally, Re/code’s Ina Fried says that the offline abilities of the Apple Watch include Apple Pay, music via Bluetooth, activity tracking and some apps.

The Apple Watch will launch in early 2015 with its lowest end model costing $350.

Related roundup: Apple Watch

Apple Pay put to The Test (watch "In The Real World" video)

By |October 21st, 2014|Apple, News|

apple pay nfcApple released iOS 8.1 today, and with it comes the ability to use Apple Pay on the iPhone 6 or 6 Plus. We decided to try it out by going to two nearby businesses that already accept Apple’s NFC-powered mobile payments: Walgreens and McDonald’s.

Getting my 6 Plus ready for Apple Pay took less than a minute. I opened the Passbook app, tapped the “Add” button, selected the Credit/Debit Card menu item introduced in iOs 8.1, and was presented with a form to enter my card’s number, expiration date, and security code. There was also an option to scan the details of my card in with the camera. I chose that route, and after a second-long scan only had to enter the security code from the back of my card. After this initial setup, you don’t need to open Passbook to use Apple Pay, though you’ll notice I did in the video above to see what would happen.

At Walgreens, we spent more time figuring out what to buy than figuring out how to use Apple Pay. Once everything has been rung up, you just hold your thumb (or any other finger you have registered on your phone) to Touch ID and tap it against the part of the payment terminal with this symbol: TO YOUR RIGHT…