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Apple Watch: The world is watching, but will the rich be impressed?

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If you just fancy one now, you’ll need to wait until June: sales are already such that analysts have estimated it will shift more than two million units by the end of May, making it the most popular smartwatch in the world (current leader Samsung shifted approximately 1.2 million in 2014, accounting for almost 20 per cent of the market).

I will admit that the Apple Watch is a pretty piece of kit. The main question for me is: exactly who are they marketing it to? I wonder what proportion of sales are geared towards Apple’s “Sport” models, retailing around the £300 mark, rather than their “Edition” range, the priciest of which costs £13,500.

The inbuilt heart-rate monitors, personal-activity goals and “fitness milestones” suggest a big chunk of their prospective sales will be to fitness fanatics, biting into the activity wristband market that is, currently, probably the most successful slice of wearable tech. Curious consumers will possibly also shell out for those, even if they end up languishing unloved in a drawer next to a dusty Tamagotchi. But for all its gold and polished leather, is an Apple watch seductive enough to prise a luxury customer away from a flashy timepiece?

It reminds me of fashion’s foray into mobile phones. LG has produced them with Jil Sander and Prada, while Vertu has collaborated with Zegna, none with a huge degree of success and all eclipsed by Apple. Why? Because although Apple’s phones are aesthetically attractive, they are primarily functional devices.

In pictures: Apple Watch

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