Apple Watch Series 5 gives an all-round performance

The Apple Watch Series 5 smartwatch (from S$599 to S$2049) looks exactly like its predecessor, the Series 4. However, the Series 5 comes in new case materials – besides the mainstay aluminium and stainless steel, it now has titanium and ceramic versions.

The ceramic watch case, available only in white, is supposed to be very scratch-resistant; while the titanium watch case comes in natural brushed and space black finishes, with the space black finish having a diamond-like coating. A variety of bands are also offered.

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Apart from the new case materials, the biggest upgrade in the Series 5 is its always-on display (AOD). With this display, some elements of the watch face will always be visible to tell time, instead of “blacking out” like with previous Apple Watch models and other smart watches or fitness trackers.

The new watch OS 6 has several new watch faces that take advantage of the new AOD. One is the new California watch face, which has a mix of Roman and Arabic numerals. These numerals, along with the hour and minute hands, remain visible when the watch is idle, while the background and second hand disappear. They reappear when you raise your wrist to wake the display up.

Apple said that with the AOD turned on, the series 5 will continue to have an all-day battery life. With the watch paired to an iPhone with notifications turned on, with a 5 km walk and a 500 m swim thrown in, the watch still had around 40 percent battery life left at the end of the day before charging.

Another new feature is the digital compass, which shows direction and elevation. For those who like hiking, this compass app is handy and could keep them from getting lost when trekking. Also new to the Series 5 is a feature that allows international emergency calling (in more than 150 countries) without an iPhone.

The Series 5 has the same health and fitness features – such as heart-rate monitoring and electrocardiogram (ECG) – as the Series 4. Listen to music on the go, pay for stuff, text or call, it lets you go without your phone. The watch OS 6 also introduces menstrual-cycle tracking for women. However, it still does not have the sleep tracking mode.

Though its improvements are incremental, the Apple Watch Series 5 is still the best smartwatch in the market, with its sleek design, useful health features and superb overall performance.

(a) Explain the five (5) product levels of the customer value hierarchy for the new Apple Series 5 smartwatch. (12 marks)

(b) Discuss three (3) product or service differentiation that Apple has adopted or can adopt for its Series 5 smartwatch. (9 marks)

(c) Examine one (1) social and two (2) personal factors that could influence a consumer to buy an Apple Series 5 smartwatch. (12 marks)

(d) Discuss Apple’s price setting decision by comparing two (2) pricing methods that could have been adopted by Apple. Suggest, with reasons, which pricing method Apple is likely to have used for its Series 5 smartwatch.

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