Apple significantly expanded its reach Monday, adding a new category - wearable tech - to its product line-up. Whether Apple shakes up the consumer market the way it did with its earlier smartphone and tech products remains to be seen. But either way, business experts say Apple is providing a road map for businesses on how to stay relevant.
Whether it’s a new way to pay for goods, a thinner, faster notebook or an entirely new product like the Apple Watch -- no other company makes a simple product announcement such a highly anticipated event. One thing Apple is good at is taking risks, says CNET editor Lindsey Turrentine.
“There's a risk that people will say, 'I have a phone, why would I want some of those same features on my arm?' There's also the risk that battery life can be a really limiting factor," she said.
But risk has always been an important aspect of innovation. Some say CEO Tim Cook has succeeded in Apple's post-Steve Jobs era because he’s willing to exchange stability to stay relevant. That’s one of the main points in a new book by business motivation expert Kevin Paul Scott.
“They’re [Apple is] saying, 'We could continue to do what we’re doing and do it well and survive,' but they’re saying we’re going to give up, we’re going to make some big bets on some big things - and they’re really pursuing significance. And that’s why Apple has continued to change the game again and again,” he said.
But to be fair, Scott says Apple also has three things going for it.
“Apple always tends to keep us in suspense, so it makes us want to watch," he said. "Number two, they don’t speak too frequently, so when they do, they say something that’s worth saying, and number three is, they have a cult-like following.”
With a price range starting at $350 for the Sport edition - all the way to $10,000 for the 18-karat gold edition - Apple’s cult-like following is probably enough to sell millions of the new watches when they go on sale April 24. Regardless of how well it does in the second quarter - John Silva, president of the National Association for Business Economics, says Apple’s success is proof that innovation sells - even in a tough economy.
“It [Apple’s success] tells us actually that innovation is actually quite strong relative to a lot of the negative sentiment that seems to be out there, and there is a lot of change going on in terms of entrepreneurship in the U.S. economy," he said.
Apple stock rose about half a percent after the announcement. Last week, the California-based company became the newest member of the Dow Jones Industrial Average... meaning that any ups and downs in the company’s fortunes will be reflected in the world’s most closely watched stock index.