Apple (AAPL - Free Report) is expanding its wearables portfolio with the addition of Apple Watch Series 6 and Apple Watch SE, unveiled at the Time Flies event on Sep 15.
Markedly, the latest Apple Watch features a Blood Oxygen sensor that reflects the iPhone maker’s continuing effort to boost health capabilities of the device. The device uses a new dual-core processor based on A13 Bionic chip and includes a faster S6 System in Package (20% faster) and next-generation always-on altimeter. Starting at $399 (GPS version), Apple Watch 6 will be available beginning Sep 18.
Meanwhile, Apple Watch SE starts at $279 (GPS version) and will be available on the same date. The cheaper device features the same accelerometer, gyroscope, and always-on altimeter that can be found in Apple Watch Series 6. The latest motion sensors and microphone helps it offer robust health and safety capabilities, including fall detection, Emergency SOS, international emergency calling and the Noise app.
Both new models are powered by watchOS 7, which Apple announced on Jun 22 at its first-ever virtual Worldwide Developers Conference. The latest OS version brings new health and fitness features, including low-range VO2 Max, sleep tracking, automatic handwashing detection, and new workout types in both the models
Apple also announced Family Setup in watchOS 7. This feature will allow kids and older family members (without an iPhone of their own) of an iPhone user access the communication, health, fitness, and safety features of Apple Watch.
Notably, per IDC’s latest report, Apple continues to dominate the wearables market with 34.2% share in second-quarter 2020. Huawei, Xiaomi, Samsung and Fitbit trail with 12.6%, 11.8%, 8.3% and 2.9% market share, respectively. The new devices and expanding healthcare features are expected to further boost Apple’s wearables-market share.
Apple’s Healthcare Ambitions Gain Traction
The Blood Oxygen sensor in Apple Watch 6 helps in measuring oxygen saturation, or SpO2 level, which indicates how well oxygenated blood is being delivered throughout the body.
Notably, to measure light reflected back from blood, the sensor employs four clusters of green, red, and infrared LEDs, along with the four photodiodes on the back crystal of Apple Watch. Using an advanced custom algorithm built into the Blood Oxygen app, Apple Watch measures blood-oxygen level between 70% and 100%.
Apple is also collaborating with researchers to explore how blood-oxygen levels can be used in future health applications.
In partnership with the University of California and Anthem, Apple is set to examine how longitudinal measurements of blood oxygen and other physiological signals can help manage and control asthma.
Moreover, Apple, along with investigators at the Ted Rogers Centre for Heart Research and the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre at the University Health Network, will try to better understand how blood-oxygen measurements and other Apple Watch metrics can help with management of heart failure.
Further, Apple, in collaboration with BrotmanBaty Institute for Precision Medicine and faculty from the University of Washington School of Medicine, will investigate whether signals from Heart Rate and Blood Oxygen apps could serve as early signs of respiratory conditions like influenza and COVID-19.
Fitness+ to Boost Apple’s Footprint in Personal Healthcare
Apple at the Time Flies event also unveiled Fitness+, a personalized workout experience built for Apple Watch, stirring up competition for the likes of Peloton Interactive (PTON - Free Report) .
Fitness+ tracks health- and workout-related data from Apple Watch that users can view on their iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV. The app delivers personalized recommendations to users. Moreover, users have the option of a filtering tool that allows them to select the most important workout of their choice, the trainer, the duration, or the music.
Markedly, Apple Fitness+ will include Cycling, Treadmill, Rowing, HIIT, Strength, Yoga, Dance, Core and Mindful Cooldown. Each will be accompanied by music curated by the trainers.
Apple Fitness+ will be available in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States, later this year. Fitness+ will be available to Apple Watch customers as a subscription service for $9.99 per month or $79.99 per year.
Moreover, three months of Apple Fitness+ are included for customers who purchase Apple Watch Series 3 or later, starting Sep 15, 2020.
Apple’s Bundled Service to Aid Services Growth
Apple Fitness+ is a part of Apple’s newly announced bundle-subscription pack - Apple One Premier plan. The bundled service gives customers access to Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, Apple News+ and 2TB of iCloud storage for $29.95 per month, and can be shared among up to six family members.
Apple is also offering individual and family plans. The individual plan includes Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade and 50GB of iCloud storage for $14.95 per month. The family plan includes Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade and 200GB of iCloud storage for $19.95 per month, and can be shared among up to six family members.
Markedly, through Apple One, the iPhone-maker is following the footsteps of Amazon (AMZN - Free Report) and Disney (DIS - Free Report) .
Amazon’s Prime membership program, that combines free shipping/early shipping, early access to online sales on Amazon.in, video streaming and Amazon Music, has been successful in locking customers into the company’s ecosystem.
Moreover, the Disney+ streaming service has been benefiting from Disney’s bundle offering that comprises ESPN and Hulu. The service has quickly gained more than 50 million subscribers despite stiff competition from Netflix and Amazon prime video.
Apple One is expected to help the company push services adoption and boost service revenues. Apple’s Services segment delivered $13.16 billion in revenues in fiscal third quarter, up 14.8% year over year.
Notably, Apple has more than 550 million paid subscriptions across the services on its platform. This Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) company is aiming to reach 600 million paid subscriptions before the end of 2020. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
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