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People who are on the fence about getting a smartwatch have likely considered the cost and are wondering if it’s worth it. After all, expensive is a relative term, depending on what you’re talking about. If you’re curious about the reasons why smartwatches are so expensive, we’ve got the answers for you!
We assembled this guide to help you understand the major benefits of having a smartwatch. Many people think they are just another gadget or just another watch. Keep reading to learn how they are different, and then you can make an educated decision for yourself about whether or not to purchase one.
Smartwatches Are More Than Just Watches
If you think about the nature of a typical wristwatch, they tell you the time and sometimes the date. They are more of a fashion statement than a useful gadget. On the other hand (no pun intended), smartwatches can manage a variety of functions for you, which requires quite a bit more technology.
The more technology involved in building the watch, the more expensive it’s going to be. Here are some of the functions that require additional technology and therefore add to the cost of the watch.
Internet Access Is A Minimum Requirement For Many
The most important thing for a smartwatch to have is internet access. This is what allows the watch to complete many of the functions we are going to discuss in this article. There are two basic types of connectivity in smartwatches:
- Those that connect directly to the internet
- Those that connect to another device, which connects to the internet
If you choose one that connects directly to the internet, it will be a standalone device that does not need to link to anything else. Conversely, choosing one that requires connectivity to another device will not be independently useable.
The third option is a watch that connects via data, which is also fairly common and typically superior to the others.
If you have the right model of smartwatch, you can actually connect it to a separate phone line, and it can operate as a telephone. The original smartwatches had to be near your cell phone in order to take phone calls, but the newer models are able to make and receive calls without your phone having to be nearby.
One of the biggest benefits of this is safety. For example, if you’re out for a jog and you don’t want to carry your phone, you can still call for help if something goes wrong. The same is true if you lock yourself out of your home or something else goes wrong.
In order for the watch to function as a phone, it needs additional technology built-in. This obviously adds to the price of the watch. However, the additional cost is a small price to pay for more security.
Texting Is Part Of Life – Wouldn’t You Want The Option?
Smartwatches can send and receive text messages, which makes them a super convenient addition to your collection of gadgets. Similar to the calling feature, older models need your smartphone to be within range in order to send and receive texts. If you purchase a high-end, newer smartwatch model, the texting feature will likely come standard on the watch.
Texting requires the watch to have access to the MMS network. This requires internet or data to allow the watch to connect. The amount of connectivity will depend on whether the watch connects directly to the network or if it connects to another device that is on the network.
How Can You Count Steps Without A Fitness Tracker?
Many brands of smartwatches have built-in applications for tracking your health and fitness. They can often track your:
- Heart rate
- And more
Wearing your smartwatch on a daily basis can help you track these metrics and can improve your overall health & wellness.
The technology involved in tracking these metrics includes sensors that touch the surface of your skin to monitor your pulse. They also have motion trackers that help them count your steps and account for other activities. A standard wristwatch doesn’t include any of these elements.
Virtual Wallets Make Checkout Speedier
Being able to leave the house without your wallet is a new and convenient feature on many smartwatches. Virtual wallets are becoming a standard feature on smartwatches by offering options such as:
- Apple Pay
- Android Pay
- Samsung Pay
These apps allow you to make purchases for goods and services without using a physical credit or debit card.
This feature adds a considerable amount of cost to your watch due to the nature of the sensitive information involved in these types of transactions. There are a variety of cybersecurity concerns involved with virtual wallets. Many security features need to be built into the applications to protect your payment information.
Keeping Up With Your Email
The screen on a smartwatch can display emails in a convenient scrolling layout. This requires a significantly more robust watch interface than a standard wristwatch. The technology involved in adding this feature to a smartwatch is similar to that of a smartphone.
In addition to the view on the screen and the ability to scroll, the watch needs the ability to connect to various email networks.
Smartphones are able to download and connect to a variety of networks and applications. Smartwatches need those same capabilities for the user to be able to send and receive emails.
Touch Screens Are A Must
While we’re on the subject of scrolling through emails, that requires touch screen technology. This is another feature smartwatches require that contributes to the cost of purchasing one. Smartwatches have touch screens that allow users to scroll through:
- Other applications
Smartphones, tablets, and other devices that have touch screens are typically more expensive than their non-touchscreen counterparts. Smartwatches are no different in this regard. The addition of touch screen tech into the device adds to the cost because it’s not an easy or inexpensive addition to the watch.
You Want To Be Able To Receive Notifications
Much like a smartphone, smartwatches have notification capabilities. Depending on what type of apps you have installed on your watch, you can get notifications for most of them. Some smartwatches even give you options for what types of notifications (sounds and vibrations) you want to use.
The technology that makes your watch vibrate on your wrist is another element with an added cost. Most smartwatches offer notifications in the form of a vibration on your wrist to let you know you have a message. Some even give you vibrations while navigating via GPS, so you know when and where to turn without looking at the map on a smartphone.
Find My Phone Functionality Is Gold
If you’ve ever lost your phone, you know the panic that can quickly set in. Most smartwatches also offer the find my phone feature. This feature allows you to ping your phone, which creates a notification sound on the phone that helps you find it.
If the phone isn’t nearby, you can even track it down by looking at a map on your smartwatch – or you can find your smartwatch with your smartphone app. This is really helpful when you leave the watch in an Uber or at a restaurant!
Other Reasons Why Smartwatches Are So Expensive
We could talk all day about the features and benefits of smartwatches. They all add an extra cost to the manufacturing of the watches, which is what contributes to higher prices. However, there are some elements at play that have nothing to do with features or benefits.
Cost of Parts Are Real Costs
The cost of parts to build smartwatches tends to fluctuate. As the global economy ebbs and flows, so do the prices of the parts that are used to build these gadgets. When the economy is doing well, the watches can be sold at a slightly lower price and vice versa.
One of the major elements of smartwatches is the various sensors that help them execute necessary functions. Most smartwatches include:
- Environmental sensors
- Motion sensors
All of these parts add additional costs but are essential to the functionality of the device.
The Cost of Shipping Parts Adds To The Price
Believe it or not, politics can also play a role in the price of goods coming from overseas. It’s no secret that many technological gadgets are made in China and other Asian countries. The political relationship between the United States and these countries can affect the shipping costs for these items.
When taxes and tariffs go up, the price of goods also goes up. For example, if the United States decides to charge higher taxes on imports, those increases will ultimately be passed along to the consumer. This is not an argument about whether or not taxes and tariffs should be imposed, but rather a statement that they do affect the price of various products.
Demand For Products Impacts Price
When a certain item is in high demand, the price of the item tends to go up. This has been true for decades and continues to be the case in the present marketplace. If smartwatches rise in popularity, there will be a higher demand for them in the market, which can lead to increased prices.
Conversely, if people stop buying watches, their price could go down. This is because retailers who have products in stock still need to make a profit. Instead of allowing these items to sit on shelves for full price, they may drop the prices to get consumers to purchase them.
The Availability of Product Supply Also Impacts Price
Supply and demand are directly correlated to one another. When there is a large demand and a small supply for a particular item, the price will go up. When manufacturers and retailers can charge more for an item based on supply and demand, they will!
Another thing that can affect the supply of a product is a change in the cost of the parts to build it. If the price increases on the parts needed to build a smartwatch, the supply could go down because manufacturers are not willing to pay the higher prices. Alternatively, the supply could stay the same, and the manufacturer could simply charge retailers more, which will also lead to a higher price for the consumer.
The Type of Battery Used Makes A Difference
Most watches include lithium-ion or lithium-polymer batteries. These batteries are known for having a long life and are strong enough to power all of the functions of the watch. They are still being improved upon and are a key component of a smartwatch.
The batteries used in smartwatches are rechargeable, which means they need a port for charging. Some include a port somewhere on the watch where a charger is inserted. Others come with chargers that are wireless and do not require a port.
Brand Name Recognition Comes At A Cost
The brand of the smartwatch can also have a big impact on its price. Name brand items are almost always more expensive than generic or lesser-known brands. For example, an Apple watch is guaranteed to be more expensive than a smartwatch by an unknown brand.
The price of a watch with a particular brand name can fluctuate with the success of the company. If a brand releases a new model of smartwatch and the early adopters purchase, use, and love it, the price could go up as more people purchase it.
On the other side, if the early consumers decide that it’s flawed, the prices could go down based on negative word-of-mouth feedback about the quality of the product.
There are a variety of factors that affect the price of a smartwatch, including the different features available on the watch of your choice. Other factors include supply and demand and current trends in the global economy. If you’re looking for a smartwatch, take a look at different brands, models, and features to find the right one for you.
Be aware that prices will fluctuate during times of economic growth and economic depression. This is a normal part of pricing for goods in the marketplace. Regardless of those fluctuations, you can feel confident that smartwatches are worth the extra cost!