How much are you willing to pay for a smart wearable?Evan Selleck - Contributing Editor
Our smartphones are expensive. That's obviously not a secret or anything, and it's honestly a little unfair to just point out our favorite mobile devices when a lot of technology out there is expensive all on its own. But, for a lot of people, owning a smartphone and paying more than $500 for it just isn't an option. It's one reason phone subsidies have existed for so long here in the United States. If you walked into an AT&T store and asked to buy a new HTC One M8 off-contract, you'd have to be prepared to drop more than $600 to walk out of that store with your phone of choice.
There are cheaper options out there, sure, and we'll hopefully start seeing some devices get lower price tags sometime in the future -- but it doesn't look like it'll happen anytime soon. Then again, if the prices stay the same, maybe manufacturers are hoping we'll just get accustomed to the way it is, and not expect anything else. It certainly wouldn't be the first time.
High price tags aren't anything new for the technology industry. With so much work on the design, and with so many different components shoved into that fancy frame, we really shouldn't be surprised. And it can be a lot worse when a new device finds its way to the store shelves.
Just look at Samsung's first Galaxy Gear effort.
It isn't that much different with the newest wearables from Samsung, though. With the Gear 2, you'll still have to fork over around $300 to get it wrapped around your wrist. The Gear 2 Neo and the Gear Fit feature a price tag of $199, so that's not too bad. Especially for the Gear Fit, which features a unique design and a curved display.
The price tags on wearables are all over the place, to be honest. Pebble is doing the best job of keeping prices right in line with expectations, as far as I'm concerned. Their standard smartwatch, the one that started the whole wearable craze really, is still priced at $150 -- and you can occasionally find deals on the device, too, that drop the price. Most recently they released the Pebble Steel, which hikes the price to $250, but offers premium bands, like stainless steel.
I saw a report recently that suggested LG's first wearable boasting Android Wear will be priced "at" or "around" $300, but could also be priced under $300, too. Keep in mind that could mean $299.99. It's expected to launch sometime in July. This all got me thinking about consumers actually buying (and keeping) a smartwatch, and what kind of price tag they're willing to accept for a smart device strapped to their wrist.
We all know that some watches boast quite an impressive price tag all on their own, so expensive watches shouldn't be anything new. And, considering the technology that's inside these new wearable devices, the price tags probably shouldn't be that much of a surprise. However, that doesn't necessarily mean you're willing to pay it.
And, let's face it, as my fellow Editor Anna asked not too long ago, we know that at some point in the future someone's going to try and replace our smartphones with a smartwatch. A watch that can make and receive calls, and we already know that Android Wear wil llet you respond to text messages with your voice, right from the wearable. It's not really an "if", anymore, but more like a "when" situation.
So, I'm curious: How much are you willing to pay for a smartwatch? If LG's G Watch is around $300, or Motorola's Moto 360 is even more expensive, are you willing to pay the price to get it around your wrist? What about when/if Apple releases their own wearable, and it boasts a premium price tag? Let me know!