Apple (AAPL) could use health insurance companies to subsidize the cost of its rumored iWatch fitness bands, Cowan & Co.’s Timothy Arcuri speculates.
Last week, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has been notably accurate regarding Apple predictions, warned that the most expensive iWatch model will “likely [be] priced at several thousand US dollars”. But now Arcuri suggests a solution that could help Apple sell as many as 18 million iWatch units in FY 2015.
According to the analyst, Apple could be considering entering into deals with health insurance companies to help reduce the cost of the wearable computing smartphone-type device. While the manufacturing related-costs could still force Apple to price iWatch relatively high, Arcuri believes the Cupertino-based tech giant could sell the fitness-related device subsidized at an average selling price of $250.
“We continue to believe it is possible the product (iWatch) is backstopped by some sort of insurance subsidization model similar to the carrier subsidization model for iPhone,” Arcuri wrote on Friday in a research note to clients.
The note, which implies Apple will launch the iWatch product in September and in time for the holiday shopping season, says Apple will position the iWatch as a device that makes customers more health conscious. In other words, if people wearing an Apple iWatch are more cognizant of calories burned, blood pressure or heart rate data, they will lead healthier lives and have less need for medical care.
While it remains to be seen whether Arcuri’s healthcare subsidy prediction will materialize, it is evident that Apple’s much-anticipated entry into the wearable technology market will have a strong emphasis on health and fitness.
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