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Apple Brings Luxury Brand Hermes on Board for Watch Bands

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For the first time ever, Apple Inc.AAPL has teamed up with a major luxury fashion house for enhancing the design of its products. At its Sep 9 event, the tech giant announced the collaboration with French luxury brand Hermes for creating leather straps for Apple Watch. The collection, titled Apple Watch Hermès, will feature stainless steel models with Hermes signature strap styles, Single Tour, Double Tour and the Cuff.

Moreover, the limited edition watches will feature the Hermes signature on the watch face instead of Apple's, a first for the company. The watches will feature Hermes signature three face dials designs, Clipper, Cape Cod and Espace Hermès.

Starting Oct 5, 2015, the watches will be available at select Apple and Hermes outlets, specialty stores and department stores across the U.S, Germany, Hong Kong, Australia, Canada, China, France, Italy, Japan, Korea, Russia, Singapore, Switzerland and the UK. Prices start at $1,100 for a single loop watch and $1,500 for a full leather cuff watch.

As per The Wall Street Journal, last year, Apple Design Chief Jonathan Ive approached Hermes even before the Apple Watch was officially announced. Since then both the mega brands have been working on the design of the watch. But Ive has vehemently denied that Apple is interested in becoming an "exclusive" brand despite the Hermes collaboration.

Another analyst pointed out that the collaboration has given a fashionable twist to the product that was largely viewed as geeky and this might enhance customers' interest in the watch.

Apple is trying all means to get ahead of its competitors as the wearable market is getting increasingly competitive with tech players like Samsung, Motorola, Sony Corporation SNE and LG Electronics showing significant interest in developing new gadgets. Fossil and Intel Corp. INTC have also collaborated to develop wearable technology.

At the event, Apple also unveiled the gold and rose gold versions of its Sport watch at a pocket friendly price of $349. It is also offering straps for the sport watches in various pastel shades. For the standard Apple Watch, customers can now opt for leather straps in a variety of colors.

Apart from the collaboration, the company also announced some notable new application updates to the watch that include the addition of Transit to Maps, as well as the addition of Facebook Messenger, iTranslate, and a GoPro, Inc. GPRO compatible application to the Watch App Store. Also, the company announced that Apple Watch OS2 will be available on Sep 16.

Apart from the watch, the company unveiled the new iPhone 6S and 6S Plus , which looks similar to the existing iPhone 6 but comes with an upgraded camera and processor. The most important addition to iPhone 6S and 6S Plus is the multi-touch feature that includes 3D touch and force touch technology.

Additionally, as expected, Apple also launched the updated Apple TV with Siri, application and the new iPad Pro that comes with a bigger screen and a stylus named Apple Pencil.

At present, Apple carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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