AWT News Update: August 11, 2017

It's Friday, time to ponder pricing of future iPhones and Apple Watches, and hear about how "Game of Thrones" can get your heart racing:

  • A Barclays research note wonders if the high anticipated price of the iPhone 8 might dampen demand
  • 9to5Mac is running a survey on cellular-capable Apple Watch and service pricing, and it's showing that there might be some price elasticity for the upcoming device
  • Apple Watch data show that dramatic interactions between characters in "Game of Thrones" bump up pulse rates more than violent action scenes

The text version of the podcast can be read below. To listen to the podcast here, click the play button on the player below. Apple News readers need to visit Apple World Today in order to listen to the podcast.

Text Version

This is Steve Sande for Apple World Today, and you’re listening to the AWT News Update for August 11th, 2017. 

Barclays published a research note saying that demand for the iPhone 8 among current iPhone owners is weak because of the anticipated $1000 - $1400 price for device, with only 18 percent of those owners saying they’d buy one. However, almost everyone surveyed was interested when confronted with the idea of paying $50 per month or so for the phone, which means that the device will be popular with those who already use Apple’s iPhone Upgrade Program. This could be a boon for the upgrade program and for a similar program from AT&T called AT&T Next. 

Speaking of costs, we expect that a new Apple Watch with cellular connectivity will be released later this year. While that capability, which means that one could leave the iPhone at home and still perform a lot of tasks with the Watch, is desirable, what’s less known is how much people would be willing to pay for cellular capabilities and for a data plan. 9to5Mac is running a survey right now asking its readers how much they’d be willing to pay as a hardware premium over current models as well as for cellular connectivity for the Watch. The results so far are very interesting. Just over two-thirds of respondents said that they felt Apple’s pricing should remain the same as it is for existing Apple Watches, while 25 percent said they’d be willing to pay up to $60 for cellular connectivity in the Watch. Only about 7.6% were willing to pay a $130 or more premium for a cellular-capable Watch. When it came to the cost of service for the Watch, 61.7% said that the service should be free and included with iPhone cellular service. 30% were willing to pay up to $5 per month for a Watch data plan, while only 8.1% would pay $10 or more for service. It’s unlikely that carriers will offer free service, and many carriers currently charge $5 to $10 monthly for other cellular wearables. The bottom line? A higher price or pricy data plan might be a barrier to the widespread adoption of the cellular Apple Watch.

Finally, it’s apparent that fans of HBO’s Game of Thrones series are excited by the show — literally. A group of 300 users of the Cardiogram Apple Watch app signed up for a study in which they were tasked with watching the show while wearing their Watches. While one would think that violent action scenes would be the thing to set your pulse racing, it turns out that four of the top five scenes that caused high pulse rates dealt with drama between characters. Participants were asked to turn on continuous heart rate recording on their Apple Watch at 8:45 PM on Sundays, resulting in 2.3 million measurements taken over the first four episodes of the current season. As noted by the researchers at Cardiogram, the findings align with author George RR Martin’s belief that — in the worlds of William Faulkner — the “only thing worth writing about is the human heart in conflict with itself.”

That’s all for today; I’ll be back Monday afternoon with another edition of the AWT News Update.