Apple Watch Rebranded for Kids, Sales Down 3% to $39.85B

Apple promotes Apple Watch for kids with new features, targeting 34% of U.S. teens and $39.85 billion in wearables sales.

By Bill Bullington

7/11, 08:19 EDT
Apple Inc.

Key Takeaway

  • Apple rebrands its watch as "Apple Watch For Your Kids," promoting it as a safer alternative to smartphones for children.
  • Features include easy calling, texting, location tracking, and activity monitoring; requires cellular connectivity with additional costs.
  • Despite a 3% decline in wearables sales to $39.85 billion in 2023, Apple targets young users and diverse age groups to boost market position.

Apple Watch Rebranding

Apple has launched a new marketing website to promote the Apple Watch as a tool for parents to stay connected with their children. The site, which describes the Apple Watch as “a great call for kids,” highlights how parents can use the device to communicate with their children, who may be too young for a smartphone. The website emphasizes features such as easy calling and texting, location tracking, and activity monitoring. The rebranding effort renames the software that allows parents to manage their child's device from "Family Setup" to "Apple Watch For Your Kids."

The marketing pitch suggests that a cellular-connected Apple Watch provides safety and connectivity without the distractions of social media apps and games that come with smartphones. This rebranding aligns with growing efforts in some parts of the United States to restrict or ban smartphones in schools due to concerns about the negative impact of social media on children. For instance, Virginia Governor Glenn Younkin recently issued an executive order to establish rules for cell phone-free schools, and public schools in New York City and Los Angeles are also moving to limit cell phone use.

Features and Connectivity

Apple introduced the Family Setup feature in 2020, allowing parents to set up and control a child's Apple Watch from their own iPhone. This feature includes options to manage messaging and turn off notifications during school hours. Additionally, Apple has introduced a low-cost, colorful model called the Apple Watch SE to appeal to younger users.

However, an Apple Watch that operates independently of a paired phone requires cellular connectivity, which typically incurs additional costs and a monthly subscription with a carrier. Despite these costs, the device is marketed as a way to provide children with independence while giving parents peace of mind.

Market Position and Sales

Young audiences are crucial for the Apple Watch, which has been on the market for nearly a decade. According to a May survey by Piper Sandler, 34% of U.S. teens own an Apple Watch. Apple is also targeting older demographics with safety features that can detect falls, car crashes, and monitor heart health.

Apple's wearables, which include the Apple Watch, are reported alongside headphones and other accessories. In 2023, Apple reported $39.85 billion in wearables sales, a 3% decrease from 2022. These sales accounted for about 10% of Apple's total revenue. Despite the slight decline, the company continues to innovate and market its products to diverse age groups.

Management Quotes

  • Apple Marketing Website:

    "Easy to call and text. Know where they are. Great ways to keep them active. It’s independence for them. And peace of mind for you."