Apple Targets a New Demographic: Baby Boomers

Apple Targets a New Demographic: Baby Boomers

Apple product lovers are, well, a bit of a cult. Hip and tech-savvy, they’re famous for standing in lines for hours to be among the first to snag the latest product rollouts. Apple ads showcase svelte young people running, posing and stretching into graceful yoga poses. But has Apple begun to saturate its market? Are they now targeting a new demographic that includes grandma?

Apple’s courting Grandma with their new watches

The latest version of the Apple watch is reaching out to a new demographic. Groundbreaking features like fall detection, emergency SOS and electrocardiogram (ECG) alerts can provide seniors peace of mind. And for those whose eyesight isn’t what it used to be, the latest version of the Apple watch’s digital crown makes it easier to see on the larger display screen.

The latest model detects falls and heart problems

The Series 4 watch, which starts at $399, is designed to detect falls and heart problems. Messaging includes“part guardian, part guru” and “designed to improve your health” and powerful enough to protect it”. Clearly, Apple isnow targeting awider demographicwith a different message.

“The healthcare market is obviously important to Apple,” Andy Hargreaves, an Apple analyst with KeyBanc Capital Markets, wrote in an email. The fall prevention and electrocardiogram apps are a “play to sell people more stuff” and bring health-monitoring apps beyond just “fitness people” to baby boomers who want to keep themselves and their parents healthy.

A smart retailer, Apple knows that many millennials don’t wear watches

Millennials don’t need watches because they never part from their smartphones. Who does wear watches? Baby boomers and GenXers. Apple believes its Watch, with these new health features, is a perfect fit for the demographic for whom watches are treasured timepieces, important jewelry and functional equipment. They’re the ones who believe that strapping on a watch is part of getting dressed in the morning.

The fall-monitoring app alerts the user; if no response, it notifies EMS

The fall-monitoring app uses sensors in the watchband, which are automatically enabled for people 65 and older after they input their age. These sensors track and record the user’s movements and note if the wearer’s gait becomes unsteady.

If a fall is detected, the watch sends its wearer a notification. If the wearer doesn’t respond within a minute by tapping a button on the watch to deactivate this signal, emergency services will be alerted that the wearer needs help. That minute also gives the wearer time to prevent false alarms, such as a dropped watch. Many geriatricians and medical experts agree that this app could help older consumers. Falls can cause fractured hips and head injuries, but even fear of falling can prevent older people from living on their own or participating in activities. They become isolated and inactive.

Look for a new wave of wearable health trackers

The watch represents the beginning of what analysts agree will be a wave of new health apps and wearable health trackers. Look for more devices that will help people prevent medical emergencies. While health tracking isn’t a new concept, putting that data into an algorithm to get ahead of a health crisis is the next big frontier for wearable health technology products.

A note of caution from the FDA: Cleared but not approved

The FDA has cleared these new apps, but it hasn’t exactly approved them. There haven’t been enough studies to create the data to definitively prove that these applications work. Technology is ahead of the medical practice at this point.

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janet
jpeischel@top-mindmarketing.com