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While the Apple Watch has come under fire for everything from its high price tag to its dependence on the iPhone, investors should ignore the naysayers and expect Apple's jump into wearables to pay off in the long run, some industry experts said.
"It's all part of a long game that Tim Cook is playing very smartly, " John Sculley, a former Apple CEO, said Tuesday on CNBC. "He is starting to build out new ways to separate Apple away from Samsung, Google and Android, and all the others out there. "
One way Apple is setting itself apart from the herd of other wearable devices is by making its watch more aspirational—a move that will likely boost the tech giant's bottom line.
The device starts pricing at $349 for the cheapest model to more than $10,000 for the most luxurious models. Considering the Apple Watch does pretty much everything the iPhone does, there's been some concern that consumers won't feel compelled to spend several hundred dollars on the device.
But you have to remember that Apple isn't going after just anyone with its smartwatch, said Carolina Milanesi, chief of research at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech.
"When you look at the pricing, it's not for everybody. But you have to ask what kind of users is Apple after? They are going after the more affluent consumer," she said. "They are going back to Apple's core, people who are already users of Apple devices."
They will buy the device regardless of the high mark up and Apple will benefit from the strong margins, analysts said.
In fact, over the next few years the smartwatch could be as material to Apple as the iPad because of its high average selling price and gross margin, said James Cordwell, an analyst at Atlantic Equities, in a note to clients. Cordwell forecasts the tech giant will sell 18 million units in its first full year.
"The watch will likely be particularly material to growth over the next four quarters, with it driving a third of our 11 percent gross profit growth over that period," said Cordwell, who has a $145 price target with an "overweight" rating.
JPMorgan Chase even estimates that the profit margins could fall in the range of 39 to 44 percent.
Andy Hargreaves, a senior research analyst at Pacific Crest Securities, said that while he does not expect to see those types of margins initially, he does forecast the Apple Watch producing high margins in time.
"It's obvious that they put a ton of money into this. Custom tooling, custom manufacturing lines and all that stuff, and some of that is going to come out of the gross margin," Hargreaves said Tuesday on CNBC.
Another beneficiary: The iPhone, Apple's highest margin device.
Because the Apple Watch requires a newer iPhone model—specifically the 5 and up—it could also be a catalyst for iPhone sales, Milanesi said. Current iPhone users may find more of an incentive to upgrade once the watch launches and non-Apple users may be more inclined to switch to Apple, she said.
But the smartwatch will likely have more of an impact in helping further entrench people into Apple's ecosystem, Milanesi said.
"If you look at all the impact this device could have, it will absolutely help lock in customers," she said. "From an Apple perspective you are looking at a device that people will wear all day which will allow Apple and the ecosystem to know more about us as consumers."
Essentially, the watch adds value to other Apple offerings in the "Internet of Things" space, including Apple Pay, Car Play, HealthKit, HomeKit and ResearchKit, analysts said.
"In the long term, though, Apple Watch plays an incremental role in reinforcing loyalty," said J.P. Gownder, an analyst at Forrester Research. "If you buy an Apple Watch to complement your iPhone, you will almost certainly continue to be an iPhone user."