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September 9, 2014

Apple Watch Price Estimate

The Apple Watch. I’ve fallen in love with the idea of it. It is a wonderful idea for keeping in touch both directly and indirectly. By tying it to the iPhone, it seems a bit hobbled, but in reality it is no different than any other smart watch currently on the market. You just can’t stuff a days charge and all-around computing power into a watch. Particularly for the price point starting at $349.

That is where this post really begins. There are prices making the rounds. Some upwards of $4000-$5000 for the Apple Watch Edition. I think that is absurd. With a starting price of $349 for the basic 38mm Sport watch, the 42mm Sport will ring in at $499. That leaves the various Stainless Steel versions which I believe will start at $499 for the 38mm and $649 for the 42mm. The Apple Watch Edition, due to its gold plating, will start at $799 for the 38mm and $950 for the 42mm. The “gold” plating is more along the lines of a custom formulation that might come with some special caveats in its definition of yellow and rose and won’t be as expensive as people might think.

I base this on the fact that although it is a luxury item, and pretty niche at that… and ultimately it has none of the mechanical complexity that increases the costs associated with watchmaking. You have no gears, just potentiometers. No miniature parts that are hand crafted and installed, no spring, no ratchets, no wheels, nothing mechanical. It is essentially a calculator in a really pretty box.

Apple, by launching a very broad product line all at once, has forgone testing the market with a single product and expending as demand is detected. We’ll see if it is a success. The market was initially created by the success of the Pebble. The capabilities of the Pebble are extremely limited compared to the announced features of the Apple Watch and once the developer network in the Apple ecosystem gets a hold of the devices, you can bet the potential of Apple development will be exploited and I am looking forward to it.

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