The Apple Watch has been one of the worst kept secrets in the history of consumer electronics, and consumers finally know what it will cost when it goes on sale. Rumors of Apple developing a smartwatch first emerged nearly two years ago, but in its usual approach to device releases, Apple kept very quiet about the prospect of an Apple Watch for well over a year. When it was finally acknowledged to the general public, the presumed name for the device of iWatch had not come to fruition; Apple instead opted for the simpler title of Apple Watch.
All Apple Devices are very hotly anticipated, and the Apple Watch is no exception to this rule. In many ways, it is the most significant release that Apple has made for sometime, considering that the smartwatch niche has yet to really catch the imagination of the public. Previous manufacturers of smartwatches have failed to satisfactorily define what a smartwatch should be doing, and punters have hitherto certainly not been inclined to offer up their money when smartphones are so prevalent, multiple and convenient.
Apple Watch aspirational
Apple has clearly addressed this issue by attempting to make the Apple Watch something that people simply want to own. The emphasis made by smartwatch manufacturers previously has perhaps been inclined towards making smartwatches a utilitarian device which serve particular purposes. Of course, Apple wants the Apple Watch to be viewed as a useful wearable device, but it has also attempted to make the Apple Watch range something truly aspirational.
Initially, the Apple Watch will ship in three separate devices, although there are numerous strap and face options available for consumers who decide that they want to purchase one.
This situation will likely change in the near future; already Apple Insider is reporting that new Apple Watch models with different casing materials are expected to launch this fall. So the Apple Watch, the Apple Watch Sport and the Apple Watch Edition will be accompanied by new devices in the near future, but for the time being the majority of inches devoted to this in the press have been focused on the Edition version.
In a cluttered watch market, although Apple can offer functionality with a smartwatch that traditional watches obviously cannot match, the corporation still has its work cut out to make a watch attractive to customers. Can an Apple Watch have the same clout as a Rolex or Cartier product? Well, Apple has certainly tried to address this issue with the most expensive version of the Apple Watch.
Apple Watch Edition
The Apple Watch Edition is very much aimed at the premium end of the market, at buyers who want to purchase a watch as a status symbol. This is certainly a competitive marketplace, and it also tends to produce some pretty jaw-dropping prices. Thus, it shouldn’t come as a huge surprise that the Apple Watch addition will launch at pretty lofty lasting price points. To get your hands on one of these smartwatches on launch day, consumers will need to shell out at least $10,000, with the most expensive version of the Apple Watch Edition selling for $17,000.
Will consumers really be willing to pay this sort of money for an Apple smartwatch? What can be said for certain is that Apple has been extremely successful over the last 18 months – and pretty darned successful over the decade that preceded this period – in shifting massive numbers of units in every single product that it releases. It is debatable whether the Apple name is as prestigious as something like Rolex, but by the same token there is no doubt that the Swiss watch manufacturer would swap its place in the world with the planet’s most prominent brand and first $700 billion market capped company.
Certainly Apple believes that it can compete with traditional luxury watch manufacturers, as it has placed the Apple Watch in a similar price bracket to such products. Whether the Apple Watch Edition will ever have the same kudos as a Rolex Submariner remains to be seen.
Affordable Apple Watches
Other models of the Apple Watch are aimed fairly squarely at the traditional consumer electronics marketplace that the company has traditionally occupied. The most affordable version of the Apple Watch will cost $349. This certainly pales next to the price of the Apple watch Edition, but at the same time it is a significant amount of money for a product which has yet to really establish a mainstream niche.
The regular Apple Watch model is slightly more expensive than this, ranging from $549-$1,000. This is perhaps a higher price point than was expected by many Apple followers, but it is worth noting that the most expensive versions of the standard Apple Watch will retail at around the same level as a brand new Apple iPhone. One would seriously question whether this represents value for money, considering that the iPhone obviously has considerably more capabilities than a smartwatch.
Nonetheless, some analysts have already rubbished the idea that the Apple Watch could even conceivably be a flop. Although it has been reported that the smartphone will ship in an initial batch of 3 million units, it has already been predicted that Apple could sell 20 million copies of the Apple Watch by the end of 2015. Many analysts have also revised their predictions for Apple stock upwards.
This may be a little excessive, particularly as Apple clearly hasn’t made any preparations for such a vast amount of units sold. But to put this figure into perspective, the Samsung Gear series managed to shift 1.2 million units during 2014, so if Apple were to sell 20 million watches, this would be a 1,667 percent better performance!
Such spectacular achievements are far from guaranteed, but it does seem certain that the Apple Watch will be a success. Recent Apple history pretty much guarantees this, and despite the pricing involved with the Apple Watch there is no doubt that consumers all over the world will already be preparing to buy one.