The Apple Watch will start at $349, but this is only for the aluminium and glass version, the stainless steel sapphire crystal glass and 18 karat gold editions still have not been given a price.
Apple analyst John Gruber believes the Apple Watch will not be priced like normal smart watches, and while the base $349 price is steep compared to Android Wear, Apple will look to potentially hit over $9,999 for the Apple Watch Edition.
The stainless steel and sapphire glass option, named the Apple Watch, will apparently sell for around $999. The $349 on display will be the Apple Watch Sport, for fitness fans. This is a huge price change, for no benefit internally and hardly any externally.
Gruber argues that Apple is looking to make this a premium line of watches, noting that Apple did not once say “smartwatch” or “wearable” at their presentation. This means Apple’s competition is Rolex, rather than Samsung and Sony.
The problem with Apple fighting watchmakers is two fold, the electronics in the Apple Watch make it come with an end-date, some day the battery life will fizzle, the operating system will not be available for more updates and the watch will be useless.
The second is the actual value of a smartwatch, normally watches are not a timeline of release dates, you will not expect Rolex to announce their new watch annually with new features and enhancements.
Lifespan in the real deal, some may say they get a Rolex to look good, but the brand and the resale value is also a great reason to buy a watch. It’s not something that will lose a lot of its value with time and it will last more than a few years, without an updated and better version coming out.
This is why the $999 and $9,999 price tag is just bizarre. Apple might see their brand as premium, millions of people pay +$1,000 for the iPhone, but we do not see it in the same vein as Rolex and other watchmakers.