Got $500 for an Apple Watch? You May Need It—and Maybe More
Apparently Apple (AAPL) wasn’t kidding—or posturing—when it positioned its impending Watch as a luxury item.
Apparently Apple (AAPL) wasn’t kidding—or posturing—when it positioned its impending Watch as a luxury item. Word from a French website covering Apple, as reported by MacRumors, is the stainless steel edition of the Watch could be priced at $500 out of the gate with the gold versions starting at $4,000 to $5,000.
The iPhone maker publicly has said it expects the Watch would start at $350 for the basic model but hasn’t provided any other information on the anticipated prices for the stainless steel or the gold versions.
The Watch will be available in three formats—the basic Apple Watch, Apple Watch Sport and Apple Edition. The latter is made of 18-karat gold, in an obvious nod to the fashion set. Of the three models, the Sport edition is the sturdiest. Apple will make the Watch available in different-sized faces with different colored bands offered in leather and metal.
The iGen.fr site reported that one of its sources claims not only to have early pricing on the unit but also a bit more useful information: Users won’t be able to readily remove the Watch’s battery. They’ll have to go to an Apple Store for help with that—like the closed unit of an iPad in that regard.
And, the site’s sources indicated that the vendor still is targeting a Valentine’s Day 2015 release, with manufacturers and distributors having circled that date, despite some recent video evidence from Apple retail boss Angela Ahrendts that seemed to suggest a later Spring launch.
“Operators (resellers and distributors) are in any case in the starting blocks for mid-February,” the site said, while offering up the standard caveat to “keep in mind that it is impossible to be absolutely certain of the truth of these indiscretions.”
In a video last week from Ahrendts to retail unit employees, the Apple executive described the vendor’s timetable for the coming months as “going into the holidays, we’ll go into Chinese New Year, and then we’ve got a new watch launch coming in the spring.”
Ahrendts was no more specific on the Watch’s timetable than Apple previously indicated when it showcased the device in September but persistent reports have said the vendor is unlikely to have the Watch ready for Valentine’s Day in February, with battery issues delaying its initially planned 2014 debut and other engineering problems pushing it back further into the new year.
Apple is said to already be crafting its retail strategy for the Watch with a plan that includes training staffers to help customers try on the Watch in various sizes and bands. Ahrendts reportedly believes that selling the Watch at retail will strengthen Apple’s customer relationships and the overall consumer buying experience.