With the Apple Watch slated to launch in about two months, we still have no idea how much the various models will cost, save, of course, for the Sport edition which will retail for $349. On the high-end, how Apple plans to price the gold plated Apple Watch Edition models remains open to speculation.
While some rumors have recently suggested that the 18-karat gold models might cost as much as $4,000, the well-connected John Gruber of Daring Fireball recently opined that the actual price might be much, much higher.
I can see which way the wind is blowing. For months I’ve been asking friends who might know — or know someone else who might know, or even know someone who knows someone who might know — whether my guess of $5,000 is too high for the Edition starting price. The answer has always been “No”. But the way I’ve been told “No” has given me the uneasy feeling that I’ve been asking the wrong question. I should have been asking if $5,000 is too low.
I now think Edition models will start around $10,000 — and, if my hunch is right about bands and bracelets, the upper range could go to $20,000.
While that’s certainly an exorbitant pricepoint, it’s important to remember three things. One, we’re talking 18-karat gold here, which is to say that this is unabashedly a luxury item that will be marketed for wealthier individuals. Two, high-end timepieces are traditionally rather expensive items. Indeed, it’s not uncommon to see elegant timepieces from well-known brands such as Patek Philippe and Rolex priced in the $10,000 – $30,000 dollar range, if not even higher. And third, Apple’s business model has always been rather simple; selling premium products at premium prices.
All that being said, it’s fair to assume that the Apple Watch pricing matrix will run the gamut, from $349 on the low end to perhaps $10,000+ on the higher end.