Yes, Apple will sell some of the most expensive smartwatches you can possibly buy this year, especially the gold Apple Watch Edition version that can cost up to $17,000. That still doesn’t mean that a) you have to buy any of these models if you can’t afford one, ir b) that Apple is wrong to price its products however it wants.
Even so, there are plenty of people who are constantly whining about how expensive the Apple Watch is and why it shouldn’t be priced so high, which is in line with similar complaints about “overpriced” Apple devices.
It’s time to stop whining about all that.
One artist this week gained a good deal of attention over her clever publicity stunt that bashed the Apple Watch Edition’s minimum $10,000 price tag.
“If you own or plan to purchase a 18k gold apple watch, you are rich and evil. We are offering you one way out: donate to us. After all, why on earth you need a watch,” San Francisco artist Qinmin Liu wrote about the project. “Believe it or not, as an artist, I couldn’t care less about the technology and price. I care more about individual’s (sic) behaviors, and want to explore the relationship between desire and action.”
This is obviously silly. Just because someone can afford a gold expensive Apple Watch, that doesn’t make that person evil. Yes, Apple Watch Edition buyers might be very rich if they don’t mind spending that much money on a watch, and they probably own plenty of similarly priced (if not more expensive) regular watches and other jewelry. But it’s their right and their business to spend their money however they feel like.
And is the 18-karat gold Apple Watch really that expensive when you compare it to other luxury watches on the market? The answer is no, especially when you consider all the functions the Apple Watch adds compared to old “dumb” watches.
The Rolex Day-Date II President Platinum costs more than $60,000. It’s a gorgeous watch that offers various models to choose from and is customizable to some extent just like the Apple Watch, and it can perfectly tell time, just like the Apple Watch. However, it doesn’t offer much functionality beyond this despite costing up to six times as much as the Apple Watch Edition.
Yet people are not finding reasons to protest against Rolex’s pricing strategy. And artists aren’t demanding free Rolexes to make a point either — at least for the time being.
And this is just one example of the plethora of luxury watches the “rich and evil” can buy. These devices have been deemed as luxury items by the companies that make them and have managed to convince their customers to pay plenty of money for a “silly” wearable device they might not really need.
So then, if Rolex can sell watches for $60,000 a pop, why can’t Apple price its gold smartwatch starting at $10,000 and hope to make a profit from it? Why can’t Apple offer the world its own vision of luxury? Why can’t Apple price the most basic Apple Watch Sport model for up to $399, and expect millions of buyers to get one, when there are plenty of other alternatives that are more expensive than that yet customers still buy them?
Just try and find a Tag Heuer Carrera priced at the same level of the most basic Apple Watch! Yet the iconic Carreras aren’t seeing similar criticism either. Probably that will change later this year when a premium Carrera smartwatch running Android Wear will also be found not good enough to warrant a high entry point.
Maybe it’s time to start accepting that any company, Apple included, can charge whatever it wants for any product it makes. Whether buying these expensive products makes sense is something customers should try figuring out for themselves though. Paying anywhere from $349 to $17,000 for an Apple Watch isn’t wrong if you’re willing to do it, and it doesn’t mean Apple fooled you into forking over the cash either.
As for me, I’ll just get the one Apple Watch most people will buy in the coming months, the most affordable one. And as long as I’m not spending your money for it, stop telling me how expensive it is and present me reasons why Apple is wrong asking me to pay the price it wants me to pay for it.