The Apple Watch is right around the corner, more or less, and as we get closer there’s a lot of talk about how much it’s going to cost. There are plenty of areas where Apple can expand on the upcoming wearable, and that’s exactly what the March 9 “Spring forward” event is for, one would imagine, but when it comes to price it’s essentially the hot topic right now.
We’ve known it’s going to start at $349 since Apple first introduced the wearable, and essentially that means we know it’s going to be the Watch Sport. And, for those of you who haven’t been keeping up with the Watch, there are three categories of the upcoming wearable: Watch Sport, Watch and Watch Edition. Now, for clarity’s sake, those are listed from cheapest to most expensive.
That Watch Sport, the one that’s anodized aluminum and not covered by sapphire glass, is going to cost $349 — start at $349, to be specific. From there, it’s expected that the metal-clad Watch with sapphire glass is going to cost $499, or $150 more than the Sport variant. And then there’s the Watch Edition which is exactly the same smartwatch as the other two, specs wise, but with one big difference: gold. This is the super shiny, super fashion-focused Watch, and it’s probably going to retail around $5,000.
It’s expected that Apple won’t sell “a lot” of Watch Edition variants, but with a price tag that high, they won’t need to. Besides, the other variants will rake it in, and I have no doubt about that. Despite the fact that the Watch is going to probably cost twice as much, if not more, than other smartwatches out there, it’s still going to sell by the truckloads.
“I’d spend $500 on that in a heartbeat. Because I’m buying a fashion accessory, not a smartwatch. And it just so happens to show me texts.”
That’s what a friend of mine told me, as we were discussing the price of Apple’s upcoming wearable, and the answer kind of took me aback a bit. Let’s be clear here: Apple is marketing the Watch like a fashion accessory, that just so happens to show you text messages, and not like a smartwatch. Apple isn’t looking to compete against Pebble, or Google, or anyone else that’s making smartwatches. Apple’s competing against the Swiss timepiece manufacturers (and they’re more than happy to jump into the smartwatch mix, just to make the point even more obvious), and everyone seems to be okay with that rationale.
And yet, I’m sitting here, looking at the Watch, admitting that it’s a great piece of design and hardware, and probably has great software that I can’t wait to see more of, but also admitting that it’s still a smartwatch. It’s still a watch that you have to charge every single day. I can spend $130 right now and get a watch that has a battery that will last years, and when it dies I can replace it for like four dollars.
Oh, and it’s not going to get replaced by another watch, with better specifications and a better battery life (because the Apple Watch 2 is going to have all of those things) in just a year.
Apple’s reality distortion field is strong with the Apple Watch. They want you to view the Watch as a fashion accessory, and not a smartwatch, and a lot of people are just flat-out agreeing to do so. It even won a distinguished design award already, and was touted as “being an icon” even before it launches!
Instead of just accepting the Watch as just another shiny thing we wear on our wrists with shiny bands, how about we hold Apple to a pitiful battery life instead?