Tomorrow is March 9, 2015 and that means the Apple Spring Forward event is tomorrow 10:00AM Pacific Time, that’s 1:00PM Eastern Time, 12:00PM Central Time and 11:00AM Mountain Time or Arizona Time, depending on where you live. So it’s going to be the Apple Watch, maybe a few other products. But let’s go ahead and dive into what you can expect at the Spring Forward event tomorrow from Apple.
The main piece of this Apple Spring Forward event is obviously to announce pricing, availability, and more in-depth stuff about the brand new Apple Watch that was debuted at the iPad event last October. Now in terms of pricing, we kind of already know how expensive this Apple Watch will be. The Apple Watch Sport with aluminum casing with just the normal glass on the outside and the 38mm sport band will be priced at $349. Now if you want to upgrade to the larger 42mm, still the Apple Sport Watch with the aluminum and regular glass, it’ll probably be between $50-$100 extra so maybe around $400 or $449. My bet is that it’s going to be $449 for the 42mm Apple Sport Watch.
Now if you want the Sapphire Crystal and stainless steel construction, you have to go with the Apple Watch. Just for a normal one, you’re probably looking at around $549 for the 38mm size and an extra $100 for the 42mm. Obviously it’s going to cost different because you have to think about the bands, metal chain link bands; which will probably cost a little bit more than the typical leather bands. There’s definitely going to be some different types of pricing and you’re going to have a lot of customization, in terms of specking out your watch the way you want it because you can have one type of watch with different types of bands so they’re definitely going to have some kind of customization tool, which is kind of similar to Moto Maker but obviously for the Apple Watch.
Now it’s time to talk about the mother of them all, the Apple Watch 18-Karat Gold Watch, which will be whoopingly expensive. I can’t even fathom how expensive this thing is going to be. It’s going to be several thousand dollars, probably on the 5000 Grand mark just because this is their luxury brand. This is their luxury watch and luxury watches cost a lot of money. Look at Omega, Tag Heuer, or everyone who makes watches in the Swiss space. Their watches probably start at $6000 for the cheapest base model. Obviously there are cheaper and less expensive watches but this is Apple’s flagship. It’s going to cost a lot of money but not a lot of people are going to buy it because why would they buy a smartwatch which will probably get upgraded in a year. It’s only for those with deep pockets who want to buy an 18-Karat Apple Watch.
As for availability of the Apple Watch, first of all, we already know when it’s going to be around. They say April but I think it’s going to be the first or second week of April. And here is my prediction, the Apple Watch Sport, the one with aluminum casing or just a normal, same class as the iPhone 6 will be the most abundantly stocked one around because you’ll be able to buy it, it’s inexpensive and they already have the materials since it’s basically the same materials they used on the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus and the iPad. So they’ll have tons of them in stock and a lot of people will be buying them because they are the least expensive.
As for the Apple Watch with Sapphire Crystal and stainless steel construction: since these are brand new materials that Apple hasn’t been using for a very long time and with the sapphire shortage and the factory closing and all that kind of stuff that happened in the past couple of months, I think the Apple Watch will be very difficult to find on the first couple of weeks, maybe months, maybe few months because it’s going to take a lot more money to make these things, it’s a lot more delicate with the sapphire crystal since you have to polish them and its stainless steel. It’s a lot more work and I think there’s going to be less of them available at the time of launch.
I think the 18-Karat gold will be a special order if you buy it on the Apple website, with that big price tag, they’ll probably make it and it’ll take a while to make and ship. I think that it might be a different ordering system but who knows.
All I’m saying is that the Apple Watch Sport will be readily available, the Apple Watch with stainless steel and sapphire crystal will be the least available, while the Apple Watch with 18-Karat gold will kind of be like a made to order type of thing. Again, all these watches will be available starting the first or second week of April.
Apple doesn’t really do one single event for one single product. We actually might see different stuff tomorrow as well. Maybe the new Apple TV with an upgraded set-top box because that one’s three years old (pointing to the one sitting on my desk). We might also see an upgrade to the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air with a different processors. Probably not going to see the MacBook Air with Retina Display. Honestly, I think that will be held off to WWDC to be debut with the next version of the Mac OS X. And other than that, I honestly don’t know what else Apple could possibly do.
There’s really not much else to do since everything is still kind of halfway through the cycle—the iPhone 6 is way too early, the iPad is way too early, and those are really the only products they can change right now. But again, I might be wrong, they might surprise us with tons of new stuff. I doubt it since I think this is going to be an Apple Watch-centric event with a little bit of Mac and a little bit of something else, who knows.