John Gruber is on top form with his latest post about the Apple Watch.
Before the Apple Watch announcement, pundits were doubting how any new class of wearable device would be able to move the needle on the Apple earnings each quarter. I mean, just how many $100 or $200 devices would Apple need to shift in order to come close to the iPhone revenues, or even to make a significant contribution to their already stellar profits?
Perhaps Gruber gives us a clue…
The most fun I’ve had over the past week is speculating with friends about how much the different tiers of Apple Watch are going to cost. One thing that is absolutely clear, to me at least: when Tim Cook said the starting price is $349, that’s for the aluminum and glass Sport edition. My guesses for starting prices:
* Apple Watch Sport (aluminum/glass): $349 (not a guess)
* Apple Watch (stainless steel/sapphire): $999
* Apple Watch Edition (18-karat gold/sapphire): $4999
In short: hundreds for Sport, a thousand for stainless steel, thousands for gold.
You really need to read the whole article as it does a great job at explaining (and speculating) how Apple is repositioning itself as a luxury brand and not just a tech company.
The whole strategy of hiring all the top people from fashion and high end retail suddenly becomes crystal clear.
I also think John may be onto something with this idea:
An idea that sprung to mind regarding the tension between multi-thousand dollar prices for gold watches and the short lifespan of computing technology: Apple could in theory offer significant trade-in pricing for years-old Apple Watches, based solely on the value of the gold alone. Or, perhaps the internals of the watch will be upgradeable. Apple is calling the S1 chip a “computer on a chip”, not a “system on a chip”. Take it in for servicing, and for a few hundred dollars, perhaps you’ll be able to replace your S1 for an S2 in a year, and an S3 the year after that.
Definitely check out the full article over at Daring FireBall