Apple Watch arrives April 24, some models top $10K

Apple today revealed pricing for its multi-model line of Apple Watches, which begin a pre-sale on April 10 and reach retail April 24.

Apple today revealed pricing for its multi-model line of Apple Watches, which will begin a pre-sale stretch on April 10 and reach retailers, including those in Australia, on April 24.

At a 94-minute event in San Francisco, Apple CEO Tim Cook and other top executives hosted a rare "double-pump," the second major presentation of the device. Apple unveiled the Watch last September during a "One more thing" portion of the iPhone 6 happening, dedicating more than half that event's time to the wearable.

Although much of today's event was a rehash of last year's demonstrations -- and the Watch didn't make an appearance until 54 minutes in -- Apple did come through with the most important still-missing pieces of information, including prices, availability and at least a hint of battery life.

"We think the Apple Watch will be integral to your life," said Cook, "and so it will have an all-day battery life. A typical day equals 18 hours."

"For me, what's more important than the battery life is how quickly can we charge it?" asked Carolina Milanesi, chief of research and head of U.S. business for Kantar WorldPanel Comtech. Cook's promise of day-long life notwithstanding, charging time will be crucial because of the device's intent as a 24-hour companion, whether exercising or sleeping. "It might take a few hours for a full charge, but you should be able to give it enough of a charge to keep going in just over an hour," Milanesi added. "But I think users will figure that out."

Patrick Moorhead, principal analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy, echoed Milanesi in a way. "I'm a big believer that opinions about charging are directly related to the value you put on the object," said Moorhead, who cited the vast difference in charging times between an old-school "feature" phone and today's smartphones.

Assuming Apple has made -- and continues to make -- its case for the Apple Watch's value, Moorhead believes people will spend their money to acquire one and thus make do -- or as Milanesi put it, "figure that out" -- with the charging time required.

The most anticipated parts of the day's event were the revelations about pricing for the three "collections," as Cook dubbed them: Apple Watch Sport, Apple Watch and Apple Watch Edition.

Not surprisingly, Apple will charge different prices for the two sizes: 38mm and 42mm for, although not exclusively, women and men, respectively.

The entry-level Apple Watch Sport, which boasts an aluminum case and a selection of several bands, notably a number of colorful plastic bands, will cost $349 for the 38mm -- the one price Apple had divulged prior -- and $399 for the 42mm wearable.

Meanwhile, the Apple Watch, with a stainless steel case and a selection of more upmarket bands, will start at $549 (38mm) and $599 (42mm) and climb to $1,049 and $1,099.

Finally, the Apple Watch Edition -- sporting an 18-caret gold case -- will begin at $10,000, although Cook declined to get more specific than that. Presumably, that price would be attached to the smaller 38mm model, with dollar signs quickly escalating as high-priced bands are purchased.

Remarkably, the opening price of the Apple Watch was the company's lowest-ever for a new product, pointed out Jan Dawson, chief analyst with Jackdaw Research. And although $10,000 may have shocked some, it was actually only $5 more than the opening price of the 1983 Lisa computer, a Steve Jobs-backed precursor to the original Macintosh.

In fact, the Apple Watch Edition's beginning price was significantly less than the Lisa, which at $9,995 in 1983, equaled $23,800 in 2015 dollars.

"Almost all of the action is going to be between $349 and $1,100," said Dawson. "Ninety-nine percent of the units will be there. Say the average price is $700, that's right around the same price as the [unsubsidized iPhone 6] and fits very well within Apple's existing product lines."

Milanesi agreed, although she expects that the bulk of initial sales would be of the Sport model, with a much lower volume of the stainless steel line because of its over-$1,000 price point.

So with Moorhead, who predicted that 50% to 75% of the volume would come from the Sport.

"Sport watches are already priced between $200 and $600, so Apple is well within the category's pricing," said Moorhead. "It's not even the premium, and I see [Apple's pricing as] them wanting to drive a lot of volume."

Apple will begin taking pre-orders on April 10 on its online mart for customers in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, the U.K. and the U.S., and through a reservation system, offer previews and try-ons at its retail stores in those countries. Retail availability and pre-order deliveries will be slated for April 24. Both are Fridays, Apple's favorite start-to-sell day of the week.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Blog Posts

4 creative skills that will be useful forever

In recent times, the clarion call from futurists, economists, marketers, educators and leaders the world over is one of slight panic, “The world is changing and you’re not ready for it!” And of course, they make a very good point.

Kieran Flanagan and Dan Gregory

Speakers, trainers, co-authors

Why defining brand strategy is vital to capitalising on quick wins

Big brands were once protected from small brands by high barriers to entry. Big brands had the resources to employ big agencies, to crack big ideas and to invest in big campaigns. They had the luxury of time to debate strategies and work on long-term innovation pipelines. Retailers used to partner with big brands.

Troy McKinnna

Co-founder, Agents of Spring, Calm & Stormy

3 ways to leverage the talents of your team to avoid disruption

​According to the World Economic Forum in its most recent The Future of Jobs report, the most important skills for the future are not technical, task-oriented skills, but higher-order skills such as creativity, social influence, active learning, and analytical thinking.

Gihan Perera

Futurist, leadership consultant

An interesting update considering that today is the easiest way it has ever been to measure contribution to the business as well as the h...

Frederic

State of the CMO 2019: Tenure shortens, pressure is on as marketers strive to demonstrate impact

Read more

I thought this was what Salesforce Audience Studio (formerly Salesforce DMP) was supposed to do. How are a CDP and a DMP different? I'm c...

Tony Ahn

Salesforce announces customer data platform

Read more

Well written Vanessa!! Agreed with your view that human experience is marketing's next frontier. Those businesses who are focused on the ...

Clyde Griffith

Forget customer experience, human experience is marketing's next frontier

Read more

Great tips for tops skills need to develop and stay competitive

Nick

The top skills needed to stay competitive in a rapidly changing workforce

Read more

The popularity of loyalty programs is diminishing, though I'd say it is because customers are savvy enough to recognise when a loyalty pr...

Heather

It’s time for marketers to rethink their approach to ‘loyalty’

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in