Apple has discussed charging 'around $400' for its wearable 'iWatch' - report

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited September 2014
Apple's anticipated "iWatch" may carry a price of around $400 when it goes on sale, though the wearable device is likely to be offered at a range of price points, according to a new report.

"iWatch" concept by Martin Hajek.


The new details on Apple's first wearable device were reported on Saturday by Re/code, which said sources at the company indicated executives "have discussed charging around $400" for the so-called "iWatch." But the report cautioned that pricing has yet to be finalized, and may not even be known by the company's Sept. 9 event, when it's expected to formally unveil the rumored product.

The same publication reported on Friday that Apple's "iWatch" is not expected to launch immediately after it is finally disclosed. Sources have reportedly indicated that the wearable smart device will not end up on consumers' wrists until early 2015.

If $400 proved to be the entry price of the device, it would be on the high end of the market. Newer Android Wear devices have generally been priced between $250 and $300, while the lower end of the market is catered to by the black-and-white Pebble, priced starting at $150 for its entry-level model.

Going beyond a possible $400 starting price, it's possible that Apple could compete with luxury watches at the high end of the market. Earlier this year, in April, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities said that Apple's "iWatch" could reach prices in the thousands of dollars with some premium models.

Pegging down a possible price range on the "iWatch" has been difficult for observers because rumors have not yet painted a clear picture of exactly what the device will be and what functionality it will accomplish. In fact, there haven't even been any parts leaked from the device, as manufacturing is not believed to have yet begun.

The accessory is said to be an iPhone-connected smart watch that will collect and interpret health and fitness related data, while also providing the usual expected functions such as notifications.

Reports have claimed it will feature a touchscreen of some type, whether OLED or otherwise, and that the "iWatch" will run a modified version of the iOS platform that powers the iPhone and iPad. It's expected to connect to and act as an accessory for the iPhone, and also to focus on tracking and measuring health and fitness data. To that end, it's been speculated that the "iWatch" will be a key component of the new Health application built into the forthcoming iOS 8 update for iPhone.

Apple send out invitations to members of the media on Thursday for a Sept. 9 event, where the company is widely expected to unveil both the "iWatch" and a next-generation "iPhone 6." While consumers may have to wait for the "iWatch," it's likely that the next iPhone will go on sale the following Friday, Sept. 19, after it is unveiled.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 129
    cnocbuicnocbui Posts: 3,613member
    I can hardly wait to see long lines of hypochondriacs queuing outside Apple stores.
  • Reply 2 of 129
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 2,366member
    Depends what it does and how it works. Like any AAPL product, it is all about value, and the price is only part of the story.
  • Reply 3 of 129

    Wowsa. 

     

    So the same price as an iPad mini. I feel that it'll need to be compelling to garner a similar pattern of sales.

     

    My inkling was that $300 might have been a good figure, albeit knowing sod all about the rumoured iTime.

  • Reply 4 of 129
    seankillseankill Posts: 477member
    400? I will pass on that one.
  • Reply 5 of 129
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    I'd think Apple would have to break from their norm but releasing multiple versions of a wearable that that are differentiated in price, not by NAND capacity, but mostly by their appearance for different kinds of buyers, like with other wrist-worn devices.
  • Reply 6 of 129
    cnocbuicnocbui Posts: 3,613member

    I like the idea of this trying to play in the elite mechanical watch price bracket.

     

    Now let me see, will I buy that Omega Seamaster or the iWatch that will be superseded in 12 months?  Damn, that's a hard choice.  I wonder what Ming-Chi Kuo would do...

  • Reply 7 of 129
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member
    BREAKING NEWS: Price Unknown for Unknown Product

    JUST IN: Commenters Commenting on Price Being Too High or Low for Unknown Product
  • Reply 8 of 129
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by nagromme View Post



    BREAKING NEWS: Price Unknown for Unknown Product



    JUST IN: Commenters Commenting on Price Being Too High or Low for Unknown Product

     

    Lol! After all, the iPod went from about $25 to $400 or more. 

  • Reply 9 of 129
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Wowsa. 

    So the same price as an iPad mini. I feel that it'll need to be compelling to garner a similar pattern of sales.

    My inkling was that $300 might have been a good figure, albeit knowing sod all about the rumoured iTime.

    What is shocking about that? Because it would be smaller than an iPad mini? Well an iPhone of the same capacity is $250(?) USD more than an iPad mini. What if it has a sapphire display (which isn't found on crap watches), some other expensive materials and some radical and intricate design we have yet to see on any of the "smartwatches" that have come before it? We're only talking a $100-200 more than other "smartwatches" which have all looked cheap. The Moto 360 is $250 for a cheap looking, poorly designed "smartwatch" whose original taser months ago ended up being vapourware.
  • Reply 10 of 129
    cornchipcornchip Posts: 1,339member
    cnocbui wrote: »
    I like the idea of this trying to play in the elite mechanical watch price bracket.

    Now let me see, will I buy that Omega Seamaster or the iWatch that will be superseded in 12 months?  Damn, that's a hard choice.  I wonder what Ming-Chi Kuo would do...

    Elite? One of the guys at my company has an $11,000 Breitling. As well as others. $400 is chump change for a nice watch.
  • Reply 11 of 129
    I don't know why everybody is trying to keep their smart watch under 200 in the believe that it will reach the biggest market. That is just not how wearables work. At that price point, they can never deliver a truly fashionable product. Watch maker can't even deliver a compelling watch under 200 and you think they can do that with a smart watch? I will pay extra for a refined product that is handcrafted. Give me rare metal, beautiful leather, and precious gem. When it comes to something you wear on your wrist, details matter. There is a reason why Rolex can charge the price that they do.

    I think Apple understands that when it comes to wearable, you can't just make one model. If it does sell 60M, would you want to wear the same watch along with 60M others? It is a fashion statement so there need to be choices. I believe they will definitely have multiple models at multiple price points... Maybe 3 for males and 3 for females. Unlike the other devices, they will have the same functionally and differentiation is in craftsmanship and material. The lowest model might be sporty with a plastic strap and it goes up to the top model that has stainless steel and price should be in the thousands and people will pay for it.
  • Reply 12 of 129
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    quanster wrote: »
    I don't know why everybody is trying to keep their smart watch under 200 in the believe that it will reach the biggest market. That is just not how wearables work. At that price point, they can never deliver a truly fashionable product. Watch maker can't even deliver a compelling watch under 200 and you think they can do that with a smart watch? I will pay extra for a refined product that is handcrafted. Give me rare metal, beautiful leather, and precious gem. When it comes to something you wear on your wrist, details matter. There is a reason why Rolex can charge the price that they do.

    I think Apple understands that when it comes to wearable, you can't just make one model. If it does sell 60M, would you want to wear the same watch along with 60M others? It is an expression statement so there need to be choices. I believe they will definitely have multiple models at multiple price points... Maybe 3 for males and 3 for females. Unlike the other devices, they will have the same functionally and differentiation is in craftsmanship and material. The lowest model might be sporty with a plastic strap and it goes up to the top model that has stainless steel and price should be in the thousands and people will pay for it.

    I think Apple has an opportunity here to get people to buy multiple wearables for a single wrist. For instance, they could have one for under $150 for someone that mostly fitness band that works flawlessly with your iPhone, another for the non-luxury smartwatch market that is doesn't everything a luxury model does but isn't a status symbol or made with expensive metals and leathers (a blue collar smartwatch), and then a luxury model with various designs.

    All that would go against Apple's product history but it's a radically different market with price variations from the nearly free to hundreds of thousands-of-dollars for devices that all have the same basic output. If these rumours are true and if Apple can do what I think they could then I'd probably opt for at least two of them so that I can switch my more luxury version with a less expensive version (like going from work to the gym) so i can still have the sensors working and responding back to my iPhone.
  • Reply 13 of 129
    solipsismx wrote: »
    Wowsa. 

    So the same price as an iPad mini. I feel that it'll need to be compelling to garner a similar pattern of sales.

    My inkling was that $300 might have been a good figure, albeit knowing sod all about the rumoured iTime.

    What is shocking about that? Because it would be smaller than an iPad mini? Well an iPhone of the same capacity is $250(?) USD more than an iPad mini. What if it has a sapphire display (which isn't found on crap watches), some other expensive materials and some radical and intricate design we have yet to see on any of the "smartwatches" that have come before it? We're only talking a $100-200 more than other "smartwatches" which have all looked cheap. The Moto 360 is $250 for a cheap looking, poorly designed "smartwatch" whose original taser months ago ended up being vapourware.

    I wasn't making a studied comparison.

    The iPhone and iPad were two giant bombs dropped on the marketplace. It's hard to imagine that an iWatch will be a third bomb of a similar size.

    For those alluding to high-end watches, remember that those are lifetime investments. If you spend some obscene amount on a watch, you have the knowledge that it will last for your lifetime and beyond. An iWatch is liable to get outdated within a few years. That's the problem with catering to the luxury end—it's too short a lifespan.
  • Reply 14 of 129
    Exactly. The watch that is perfect for the gym will not work for a night out of town. People will buy multiple watches so they can swap them out depending on the situation and mood.
  • Reply 15 of 129
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    That's the problem with catering to the luxury end—it's too short a lifespan.

    The iPhone is considered luxury CE by many buyers. I think the gold iPhone 5S's were popular, not because people love gold, but because it was only on the very latest iPhone.
  • Reply 16 of 129
    quanster wrote: »
    Exactly. The watch that is perfect for the gym will not work for a night out of town. People will buy multiple watches so they can swap them out depending on the situation and mood.

    Really? I think that's a wildly over-optimistic scenario. I don't think people care enough. It would go completely against Apple's ethos. It would also limit the market drastically.
  • Reply 17 of 129
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by nagromme View Post



    BREAKING NEWS: Price Unknown for Unknown Product



    JUST IN: Commenters Commenting on Price Being Too High or Low for Unknown Product

     

    Don't forget that Steve Jobs faked out the competition when he told Walt Mossberg that Apple's future tablet would be "under $1,000." Mossberg replied something like, 'That usually means $999 from Apple,' and Jobs just shrugged. The entire computing industry took that as a given and started working on tablets for $600-$700 ... then were shocked when Jobs later announced the price at $499.

     

    I have no doubt that a full-featured iWatch with full electronics (for those who don't already have M7 or later chips in their iPhones, or don't have iPhones at all) could reach as much as $399 with extra storage or 3G or whatever, but I have a strong suspicion that we're going to see diferent units at lower prices as well. Say a thin bracelet waterproof that comes in many colors that works like a Jawbone Up24, does more and costs less (say starting at $99 instead of Jawbone's $125). Consider it the iPod Shuffle of wearables ... that doubles as a Shuffle.

     

    Numerous leaks/rumors have stated that Apple intends to have more than one type of unit, so this seems pretty reasonable to me. Go after the mass market (which has barely been touched in this relatively new market category) with colors and limited functionality, go after the high end with a touchscreen and sapphire and direct iPhone connectivity (maybe even Siri), and let the competition try to figure out where to fight it out.

  • Reply 18 of 129
    cnocbuicnocbui Posts: 3,613member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by cornchip View Post





    Elite? One of the guys at my company has an $11,000 Breitling. As well as others. $400 is chump change for a nice watch.



    I was referring to this part of the article:

     

    Quote:


    it's possible that Apple could compete with luxury watches at the high end of the market. Earlier this year, in April, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities said that Apple's "iWatch" could reach prices in the thousands of dollars with some premium models. 


  • Reply 19 of 129
    solipsismx wrote: »
    That's the problem with catering to the luxury end—it's too short a lifespan.

    The iPhone is considered luxury CE by many buyers. I think the gold iPhone 5S's were popular, not because people love gold, but because it was only on the very latest iPhone.

    I wouldn't call the iPhone a luxury. By luxury, I mean anything that is too unaffordable for the potential market for the iPhone. The iPhone is something of an anomaly as—like the iPad—it is the best a man can get. In most markets, the best is far out of reach of the common man. Hence $400,000 Ferraris and $1,000,000 watches.
  • Reply 20 of 129
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    I wouldn't call the iPhone a luxury. By luxury, I mean anything that is too unaffordable for the potential market for the iPhone. The iPhone is something of an anomaly as—like the iPad—it is the best a man can get. In most markets, the best is far out of reach of the common man. Hence $400,000 Ferraris and $1,000,000 watches.

    But this article is about a $400 wrist-worn CE, not $400,000. It doesn't have to be the most expensive to be considered luxury by the buyer. At some point a buyer will say the price is obnoxious. I think my $3.000 suits are considered high-end, but suits can be much more expensive, and there is a guy in India that spent $213,000 just for a shirt. Or consider your Ferrari example, do you not consider a $100k car luxurious? I do, even though it's not the most expensive car in the world.
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