5M+ Apple Watch units to be built for launch, 18k gold 'Edition' could be Apple's most expensive pro

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited February 2015
Apple and its suppliers are gearing up for the debut of the Apple Watch in April, with the company reportedly ordering between 5 million and 6 million units with prices ranging from $349 to thousands of dollars.

Apple Watch Sport


Alleged details on the upcoming Apple Watch launch were reported on Tuesday by The Wall Street Journal, which cited unnamed people familiar with the matter. It noted that the high-end Apple Watch Edition is "expected" to be among the most expensive products Apple has ever sold.

Specifically, it said that the Apple Watch Edition could exceed the base price of Apple's current high-end, 6-core $3,999 Mac Pro desktop. The premium Apple Watch model will feature 18-karat gold cases in yellow or rose.

On the low-end, Apple has already announced that the Apple Watch Sport will start at $349. That model will feature Ion-X glass, while a step up to the mid-level Apple Watch will get buyers a scratch-resistant sapphire cover. Pricing for the mid-level model is still unknown.




The Journal noted that initial orders for the Apple Watch are not far off from the debut of the iPad in 2010, when Apple sold 7.5 million units in its first six months of availability. The report also indicated that Quanta Computer will be the sole assembler of the new wrist-worn device.

Analyst Rod Hall of J.P. Morgan said in a note to investors last week that he expects the base Apple Watch Sport will account for 95 percent of units sold to consumers.

If Apple truly is building at least 5 million units in preparation for the launch of the Apple Watch, the company would blow away demand seen for competing Android Wear devices that debuted last year. This month, one firm estimated that just 720,000 Android Wear devices shipped in the second half of 2014 after their launch.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 125
    bageljoeybageljoey Posts: 2,007member
    If Apple truly is building at least 5 million units in preparation for the launch of the Apple Watch, the company would blow away demand seen for competing Android Wear devices that debuted last year.
    While it might seem to Samsung that Apple can create sales just by building something, they would have to sell some of this initial build to actually eclipse these competing watches...

    I have no doubt that they will, still, it reads funny...
  • Reply 2 of 125
    The WSJ has a lot to say today about the upcoming Apple Watch!
  • Reply 3 of 125
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,784member
    I seriously doubt the gold edition will cost more than a top end Mac Pro .... unless of course Jony has had each one carved out of a solid block of gold on a dedicated CNC machine ... come to think of it he probably has ... OK I take that back, it could well cost more than a high end Mac Pro. :)
  • Reply 4 of 125
    Probably not the "most expensive ever" unless it's more than the $10,000 that the initial 20th Anniversary Macs sold for in 1997 money. Adjusted for inflation, that would be nearly $15k today.
  • Reply 5 of 125
    jd_in_sbjd_in_sb Posts: 1,600member
    When the iPhone was announced many people I know said they couldn't wait to buy one. Each successive version there was similar chatter. I don't know a single person who has said they are interested in the Apple Watch. I hope this product does well.
  • Reply 6 of 125
    Well, just before the iPad came out in 2010 there were leaks saying it could/would cost around $2,000. Frankly, that's what the majority of existing tablets on the market cost at the time so people accepted that it could be true. When it was revealed at $500, people were astounded at how low Apple was able to price the tablet.

    Probably the same strategy at work here. When it releases at "only" $2,000, people will be impressed at the price, rather than balk, and Apple will win.
  • Reply 7 of 125

    I wonder if gold price will go up and Apple gets the blame ... :)

  • Reply 8 of 125
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tummy View Post



    Probably not the "most expensive ever" unless it's more than the $10,000 that the initial 20th Anniversary Macs sold for in 1997 money. Adjusted for inflation, that would be nearly $15k today.



    People always seem to forget the TAM.

     

     

     

    The Macintosh IIfx also started at $10,000 in 1990...with no video card.

  • Reply 9 of 125
    xixoxixo Posts: 449member

    conspicuous consumption: 2008

     

    conspicuous consumption: 2015

  • Reply 10 of 125
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

     

    Looks like I'm winning my 15,000,000 unit bet.

     

    bunch of trolls will be getting banned later this year.  


     

    Damn it will be nice not having you here for a month.

  • Reply 11 of 125
    dougddougd Posts: 292member
    I so do NOT want an Apple watch. My TAG does all I want: tells me the time and the battery lasts a couple years. Still, I'm sure plenty of "kids" will buy them. But I don't think this is an old fart (me) device.
  • Reply 12 of 125
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TheWhiteFalcon View Post

     



    People always seem to forget the TAM.

     

     

     

    The Macintosh IIfx also started at $10,000 in 1990...with no video card.


     

    We bought a IIci, 15 inch monitor and an 11 X 17 printer in 1988... total cost... $26,000... then we had to buy a 10 mb hard drive for back up that cost another $2000.

  • Reply 13 of 125
    crowleycrowley Posts: 10,453member
    sog35 wrote: »
    Looks like I'm winning my 15,000,000 unit bet.

    bunch of trolls will be getting banned later this year.  
    I don't think anyone ever claimed that Apple couldn't make lots of ?Watches.

    And gloating over a victory before it's even come to pass? Classy guy.
  • Reply 14 of 125
    kibitzerkibitzer Posts: 1,114member
    jj.yuan wrote: »
    I wonder if gold price will go up and Apple gets the blame ... :)
    There should be plenty since people stopped spending hundreds extra for silly gold badging on their cars! :D
  • Reply 15 of 125
    mr. memr. me Posts: 3,221member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tummy View Post



    Probably not the "most expensive ever" unless it's more than the $10,000 that the initial 20th Anniversary Macs sold for in 1997 money. Adjusted for inflation, that would be nearly $15k today.

     

    Read with comprehension.

     

    The OP does not claim that the Apple Watch will be the most expensive Apple product ever. It says that the Watch will be "among the most expensive" and that it "could" exceed the most expensive product in Apple's current product line. Reminding us that Apple offered computer models priced at $10,000 does nothing to falsify the OP.

  • Reply 16 of 125
    jd_in_sb wrote: »
    When the iPhone was announced many people I know said they couldn't wait to buy one. Each successive version there was similar chatter. I don't know a single person who has said they are interested in the Apple Watch. I hope this product does well.

    This product is definitely more inline with the iPad, where many people didn't understand why they would need this when they had a "PC" and an iPhone already.

    sog35 wrote: »
    Looks like I'm winning my 15,000,000 unit bet.

    bunch of trolls will be getting banned later this year.

    1) Even if their 5M units initial release specifically stated that was for a weekend or a month with 25M or 50M for a year, you still wouldn't be winning (or losing) anything because this is just a rumour.

    2) Who actually took you up on your bet?

    schlack wrote: »
    Well, just before the iPad came out in 2010 there were leaks saying it could/would cost around $2,000. Frankly, that's what the majority of existing tablets on the market cost at the time so people accepted that it could be true. When it was revealed at $500, people were astounded at how low Apple was able to price the tablet.

    Probably the same strategy at work here. When it releases at "only" $2,000, people will be impressed at the price, rather than balk, and Apple will win.

    1) I think $1000 was the more common assumption, but that's beside the point. Everyone did go back to the drawing board when Apple came out with a $500 iPad, but I think people were foolishly expecting Intel/Mac OS X on a tablet, not ARM/iOS. I'd say that most people on this forum were against my position that ARM/iOS was likely the better way to go in that scenario, and I think that was further complicated because the iPhone was more than $500 retailer and substantially smaller than a tablet that an "iTablet" would have to cost substantially more.

    2) We know the aluminium model with a plastic band and GG4 is $349. With an assumption that the only changes to ?Watch Edition are the materials for the casing, display cover, and band, how much would that increase the cost of sapphire over GG4, and 18K gold over aluminium for the casing and band? Meaning, there is no mystery how much the actual internal HW of the device, unlike the iPad before it was announced.

    People always seem to forget the TAM.

    [image]

    The Macintosh IIfx also started at $10,000 in 1990...with no video card.

    Was that Apple's most expensive product? Perhaps from a starting point, but what about a decked out Mac Pro? Did Apple sell SW that was more expensive or Xserves that were more expensive when configured by Apple? I'd think those would count.

    We bought a IIci, 15 inch monitor and an 11 X 17 printer in 1988... total cost... $26,000... then we had to buy a 10 mb hard drive for back up that cost another $2000.

    That printer definitely wouldn't count, and neither would that HDD if it's a 3rd-party purchase or external. How much was that Iici by itself above the $6,700 starting price?
  • Reply 17 of 125
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jd_in_sb View Post



    When the iPhone was announced many people I know said they couldn't wait to buy one. Each successive version there was similar chatter. I don't know a single person who has said they are interested in the Apple Watch. I hope this product does well.



    I'll be the first one you know then. I'll be there on launch day, Apple Pay enabled iPhone in hand

  • Reply 18 of 125
    Quote:

    The Macintosh IIfx also started at $10,000 in 1990...with no video card.


     

    Yeah I had one. With a 19 inch Radius colour monitor that cost $5,000!

  • Reply 19 of 125
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SolipsismY View Post



    That printer definitely wouldn't count, and neither would that HDD if it's a 3rd-party purchase or external. How much was that Iici by itself above the $6,700 starting price?

     

    Oh... I was just going off track and talking about prices back in the day... you know, we walked 10 miles to school, up hill both ways etc.

     

    ... but, yes, around $6700.

     

    PS - I took him up on his bet.

  • Reply 20 of 125
    kibitzerkibitzer Posts: 1,114member
    It's interesting to consider what people choose to put on their wrists. I always have been somewhat of a minimalist, and for many years I wore a Hublot Classic with the black matte rubberized strap. That's been sitting in a drawer since shortly after I got my first iPhone in 2008 and gave up wristwatches entirely. The Apple Watch intrigues me for its minimal appearance when dormant. But when it's active, what lifestyle benefits might it bring me that I don't already enjoy, and will those benefits be worthwhile for the cost? The only way to know for sure is to hold one, wear one, use one and find out how others are experiencing its applications. Any successful user-experience business like Apple - that's put this much effort and thought into a product that may appeal to me - deserves a fair hearing. I don't fully understand the need for one, but I can be sold.

    One more thought: Unless there's some compulsion to show off the latest technogadget bling on one's wrist, what's the rush to be an early adopter? Jony Ives and his team have to be working today on the next generation of watches, to address the glaring shortcomings that are at this very moment popping up with the first iteration of a brand new product. In less than eight years, the market has seen as many different improved versions of the iPhone. So it will go for the watch.
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