Apple finally announced the launch and purchase reservation dates for each model of their long awaited Apple Watch, including the Apple Watch Sport, the Apple Watch and the Apple Watch Edition, and the two sizes that are available for each. Depending on the model you select, you’re going to have to drop between $349 (the small Apple Watch Sport) or up to $17,000 (the Apple Watch Edition, which starts at a jaw-dropping $10,000). Pre-orders start April 10.
Aside from my general fanboy nature and my love of new technology I, like others, will not be bumrushing the Apple store to pick up my watch. It is just too darned expensive no matter how you look at it. But for the sake or argument, let’s talk about why it is so expensive.
WHY DOES THE IWATCH COST SO MUCH?
First of all, that is what Apple does. They believe their own hype and they price items as if they are exclusive, social hierarchy inducing devices. Beyond that though, the iWatch is all about the components. As an example, the all-metal link bracelet offered has 100 components and allegedly takes nine hours just to cut. Apple also assembled a “Marvel Universe” sort of team of high-profile watch and biotech people to conceptualize and create the iWatch. That talent certainly has a price. And then there is the hidden cost.
When buying something like an iPhone it is important to remember that stores make up the difference in price of the unit because of contract kickbacks. They charge the consumer for the data and cell connection to even use the device. Not so with the iWatch. Stores need revenue as well so up goes the retail cost.
WHAT DOES THE IWATCH ACTUALLY DO
It doesn’t matter, does it? Truth is. It is a watch and it does some things that the phone in your pocket already does. But people will buy it anyway and they will feel vindicated in their choice for a while until the next device is prophesied and the cycle begins again. Truth is, whether Apple likes it or not they are helping bring back the 1980s just by announcing the watch. They are making men say “Why do I need an iWatch? I already have a watch.” And with that they’ll rummage through jewelry boxes, top drawers, and old cigar boxes in the attic to remind themselves of the technology that wasn’t broken in the first place and therefore didn’t need to be fixed.
I once received a watch for my 12th birthday. It was nothing special. Made by Seiko it had a brown leather strap and a golden face. My granny gave it to me as a gift because my father had been sent off to serve in Desert Shield that year and during that time I had stepped up several times as the man of the house, so she said. She explained to me that in her estimation I had become a man in so many ways and that proper men kept three things at all times: a handkerchief, a pocket knife, and a working wristwatch. I still have that watch and I probably always will. It isn’t as snazzy as others and it won’t receive a TXT message or catapult me up the social ladder. But it will remind me of what that special lady whose opinion mattered so much to me thought a man should possess. When it dies I can replace the battery for a couple of bucks and it will keep right on working. That second hand will glide around the dial as smoothly as ever.
So thank you Apple. Thank you for your vision and your technology and especially for reminding me of that that day in 1989 when I strapped on my watch and saw my granny take such delight in knowing the exact second that her little grandson had become a young man.