Apple Watch isn’t a luxury watch

“Many people are trying to analyze Apple Watch with the assumption that the device is just another luxury watch, only with additional customization and features,” Neil Cybart writes for Above Avalon. “I think this type of thinking misses the big picture. An Apple Watch will be just as much a watch, as an iPhone is a phone.

“The Apple Watch shouldn’t be compared to luxury watches, and more importantly, luxury watch strengths. Timelessness, or lack thereof, seems to be at top of the list of lingering questions about Apple Watch,” Cybart writes. “If a luxury watch can last the test of time and be passed down from generation to generation, how would Apple Watch compete? Who would pay thousands of dollars for a device that won’t stand the test of time?”

Cybart writes, “Timelessness won’t matter for Apple Watch since the Apple Watch isn’t a luxury watch. Instead, Apple Watch is a mobile computing facilitator worn on the wrist. The user will have just as much motive and desire to pass the device down to children or family as they would with an iPhone or iPad.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Dan K.” and “Sarah” for the heads up.]

29 Comments

  1. Apple Watch is unique, as all Apple products are unique. But what makes this fall into the luxury category is the fact that it’s basically an accessory to the iPhone that, in some cases, is more expensive than the iPhone itself. At $350, that’s almost the cost of your most basic iPad, and say what you want about what the Apple Watch can do, the iPad still does a hell of a lot more. At this point, I’d be much more likely to save my money and buy an iPad and keep my plain old digital watch.

    1. Apple watch being labeled an “accessory” is a huge misconception. People don’t understand the Apple watch yet, but they will… Calling it an accessory to the iPhone is the same as people initially calling the iPod an accessory to the computer because a PC was required to sync. Apple have already stated that though an iPhone is required for certain functions, it is not required to be on the person at all times.

      1. The difference is an iPod is an iPod .
        The touch version and the iPhone have many other uses in which playing music or making calls respectively are just sub-functions.
        Apple could just as easily retitle the iPhone as Apple Communicator because its phone function is a 20% task at best – certainly with the younger generation who seem to want to text each other from either end of the same sofa rather than talk!

      2. It’s an accessory to the iPhone in that it can’t be used without an iPhone. The iPod could be used with a Mac or a PC, and really, you only needed the Mac/PC to sync the iPod. Whereas the Apple Watch has to be constantly connected to the iPhone for its functionality to work.

    2. I am not so sure I would call it unique, it does much the same as the current batch of smart watches, even less than some. What would be unique is if the watch sells in large numbers.

  2. Spot on. There also will be a substantial resale market for Watches, even Apple purchasing them from you when you upgrade at the Apple Store. Parents may pass them down to their kids, not as a family heirloom, but as an older piece of technology when the parents get a new Watch.

    1. There will be varying degrees of the AppleWatch. You have your $350 entry level watch, which will be a practical everyday watch. Then, there will be your shiny solid gold version that will sell for much more, probably in the thousands for those who demand and want the best.

      I look at the AppleWatch as a two piece device, the outer case, and the internal electronics. All the watches will share the same guts.

      An AppleWatch won’t be like an iPhone. People aren’t going to run out every or every other year, and purchase a new watch like they do with smart phones.

      What people will want to upgrade though, is the electronics in the phone. A watch is a piece of jewelry, I like to wear a watch. I’ve been wearing my Swiss Army watch for the past 15 years, and love it. I’ve upgraded the band to a metal one because I got tired of replacing its original rubber strap every year from wear.

      Apple would be wise to make the guts of their new watch upgradable. Knowing I can upgrade it with the advent of new features, processing power, etc. would give me a good piece of mind.

      I want to settle on one nice watch, but I don’t want it hobbled by antiquated technology after two or three years either. So please Apple, make them upgradable. How cool would that be?

  3. Accurate assessment. Apple wants customers to keep their Apple Watch (“mobile computing facilitator”) up-to-date, along with their iPhones, NOT make them into family “heirlooms.”

    Here’s one way Apple can do encourage this attitude for the wealthy (but not “obscenely rich”) customers who go for the gold “Edition” Apple Watch. When the 2nd gen Apple Watch models are released, have a generous “recycling” program that significantly reduces (maybe by 50%) the price for a new replacement gold Apple Watch (of the same size). Apple can melt down the old watch casing to retrieve the gold, for use in making the next generation of Apple Watch. Since Apple Watch is bound to become thinner and lighter over time, Apple will (on average) end up collecting more gold than gets use in the latest Apple Watch. 🙂

      1. I agree, for the “regular” and “Sport” versions. The cost of the casing is mostly irrelevant; you’re paying of the technology. But if Apple is going to ask customers it pay a hefty premium for the “luxury” model with a case made of gold alloy ($1000 or more), it’s different.

        Here’s how I “visualize” it… Let’s say the price for the “Edition” version is $1000, and the “regular” version is $300. The tech inside is identical. By paying $1000, it’s like I’m joining an exclusive “club.” But I don’t need to pay another $1000 each time I “renew” my membership; I only pay $500. That $500 pays for the new tech, cost of reclaiming gold from the old Apple Watch I returned, and “miscellaneous other costs.” I’m not paying the “luxury premium” again.

        It also allows me to replace a hopelessly damaged gold Apple Watch (if I send it through the washing machine or it gets run over by a bus), without paying $1000 again. As long as its gold casing is physically in one piece, I can “recycle” it at an Apple Store for $500 and get a new one. So I don’t need to be paranoid about wearing it all the time, like I would be if I owned a $1000 Rolex.

        If such policies are in place, more customers who are usually not the “BMW” type might go for the “Edition” version of Apple Watch.

  4. The ‘trouble ‘ with technology is that it moves forward. And a some pace. Just try using the web browser on a Gen1 iPhone that is only 8 years old.
    I have boxes full of cutting edge technology which is now just junk that works with little or nothing.

    No, they only way that this works is if you get offered an upgrade, sealed unit to go inside your solid gold case and bracelet and/or the chance to swap it out. Either way this is a departure for Apple.

  5. I’m sorry but you don’t cover a “mobile computing facilitator” in 18K gold.

    Once you get beyond the AppleWatch Sport, it is a luxury item, pure and simple. Just look at the design of the various metal bands, they are extravagant beyond what is needed for a “mobile computing facilitator.”

    This is a completely new device category for Apple–or anyone else–a luxury fashion accessory which also happens to be a “mobile computing facilitator.”

      1. As Synth stated, “Once you get BEYOND the AppleWatch Sport, it is a luxury item, pure and simple. Just look at the design of the various metal bands,…”

        I believe that he is now referring to the Watch Edition.

        “The Edition collection features six uniquely elegant expressions of Apple Watch. Each has a watch case crafted from 18-karat gold that our metallurgists have developed to be up to twice as hard as standard gold. The display is protected by polished sapphire crystal. And an exquisitely designed [WHICH ARE LEATHER] band provides a striking complement.”

        1. AND IF I AM NOT MISTAKEN, there are only two metal bands available, the Link Bracelet and the Milanese Loop which only come on the Stainless Steel Case Watch collection

          NOT the Aluminum Case Watch Sport collection or

          Not the 18-Karat Yellow Gold Case Watch Edition!

          OBVIOUSLY, no body would put a stainless steel band no matter how fancy on a gold watch.

          1. All true. But metal bands still are not made of leather.

            Perhaps you should have originally written:
            “Only metal bands are available for the Watch Edition.”

            It would have saved a lot of typing for both of us. 🙂

            1. WHY SHOULD I HAVE ORIGINALLY WRITTEN, ““Only metal bands are available for the Watch Edition?”

              PERHAPS before anyone comments, they should do some READING and get their facts right!

              It is obvious that Synth didn’t and SHOULD take ownership of it!

          2. I’m pretty sure the metal bands will be sold separately from the watch. They are completely interchangeable.

            Even Apple’s website shows the Sport bands on the gold watch and there is nothing to prevent some fashion challenged individual from putting the stainless steel band on the gold version.

  6. The other issue with the fashion aspect of the watch is that in any upgrade cycle, or if new models are released, the fashion statement on your arm becomes very visible ‘last year, darling’. And it wont go from being an out of date piece of junk ( think about the original Red LED display digital watches of the 80’s) to a retro fashion item – presuming that the funtions are still supported, batteries available ( have you seen anyone selling a battery for the original iPod) etc. or where the internal unit has been upgraded / replaced

  7. Here’s another thing to consider. How many of you got the first generation iPhone? Be honest now. My first iPhone was the 3G. The first iPhones were pretty pricey, too. Now? The lowest end iPhone 6 can be bought for $200. And you can get an older model just by signing the contract.

    I suspect something similar will happen with the Apple Watch. Sure, the newest, top of the line model may end up staying at $350, but eventually there will be enough generations that Apple will be able to sell older generation models for less money. You can even still get a MacBook Pro that still has a hard drive in it, and it’s the cheapest model.

    1. Question is, will there be a large enough market for past generation Apple Watches as there is for past generations of iPhones. I suppose it will also depend on the time between generations.

      1. If there’s enough of a feature gap, or if the difference is something like a different chip where the non-technical user might not know or understand the difference, you might have enough of a demand for a previous generation Apple Watch vs. the latest generation, which will probably be bought by the same people who are buying the first Apple Watches now. Or they might offer that previous generation Apple Watch to get people hooked on it to where people say, “Hey, I like this! I want to keep this up!” and they buy more up to date models in the future.

  8. 1st generation apple watch is for the fever buyers. The 2nd or 3rd generation apple watch buyers may get a thinner, modern, streamlined, more powerful standalone wrist unit worth the price.
    I detest Samsung, but their latest curved watch, even though probably not out the door yet, is in appearance only a thin, modern, streamlined, good looking device. Makes the Apple watch look way outdated in appearance, which is first impression. If you want to sell a trillion of them to non watch wearer teenagers, then it has to look modern. Instead their first generation targets older watch wearers, hoping to make up some margin by gold plating a device with a chip, form factor, and screen that will be obsolete in two years. This unit is designed by rich guys 30yrs and up. I am afraid they kinda left out the other 80% of the population. I love Apple, but sorry, facts are facts. I will wait for a thinner, curved to my wrist version 2 or maybe version 3. Flame all you want, but I believe Steve Jobs would not let that ugly square thing out the door.

  9. IF the Watch wanted to be ‘timeless’, it would have to offer free swapping out of its internal tech for years to come, as it inevitably improves. Having a beautiful rose gold Watch with last decade’s tech inside, including a minimal life battery, is no one’s idea of ‘timeless’. It’s more like the first thing you take over to the hock shop to have it melted down for its metal value. Sorry, but that would be the case.

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