So, the Apple Watch is finally a reality. As you might expect, Apple CEO Tim Cook was filled with genuine excitement as he unveiled the “future” of Apple products to an excited crowd at The Flint Center last Tuesday. The Cupertino company’s first modern-day wearable will be packed with life-tracking sensors, features a stunning Retina display with two size options, be offered in one of three different models, and of course, will offer a number of finish / color options depending on the model chosen. One of those options will be an 18-karat gold version from the “Watch Edition” range, which some industry experts are predicting could cost upwards of $1,000 when it finally goes on sale next year.
As part of an investigation into the potential cost of the more premium Apple Watch models, TechCrunch contacted a number of jewelers with experience of dealing in wrist wear made out of the same materials. One of those experts, Chad Rickicki, predicted that the outer case materials alone could cost Apple approximately $600 to architect:
Chad Rickicki, a watch expert in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania said that a case the size and shape of the Apple Watch in 18 carat gold would cost about $600 to make. The rest — the electronics and markup could double that price.
It’s highly likely that Apple doesn’t expect the 18-karat gold “Watch Edition” variant of its Apple Watch to be the most successful offering in the range. With prices starting at $349 when units start shipping “early next year” it’s more likely that consumers will see the entry level options as a fairly safe bet to get to grips with what is essentially a brand new product line for the Cupertino company. It’s also worth noting that predictions of the potential manufacturing cost of the watch are exactly that, approximations.
It was evident from the keynote speech during Tuesday’s event that the final specification for the Apple Watch has yet to be determined. As an example of this, neither Tim Cook nor any of his executive team actually mentioned if the watch would be gold-plated, or manufactured with a solid gold alloy. This would dramatically effect not only the initial manufacturing cost of the product, but also the final retail price associated with the watch.
We’ll know more about individual pricing when Apple releases additional information over the coming months.