Apple fans can’t purchase the iPhone 6s, Apple TV, or iPad Pro that were unveiled yesterday, but if you’re lucky you can pick up the cheap gold Apple Watch Sport today, now that Apple Stores have received limited supplies of new units.
Cult of Mac got an early look at the new gold finish thanks to a reader who already scooped up a 42mm gold Apple Watch Sport at the Apple Store in Gilbert, Arizona, and while the new model is way cheaper than its expensive Edition sibling, it still looks like a million bucks.
CHICAGO — I grabbed the black suit jacket I was married in because I wasn’t sure how to dress for a private appointment to try on a $10,000 gold watch.
My look is challenging to class up. The clean-shaven head, long goatee and ample belly blend in better at a biker bar. But I felt halfway respectable-looking when I walked into the Apple Store in Chicago’s upscale Lincoln Park neighborhood for a Saturday morning hands-on showing of the Apple Watch Edition.
Not many Apple Stores are scheduling appointments for the 18-karat gold Edition, but the ones that do provide extra-special attention. I had a friendly guide, two floor supervisors who came by to shake my hand and thank me for my patience, and a couple of hawk-eyed security guards.
All week, it’s been reported that Apple is using a “new gold” in the gold Apple Watch Edition. According to Bloomberg, Slate, Gizmodo and many others, Apple has patented a new process to create a “metal matrix composite” by mixing gold with ceramic particles.
The composite supposedly allows Apple to save on the amount of gold it uses, while making the substance super-hard and adding other amazing properties.
But according to Atakan Peker, a materials scientist and one of the co-inventors of Liquidmetal, which Apple holds an exclusive license on, it’s extremely unlikely Apple is using any kind of “new gold” for its watches.
Apple’s well-designed and well-made products should really only be for the rich, but they are generally affordable to the middle classes. Apple pulls off the miraculous, selling us BMWs at Kia prices.
This is what makes the gold Apple Watch Edition stand out. At first glance, it’s obviously not a product for us. But even though you and I will probably never own one, the $10,000 timepiece is actually kinda democratic, because it’s all about selling $350 watches to the masses.
The tech world is completely aghast at the price of the gold Apple Watch Edition, which starts at $10,000 but is more likely to set buyers back $17,000 (plus tax!).
The pricing is baking everyone’s noodles. We can’t wrap our heads around a super-expensive watch that will soon be obsolete and is functionally identical to a $350 model. This is not how tech works.
But that’s the point. I wrote how the high-end Apple Watch winds me up — I argued that its very existence is antithetical to Apple’s democratic values. But after further research, it’s obvious that Apple knows exactly what it’s doing, and it’s very smart — even if I still don’t like the gold watch’s enormous price tag.
The Apple Watch Edition is a classic Veblen product. The outrageous price is the whole point. And the higher it gets, the more of them Apple will sell. It might even be priced too low.
The Apple Watch Edition has perplexed many Apple fanboys with its ridiculously high price tag. We still don’t know how much the beautiful, high-end smartwatch will cost, but it’s expected be one of the most expensive Apple products ever, which has a lot of analysts wondering, how many is Apple going sell?
Hitting 1 million in sales for the super-expensive smartwatches in the first quarter would be an impressive feat. But what’s more surprising is that if Apple actually hits that number, the gold Edition Apple Watches would account for the most Apple Watch revenue, bringing in at least $5 billion per quarter.