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iWatch: Will it really sell for ‘several thousand dollars’?

iWatch: Will it really sell for ‘several thousand dollars’?

Analyst Ming Chi Kuo is one of the most forthcoming Apple watchers out there.

His notes get noticed because he has a good track record and his latest missive is sure to send Mac fanatics and tech fans into a frenzy.

It focuses on Apple’s plans for the iWatch. And while the chatter about two different sizes is nothing new, talk about prices is.

Kuo has bad news for those who want the very best model: It’s going to cost ‘several thousands dollars’.

Let that sink in for a moment. An accessory which may only offer battery life of one day and need an iPhone or iPad to work properly, is going to set you back as much as a Mac.

That’s a bold move by anyone’s standards.

But seeing as rivals are already flogging smartwatches for around £100, Apple is surely going to have a hard sell.

iwatch mock-up

There are mitigating factors. Kuo says that Apple is going to use a slew of different materials for the casing, in order to offer models at varying price points.

It seems to want consumers to view its iWatch much like standard timepieces.

Some don’t cost that much, others require you to take out a second mortgage just for your wrist to look fancy.

Obviously, this comes a long way before launch. Nothing official is expected to come out of Apple until September at the earliest.

But is Kuo right? Well, he absolutely nailed last year’s iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C launches.

His dates were out, but the reason we knew everything about the devices before Tim Cook showed them off was because of his inside knowledge.

iwatch flexible screen

So, that suggests there is a grain of truth in these proceedings. If that is the case, then surely we could argue that Apple has lost the plot.

Smartwatches will not be like regular ones. Like smartphones, they’ll be replaced and upgraded at a frightening rate.

So, unless you get this pricey model on contract (a bizarre idea if ever there was one), you’re going to use it for a couple of years tops before gadget envy gets the better of you.

On the other hand, perhaps Apple knows that this is a niche segment that will not be mass market for years.

Better to create the allure of luxury and expense around a high–end model owned by a select few and build its base from there.

This way it can take its time to feel its way into the market.

ipod nano

Readers with longer memories will recognise in it echoes of its original iPod strategy, when the expensive early versions quickly gave way to more affordable, pared down editions.

All will be revealed in the autumn. In the meantime, keep an eye out for more of Kuo’s predictions.

They may not be as outlandish as they seem.

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