Why Apple Needs a $10,000 Watch

Apple typically makes products that regular folks can afford. Yes, Apple's products are usually a bit more expensive than the competition, but the quality, customer service, and resale value is much higher with Apple, meaning customers get a bigger return on their investment. Apple also makes computers that can be configured for tens of thousands of dollars, but these are for professionals, and the base models are typically affordable for many people. Usually, the reason for this higher cost is easy to see. When the rest of the Apple Watches start at $350 and $450, and the gold version has the same internals as the other models, why would Apple make a watch that costs so much more than the others? Does a little bit of gold really make the watch cost more than $10,000 to produce? Why would Apple make their Apple Watch Edition so incredibly expensive?

Because Apple needed street cred.

Rolex is a well known watch maker that specializes in watches that cost thousands of dolars. Everyone knows the brand, and most people can identify them by their appearance or logo, even though most people will never own (a real) one. If you're a celebrity or a CEO, you don't want the same watch the people you consider “below you” can afford, you want something that stands out, something with class, something that will make others envy you. It's detestable, yes, but it's a key reason these people buy expensive watches rather than a basic timepiece. They'd likely go with a Rolex or an expensive Android Wear watch instead of an Apple Watch if Apple didn't have a high-end model. The $10,000 Apple Watch will allow these people to feel like they can buy an Apple Watch, instead of one of Apple's competitors' watches.

Apple has another reason for appealing to the celebrities and CEOs, and that's to increase the value of their brand. People often try to emulate celebrities and the wealthy, and seeing these people wearing Apple Watches may convince them to buy one as well. They won't be able to buy a gold one costing over $10,000, mind you, but one of the less expensive models would be within their reach. Seeing these people wearing Apple devices is the best product placement Apple could hope for, and will appear to be natural.

Apple's least popular watch will be the Apple Watch Edition, but that doesn't mean people won't wish they had one. Most will be willing to settle for the less expensive, aluminum and steel versions though. I personally love the look of the gold watch, especially the rich rose color, but as I can't afford one (college debt, low pay, etc), I'd settle for the aluminum one. I'm willing to bet many people will share this opinion. After all, all Apple Watches look great and have features other smartwatches wish they had, so of course they're going to be popular.



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