John Gruber Predicts Apple Watch Pricing, Steel Model to Average $1,000


While Apple CEO Tim Cook confirmed the Apple Watch will start shipping in April during the company’s first quarterly results call of the year, he didn’t say anything about the prices of different Apple Watch models, and the only thing we know about it so far is that the price of the entry-level model will be $349. Today, Daring Fireball’s John Gruber has shared his predictions on the product’s pricing, saying that the regular Apple Watch will come in at least five pricing tiers and that users will be paying a premium for advanced clasp mechanisms, and even more for the Link Bracelet.

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‘It’s all about the bands”, Gruber says, noting that the spread between these tiers could be significant, ranging from say $700 for the entry model with the Sport Band, to well over $1,000 for the Link Bracelet. The average for the steel Apple Watch he says will be around $1,000, but depending on the strap, “you’ll pay several hundred less or more”.

Sport Bands are surely the least expensive. Link Bracelets, I’m almost as sure, are the most expensive. I think Apple placed these models in order from least to most expensive, going from left to right. So I’m thinking the regular Apple Watch will come in at least five pricing tiers:

  • Entry: Sport Band, black or white.
  • Regular leather: Classic Buckle, you’ll get it in black and you’ll like it.
  • Milanese Loop.
  • Deluxe leather: Modern Buckle for 38mm models, Leather Loop for 42mm models. Each with a choice of three colors.
  • Link Bracelet.

Regarding the Edition models, Gruber predicts they will start around $10,000. “If my hunch is right about bands and bracelets, the upper range could go to $20,000”, he says. 

I’m guessing Apple will offer Edition models with gold Link Bracelets for $20,000, and perhaps Milanese Loops for $15,000 and a Leather Loop for around $12,500.

Apple Watch Edition is not a tech product, so don’t try to price it like one.

So guys, which model of Apple Watch do you plan on picking up, and how much money are you willing to spend for it?


  • Corey Hoffarth

    I’m getting really confused about all the watch options. I was on the understanding that the bands were interchangeable and not locked to a specific watch. If it’s going to be 400 bucks for the watch and I have to stick with a sport band I’ll pass

  • Al

    I read the source article. This guy is making the mistake of comparing the Apple Watch to other watches. That’s dumb. Other than telling time, like a cheap watch that costs a few dollars), it is nothing like a watch, both in functionality and, more importantly, how it is built.I think his assumptions are WAY off.

  • OliChabot

    I think they will offer the watches coming with a band, or a choice of bands. It would be ridiculous to charge just for the warch without any bands because it is useless without it. I suspect 350$ with the Sport Edition with the Sport band, 500$ for the steel edition with a leather band, and you pay extra with sny watches if you want another type of band. But, all of this just come so confusing that they might just price the watch without any bands and you buy the one you like. 1,000$ for the steel edition seems really high, and I certainly would not pay that price for it. If that’s the case, i am just going to go with the sports edition and it’ll be completely fine, or I won’t get none at all.

    Of course they want to position it as a fashion item, but they should not expect to sell a lot of these if they price it as a Louis Vuitton bag. Not a lot of people would be encline, I suppose, to pay 500$ for an extension of their 1000$ smartphone, so I guess many less would pay a thousand for that.
    Thats just my 2cents.

  • Dan

    I’d be money that this is wrong. I’d guess, in USD the pricing will be something liek $349/$499/$1499 for sport/steel/gold. I really don’t know about the gold one though. But anything more than $499 for the steel version is a bit absurd.

  • Shameer Mulji

    Depending on when Apple purchased gold, the price has fluctuated anywhere from $1000 an ounce to $2000 an ounce. No way the Gold Edition starts at $1,499. Especially solid 18K Gold. I’d be very surprised if it did. Matter of fact, I’d be surprised if it was below $4,999.

  • Al

    Keep in mind, it’s just the case… And the outer edge at that. Probably the same amount of gold as in a traditional men’s wedding band -which is likely a lot thicker, so perhaps even less gold in the Watch. An 18k band is typically under $1000.

    I think some people are going a little too insane speculating on outlandish prices. I wouldn’t be surprised inTim Cook takes advantage of that and does a spoof on infomercial pricing… “How much would YOU pay?… Not $5000… Not $3000…” etc.

    I’m thinking around $1499 as well (with a basic band).

  • Apple will have to justify massive prices for Apple Watch that’s made in China (if it is) vs a handcrafted Swiss watch.

  • Al

    And it’s a version 1. No one is going to want to keep it beyond 2 or 3 years, and no one is going to want to buy a version 1 after the 3rd Gen. The only recourse people will have is to sell it to a gold buyer.

  • You know what though? TAKE MY MONEY!

  • Al

    LOL… Better Apple than crackberry.

  • Al sucks

    go die!

  • Al suck

    oops.. i meant to reply to Al below. Not Gary.

  • Tim

    Since it will only make my life more complicated to manage another device that only duplicates features while adding few in return, I am willing to let Apple pay me to wear an Apple Watch.