Apple Watch Special Event Expectations: Pricing, Availability and More

We’re less than 24 hours away from Apple’s ‘Spring Forward’ special event, set for Monday morning at 10AM PST, 1PM EST, in San Francisco. This event is most likely set to reveal more Apple Watch details such as pricing and availability, building upon last September’s initial reveal.

Apple Watch Pricing

Apple has stated the Apple Watch will start at $349 USD, which many suspect will be the Sport model, since it is made with less expensive materials (aluminum, fluoroelastomer bands, glass display, plastic back) compared to the Apple Watch (stainless steel, sapphire, ceramic) and Edition models (18k gold).

Instead of coming up with random price points for each model, I direct you to read John Gruber’s final price analysis and predictions, which make a compelling argument the larger 42mm model will cost more than the 38mm watch:

Here are my final guesses (38mm/42mm):

  • Apple Watch Sport (all colors, with fluoroelastomer band): $349/399
  • Apple Watch, steel, Sport Band: $749/799
  • Apple Watch, steel, Classic Buckle: $849/899
  • Apple Watch, steel, Milanese Loop: $949/999
  • Apple Watch, steel, Modern Buckle (38mm only): $1199
  • Apple Watch, steel, Leather Loop (42mm only): $1299
  • Apple Watch, steel, Link Bracelet: $1499/1599
  • Apple Watch, space black steel, Link Bracelet: $1899/1999
  • Apple Watch Edition, Sport Band: $7499/7999
  • Apple Watch Edition, Modern Buckle (38mm only): $9999
  • Apple Watch Edition, Classic Buckle (42mm only): $10,999

Gruber has increased his price predictions for the stainless steel Apple Watch with link bracelet (compared to his initial guesses here), based on the company’s marketing materials which detail the labour involved with making each band.

Also, he again speculates Apple could announce surprise gold Milanese loop and link bracelet options, priced as follows (based on his random guesses; not based on sources or anything):

  • Apple Watch Edition, Gold Milanese Loop: $14,999/$16,999
  • Apple Watch Edition, Gold Link Bracelet: $17,999/$19,999

If Apple does release incredibly high-end options, the Internet will absolutely explode tomorrow.

Whatever the prices are when they are revealed, I have to agree there most likely will be a price difference between the 38mm and 42mm models. Despite housing the same internals, it’ll again come down to Apple’s classic move of making customers choose between various price points and options.

Apple Watch Availability – Canada (pretty please)?

The Apple Watch website for the U.S. states the wearable is “Coming Early 2015”, while the Canadian site states “Available in 2015”, leading many to believe a Canadian launch would be coming later in the year, instead of shipping in April for our American neighbours.

But with Cook reportedly stating Apple Watch would not be exclusive to the U.S. at launch, it gives Canada hope we would be included in the first wave, like we have been recently for new iPhone and iPad debuts.

Pricing though, would most likely be at an even higher premium given the lower Canadian dollar, which is trading at roughly $0.79 USD (App Store prices recently increased because of currency fluctuations too).

Other Product Announcements

While recent rumours have stated the possibly announcements of refreshes to the MacBook Air lineup and even the debut of a Retina 12-inch Air, I believe Apple will focus solely on the Apple Watch tomorrow.

The company has reportedly lined up hundreds of developers working on Apple Watch apps and tomorrow the company will finally have stage time to explain to the world why you need to purchase the wearable and how it will make your life better (and how they will sell Apple Watch at retail stores), particularly as a luxury accessory.

Reuters reports today sources at U.S. retailers such as Best Buy, Macy’s, Saks 5th Avenue, Bloomingdales and Barney’s said they would not be carrying the Apple Watch, suggesting it may only be available at Apple Store upon launch (although Nordstrom “has engaged in discussions with Apple”).

I imagine lots of Apple Watch app demos and cool ways people will be able to use the watch, such as utilizing Apple Pay. Speaking of the mobile payment service, Apple Pay’s international rollout would make sense tomorrow too, since it is a major Apple Watch selling point. The company might announce tomorrow that Apple Pay will rollout this summer in other countries, then give specifics at WWDC 2015 (if it takes place in the summer again). Apple Pay has been rumoured to debut in Canada this month.

By dedicating the event to Apple Watch, it ensures worldwide mainstream media (which will be there in big numbers considering it’s being held at Yerba Buena instead of Apple’s own Town Hall) will focus their coverage on the (luxury) device and not stray to MacBooks or the new Photos app in OS X Yosemite. These are my guesses–what are yours?

What do you expect tomorrow at Apple’s ‘Spring Forward’ special event? The event will be live-streamed and kick off at 10AM PST, 1PM EST.