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Stainless Steel Apple Watch to Start at $500, 18K Gold Models at $4,000 [Rumour]

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Apple has only stated the Apple Watch will start at $349 USD (most likely the entry Sport model), but has remained mum on stainless steel and 18K gold versions.

However, anonymous but “reliable” sources now tell iGen.fr the stainless steel Apple Watch will start at $500, while the Apple Watch Edition models in 18K in yellow or rose gold will debut between $4,000 to $5000. Loose Google Translation below:

Apple Watch Stainless Steel (polished or black sidereal) would be proposed at $ 500. The Edition model in yellow or pink gold would be sold between $ 4,000 and $ 5,000.

The French site’s sources say a possible launch in time for Valentine’s Day remains a possibility, despite Apple retail chief Angela Ahrendts stating a “spring” launch on the weekend. Based on the wording on the Apple Watch website, speculation is the wearable may debut in the USA first, and release worldwide later in 2015.

Previous reports conservatively claimed the Apple Watch Edition would cost upwards of $1,200, based on the cost of 18K gold at $600, then double that for electronics and the retail mark up.

The broad range of Apple Watch price predictions aren’t necessarily new, as Daring Fireball’s John Gruber noted his price points for the Apple Watch back in September, along with his take on how the wearable will play out once prices are revealed:

  • Apple Watch Sport (aluminum/glass): $349 (not a guess)
  • Apple Watch (stainless steel/sapphire): $999
  • Apple Watch Edition (18-karat gold/sapphire): $4,999

When the prices of the steel and (especially) gold Apple Watches are announced, I expect the tech press to have the biggest collective shit-fit in the history of Apple-versus-the-standard-tech-industry shit-fits. The utilitarian mindset that asks “Why would anyone waste money on a gold watch?” isn’t going to be able to come to grips with what Apple is doing here. They’re going to say that Jony Ive and Tim Cook have lost their minds. They’re going to wear out their keyboards typing “This never would have happened if Steve Jobs were alive.” They’re going to predict utter and humiliating failure. In short, they’re going to mistake Apple for Vertu.

And then people will line up around the block at Apple Stores around the world to buy them. I think Apple Watch prices are going to be shockingly high — gasp-inducingly, get-me-to-the-fainting-couch high — from the perspective of the tech industry. But at the same time, there is room for them to be disruptively low from the perspective of the traditional watch and jewelry world. There’s a massive pricing umbrella in the luxury watch world, and Apple is aiming to take advantage of it.

That darn Gruber nails it every time.

Below is the Apple Watch introduction video narrated by Jony Ive for you to watch, yet again:

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