Now that Halloween is over and the holiday shopping season is officially upon us, it’s time to decide what we’d all like to give and get this year. One item you can cross off your list on both counts is the much-anticipated Apple Watch, which will not hit stores in time for Christmas. Or New Year’s. Or Valentine’s Day. Here is the latest batch of rumors on when we can expect Apple’s smartwatch to finally make its appearance and how much you can expect to spend on one.
When Tim Cook formally introduced the Apple Watch a few weeks ago, he estimated that the device would go on sale in 2015 and prices would start at $350. Since then, the tech giant has refused to confirm any more details, but since this is Apple, there are always plenty of rumors circulating.
One is from the French Apple website iGen.fr which reports that the smartwatch will be even more expensive than originally estimated, with the stainless steel model starting at $500. From there, prices go up, way up, with gold Apple Watch models selling for $4,000 to $5,000 and more. This site has been a reliable source for predictions in the past, so their rumors can be taken pretty seriously.
Another report comes from a leaked memo released by 9-to-5Mac and concerns the release date for the Apple Watch. A transcript of a message from Apple Senior Vice President of Retail and Online Stores Angela Ahrendts revealed when the Apple Watch is going to go on sale. In a pep talk to the staff of Apple’s retail stores, Ahrendts stated: “You guys were hired because you’re the best people in the world. And you know how to service customers, but we are sprinting a marathon right now, and it’s not going to stop. Right? We’re going into the holidays, we’ll go into Chinese New Year, and then we’ve got a new watch launch coming in the spring.”
Since spring officially arrives on March 20, that means that Apple will be missing not only the biggest shopping period of the entire year but the lucrative Valentine’s Day buying season. Meanwhile, every month that goes by sees the smartwatch selection growing larger, so Apple will be making a very late entry into an already-crowded sector of the market.
This dubious timing also means that much of the novelty of the wearable device will have worn off by spring of 2015, making the Apple Watch just another choice rather than an innovator. Sure, there will be an audience of Apple fans who just must have the latest pricey mobile device coming out of Cupertino, CA, but there will also be more jaded potential customers who will already have tired of the idea of a smartwatch after looking at the current models over the holiday shopping season.
Apple hasn’t had a flop since the long-forgotten Newton from the late 90s, but that does not mean that everything that the company puts out is going to emulate the success of the iPod, iPhone or iPad.