What Kind of Person Will Buy the $17,000 Apple Watch Edition?
As the on-sale date for the Apple Watch draws near, speculation grows as to exactly who will be buying the heavily-hyped wearable. Certainly we can expect to see the usual crowd of Apple fanboyz lining up outside the local mall to get their first glimpse at the new smartwatch but most of them are likely to be spending $350 or a bit more for one of the starter models. But what is the target market for the Apple Watch Edition priced at $10,000 to $17,000?
The answer? Narcissists. Egomaniacs. Status seekers. People who crave attention. In short, douchebags. Russell Seidle, a professor of strategy and international business at Boston’s Suffolk University, explained what would make this sort of person spend that kind of money on a device with built-in obsolescence: “If you think about the narcissistic trait, it’s associated with the idea that you have a self-serving bias—that you’re unique. So it makes sense that you would purchase products would be tailored to reflect that self-perception.”
Spending that much on something that will be “last year’s model” the minute Apple pops out a new version makes even less sense when you figure that $17,000 could buy you a really nice Swiss mechanical watch by a respected brand like Rolex or Omega and your purchase would probably appreciate over a period of time. Years from now, you could sell it for at least at much as you paid for it or pass it on to a family member.
On the other hand, that pricey Apple Watch Edition will start depreciating as soon as you get it out of the store. Heck, a used Honda that you bought for $17,000 on Craig’s List is likely to be worth more in a year or two than the gold Apple Watch.
Alas, those first buyers of the Apple Watch Edition may not receive the adulation they seek. According to Brent McFerran, an assistant professor of marketing at the Beedie School of Business, the hoi polloi will not be impressed.
“It’s a paradox. People are more likely to seek out luxury brands as an outcome of feeling accomplished. However, what do others thinks of it? They don’t think you purchased it because you were successful. They think you’re a person who is egotistical.”
On the bright side, the first celebs to sport the Apple Watch Edition are sure of getting their photos in the tabloids—right alongside the famous names who were arrested that week.