Got a problem with the Apple Watch Edition?

Relax. Apple didn't make this gold watch for you.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor

Apple Watch, in pictures

Since the revelation that the top-end luxury Apple Watch Edition will cost upwards of $10,000 - $17,000 if you want to splash out on the really fancy band - pundits have been frothing at the mouth over, well, pretty much everything to do with it.

Relax. Take a deep breath. Unless you're planning to buy one, you don't need to worry about it.

See, the problem is that pundits - particularly the sort of pundits that cover tech and Apple stuff - aren't the demographic that Apple is targeting with the Edition. How do I know this? The $10K+ price tag, that's how.

This is not gold-colored like the iPhone, iPad, or the new MacBook, this thing is solid gold. And it comes with a solid gold price tag.

The thing that tech pundits don't seem to be able to wrap their heads around is that there's a huge, lucrative market for products that transcends tech specs or product lifespan or how waterproof something is. Are these pundits not aware of the myriad of 18K-gold clad, diamond-encrusted iPhones and iPads that are put there? The Edition is Apple's attempt to horn in on this profitable luxury market. And why not? After all, there are people out there with so much money that it only has significance to them if they can spend it on something they don't see others with. In fact, it's a massive selling point that the likes of you and I can't have one.

Such is the expectation of items that are branded "luxury."

Like the iPhone or iPad or any other shiny bit of kit that people drool over, the Edition is nothing that money can't buy, but the price is a high enough barrier to give it a certain level of exclusivity. Apple could have made it more exclusive by setting a production limit, or by doubling or trebling the price, but it didn't. I think Apple is using the Edition to test the high-end luxury goods waters, and if this works out, I wouldn't be surprised to see an 18K iPhone in the lineup real soon.

Buyers of the Edition are also not going to be the sort of people to worry about replacing the battery or to participate in a trade-in program because to them the ten thousand dollars price tag will be chump change. If you've ever owned an iPhone or iPad or iPod even, have you ever gone back to Apple looking to trade it in? No? Because it was only a few hundred bucks, right?

Well, there are people who feel like that about money measured out in thousands of dollars.

If you're not one of those people, the Edition isn't for you.

And let's not forget that there are also going to be people who wouldn't want to be seen dead wearing an Edition simply because it's "only" 20 grand. The price puts it comfortably within reach of lawyers and surgeons and the like, and this will be off-putting to some. Who knows, maybe someone will plaster an Edition in JB Weld and roll it in diamonds to come out with a limited edition Edition that costs a hundred thousand dollars just to appeal to them.

And if you think anyone who pays several thousand dollars for an Apple Watch is a sucker, then rest assured that if they wanted their money back they'd have no problems finding another "sucker" willing to pay more for it just because the first "sucker" owned it.

Worried that it's not waterproof? Then buy something that is.

Worried that the next one might be better? Wait for the next one.

Concerned that you might not use it much? Then don't buy one.


I think that there's also an irritated jealousy present in the criticism of the Apple Watch Edition. An annoyance that stems from the fact that the Apple Watch they buy not only won't be the best, it won't look like the best either. After all, when it came to the iPhone or iPad, capacity was the only thing that separated budget from high-end, and there was nothing external that distinguished a cheap iPhone or iPad from an expensive one. You could buy the cheapest version on offer and still look like a high-roller.

Not any more.

With the Apple Watch, there is a very obvious difference separating the budget Apple Watch from the big bucks version. And Apple clearly wanted this to be the case, because they could have easily added a fake gold anodization layer to both the aluminum and stainless steel version if it had wanted. Apple didn't because it wanted the gold to make a statement.

Relax. Just because you like Apple products, you don't have to like everything they make. The reason you don't like the Edition is simple - Apple didn't make it with you in mind.

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