fashion

TechCrunch reported earlier that the Apple Watch’s Edition — made of 18K solid gold — might cost up to $1,200. That sounds reasonable.

Then respected Apple insider John Gruber of Daring Fireball predicted the following prices:

  • Sport (aluminum/glass): $350
  • Standard (stainless steel/sapphire): $1,000
  • Edition (18-karat gold/sapphire): $5,000

In fact, he thinks there’s a decent chance the Edition edition will retail for $10,000!

That’s just…frikkin crazy. Here’s why: 1) it doesn’t matter how much gold there is, people will view Apple Watch as a piece of electronics and not as haute horlogerie; 2) electronics depreciate fast; 3) it’s not even a good looking watch.

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You’re the most valuable technology company in the world.  What do you do?

  1. Launch a fashion accessory
  2. Extend from your core competency to a new, adjacent category
  3. Neither

How many raised their hands for 1?  Yet, that’s what a lot of smart people seem to be advocating for Apple and the iWatch.  Anthony Kosner of Forbes is the latest to sing this chorus.

How do you convince the mass of consumers to consider an iWatch to be a necessary accessory for 21st century life? Make it a fashion-forward, celebrity-endorsed object of desire. Make it aspirational (to use the technical marketing term.) And then, once its value and exclusivity is established, transform it into an “attainable luxury,” much like the iPhone has become. From this perspective, Apple’s fashion executives have a lot to do. To start with Pruniaux, perhaps Apple now intends to sell the iWatch through the same retail channels as luxury watches like TAG Heuer—Tourneau and high-end department stores.

Hmm.  I don’t think anyone will deny that brand is a big part of Apple’s success; Apple products are desirable and aspirational.  However, while fashion is always a differentiating factor for Apple, it’s never been the point.

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