Part gadget, part fashion accessory, the Apple Watch is Cupertino's first foray into the wearables market. But with prices that range from $349 to $17,000, the Apple Watch is far from an impulse buy. In fact, the premium Apple Watch could be the company's most expensive device to date.
Fortunately, there's some good news for bargain hunters. While you may not see drastic price cuts on Apple's smartwatch in the coming days, we predict you'll still be able to dodge Apple's list price and snag one for a few bucks less. Here's how.
Deals Will Be Limited, and Might Not Come Until Next Year
The Apple Watch is the company's first new major product category since the launch of the iPad in 2010. If we take a look at the price history for that launch, we can get an idea of when the first Apple Watch deals may arrive — and it's unfortunately not looking good.
Released in January of 2010, the original iPad debuted with a $499 starting price. Although it was sold by most authorized Apple retailers like Best Buy and Amazon, the tablet didn't see its first deal until 10 months later in November when eBay discounted it by 10%. We went on to post two similar deals before Apple announced the iPad 2 in March of 2011.
It's likely that the Apple Watch could follow the iPad's trajectory in terms of deals. That means bargain hunters need to do only one thing to save money — wait. While it's true that Apple deals are now more aggressive and easier to find then ever, the Apple Watch is still a first-generation product, so deals will be slow to roll out.
It's likely the first Apple Watch deals won't surface until the middle or end of the product's life cycle; the 10-month mark would place the first deal in January 2016. However Apple products have now become a popular Black Friday deal for vendors to promote their in-store sales, so there's a chance that the Watch may defy the iPad trend and show up early in November.
And it's worth pointing out that none of this applies to the higher-end Apple Watch Edition models, because we don't expect to see any deals at all on those. It's possible these models will be sold in high-end boutiques only, which aren't known for their coupon codes or promos. So for the purpose of this article, we're focusing on the lower end models only.
Wide Availability Could Trigger Deals From Unlikely Retailers
The Apple Watch is a unique product in that it could be the first "gadget" to be sold at both mainstream electronics stores and also non-traditional outlets like department stores, jewelry stores, and watch stores. This changes the deal landscape for the Apple Watch, because in addition to discounts from the likes of Best Buy and MacMall, you may also see bundles or discounts from stores like Macy's, Bloomingdale's, or Saks, depending on what stores get access to Apple's coveted watch.
At its "Spring Forward" event this week, Apple didn't mention retail partners for its new watch. Naturally, the wider the Apple Watch's availability, the greater the chance of finding deals.
But like any first-generation product, buyers should proceed with caution. In the past, Apple has unexpectedly discounted the price of its just-launched devices, most notably in September of 2007 when it slashed the price of the first-generation 8GB iPhone from $599 to $399 just two months into the device's life cycle.
Furthermore, the longer a product has been on the market, the greater the chances you'll see a deal for it. Early adopters can also benefit from waiting a few weeks before making any purchase. But as with all tech, the longer you wait, the greater the savings you'll find. The Apple Watch will be no exception to this rule.
Readers, what do you think of the Apple Watch, now that we have all the details?