Thoughts On Apple Watch Upgradability

A number of people have been speculating recently about the upgradability of the Apple Watch, the idea that Apple may offer upgrades to the internals of the devices. (The Loop, Daring Fireball, iMore, The Mac Observer) But all these articles have focused on the expensive, 18-karat gold Apple Watch Edition. It seems almost obvious that Apple will offer an upgrade path for this watch, which may cost $10,000 or more.

But what about other models? If Apple can offer upgrades for one Apple Watch, there’s no reason why they can’t offer them for all models. The internals will all be the same; only the metal bodies of the watches will be different.

So, what if Apple announced the Apple Watch on March 9, explaining that it will be upgradable, for all models? This would make it much easier to sell a product that many people aren’t sure they need. While the $349 Sport version of the Apple Watch isn’t expensive for a tech gadget, the mid-range model could sell for anything from $500 to $1,000. (Remember, it’s not just the watch you’re buying. Unless you choose the cheap plastic watchband – available on the Apple Watch Sport and the mid-range Apple Watch – you’ll be shelling out extra cash for a leather or stainless steel watchband.)

At these prices, users would be much more comfortable knowing that there is an upgrade path, so that future versions of the internals could replace what they have for a nominal fee. Apple could use this to possibly convince more users to take a chance on the Apple Watch, since many people will see this as an expensive device with a short life.

We’ve grown accustomed to the fact that Apple devices aren’t upgradable. Perhaps the Apple Watch will be the first device that is.

Do you think the Apple Watch is attractive? I’ve set up a poll asking that question.

8 thoughts on “Thoughts On Apple Watch Upgradability

  1. “If Apple can offer upgrades for one Apple Watch, there’s no reason why they can’t offer them for all models.”

    Because you’re paying for the privilege for a product that historically – at a specific price point – has been expected to last for decades, and this is a reasonable compromise for a multi-thousand dollar piece of tech jewelry.

    Upgrades have never been true of cheap(er) watches so don’t hold your breath expecting an upgrade for cheaper models, any more than you can expect internal apple upgrades of Mac minis (or even Mac Pros).

  2. “If Apple can offer upgrades for one Apple Watch, there’s no reason why they can’t offer them for all models.”

    Because you’re paying for the privilege for a product that historically – at a specific price point – has been expected to last for decades, and this is a reasonable compromise for a multi-thousand dollar piece of tech jewelry.

    Upgrades have never been true of cheap(er) watches so don’t hold your breath expecting an upgrade for cheaper models, any more than you can expect internal apple upgrades of Mac minis (or even Mac Pros).

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