Kirk McElhearn writes (via Thomas Brand) that when you include the cost of buying an iPhone, the actual cost of the Apple Watch is $900 or more:
“That’s $349 for the cheapest Apple Watch – the Sport model – and $549 for the cheapest iPhone (the 5s; I don’t count the 5c, because it’s too limited). This is the unlocked price for the iPhone, of course; you can get one cheaper if you commit to a contract.”
While I generally agree with the sentiment, I have to take issue with his dismissal of the 5C, which I’ve been using as my primary phone for over a year now. I’m an iPhone developer, so if it’s good enough for me it seems adequate for regular users who just want to use the Apple Watch. In fact, the opposite of Kirk’s argument is actually true: pairing an Apple Watch with the 5C makes the phone less limited than before by adding Apple Pay to it.
The 5C unlocked is $450, which drops the total price with watch to $800. And really, it’s a non-issue, since nearly everyone excited about the watch already has an iPhone.
When Apple shipped the first iPod, it required a Mac. Later they supported Windows, and today the iPod Touch is completely untethered and requires no computer. I expect we’ll see a similar transition with the watch becoming increasingly more useful as a standalone device, but there’s no rush to get there.