If You Don’t Own an iPhone, the Apple Watch Will Cost You at Least $900

Apple has made this pretty clear, but in case you missed it, you will need to have an iPhone to use the Apple Watch. If you don’t have one yet, this means the new smartwatch will set you back at least $900. 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.

Iphone 649If you want, say, a stainless steel Apple Watch and an iPhone 6, then you’re looking at $649 for the iPhone (with only 16 GB storage), and nearly as much – $549 – for the cheapest stainless steel model (in 38 mm; add $50 for the larger, 42 mm model). That brings the total to nearly $1,200; not cheap to have a gizmo on your wrist.

Just saying… if you don’t have an iPhone, it’s pretty expensive to buy into this new ecosystem.

9 thoughts on “If You Don’t Own an iPhone, the Apple Watch Will Cost You at Least $900

  1. Please dial back the sensationalism, Kirk. Your very worthwhile product is intelligent commentary, not scare mongering. The number of people who own iPhones is huge. The number of people who will buy an Apple Watch, but don’t already own an iPhone, is likely to be pretty small, at least until the Apple Watch really takes off, if it ever does. The number of people who want to buy a brand new Apple Watch/ iPhone package, but don’t want to have a cell phone service provider, must be near zero. I’ll argue that each of the tiny handful of people planning to buy an Apple Watch plus an unlocked iPhone already has an awareness of some of the extra costs and headaches that cobbling together their own cell service entails. If I’m right, your warning headline on the blog post is directly relevant to exactly zero readers.

    You have so many interesting, valuable, and informative things to say, that I hope you will resist the occasional urges to bombast and sensationalism.

    • I have to disagree. If the Apple Watch is as good as some reviewers say, it will spawn switchers, and that switch will be pretty expensive.

      • Not sure how expensive the switch will really be. Most cell phone buyers update their phones pretty frequently. This is fueled in part by the “free with contract” or “cheap with contract” pricing of phones by the carriers. I doubt people will immediately ditch their Android or Windows phones before the end of their contracts and buy iPhones to get a watch. More likely – when they are considering their next phone upgrade, they will have the Apple Watch as part of their purchase decision – if they want one, they would make their next regularly scheduled phone purchase from Apple.

  2. I fully agree with Vere above, the notion on which both title and article are based is statistically irrelevant. Speaking of which: “I don’t count the 5c, because it’s too limited”. Really? How many millions of this too limited model were sold last year?

    • We don’t know; Apple doesn’t give that kind of figures. But it is quite limited, it only has 8 GB of storage. Which, these days, isn’t very much.

      • Still, to say the cost will be “at least” something in the headline- you are being factually inaccurate in your headline. For many people, an iPhone 5c is more than sufficient for their needs (email, web browsing, messaging, very light “app” usage). This also doesn’t mention the fact that the vast majority of U.S. phone purchasers buy phones on contract and could get a new iPhone for “free” with a contract. It will be quite possible to enter an Apple store (once supply and demand catch up) and walk out with an iPhone and an Apple Watch for $349. Yes, you concede these points within the article, but I’m sorry: the headline is misleading at best, just plain dishonest at worst. Not what I expect from this site to be honest.

  3. While it is true to say a switch would be expensive.
    Any switch away from iPhone to Android in order to get a Moto360 would be similarly situated. Most adults can handle that kind of calculation without the slightly pedantic tone that seems to permeate this post.
    Mr McElhearn again pushes the idea of 8GB as not enough, without saying for whom or under what conditions such an opinion would be warranted.
    With the release of iCloud Drive some of that “too limited” is made moot.
    Space on these mobile computers we call “smartphones” is fungible, web storage, cloud services are mature and relatively inexpensive. In the same way that a large megapixel count on a camera sensor is not a significant indicator of picture quality, the storage built into an 8gb device should not automatically condemn it to derision.

    • Actually, Google is making an iPhone app, or doing something to make one of the Android smart watches compatible with iPhones, so iPhone users won’t have to buy an Android phone. So it’ll be a lot cheaper.

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