The Apple Watch has quickly become one of the most popular smartwatches on the market. With its sleek design, health and fitness tracking capabilities, connectivity features, and integration with the Apple ecosystem, it appeals to a wide range of consumers.
But before you decide to buy an Apple Watch, it’s important to understand the price range across models so you can find the right match for your budget.
This article provides a comprehensive overview of Apple Watch pricing. We’ll break down the cost factors between models, examine special editions, and provide tips for finding deals. Read on for the complete rundown on how much an Apple Watch costs so you can make an informed buying decision.
- Retail prices range from $199 to $1,499 depending on the model.
- Options like size, connectivity, materials, and bands affect cost.
- Special collaborations with luxury brands can have premium pricing.
- Ownership costs go beyond the watch itself with extras like cellular service and repairs.
- Buying pre-owned and finding sales allows you to pay under retail price.
How Much Does an Apple Watch Cost?
Apple currently offers three main smartwatch models: the Series 3, SE, and Series 6. Here’s a quick look at the starting retail prices for each:
- Apple Watch Series 3: $199 for 38mm, $229 for 42mm
- Apple Watch SE: $279 for 40mm, $309 for 44mm
- Apple Watch Series 6: $399 for 40mm, $429 for 44mm
TechRadar.com lists the following prices:
- Apple Watch SE: Starting at $249 /£259/ AU$399
- Apple Watch Series 8: Starting at $399/£419/AU$629 for a GPS-only model and $499/£529/AU$749 for the cellular model. The 45mm model starts from $429/£449/AU$679, with the cellular model costing $529/£549/AU$779.
- Apple Watch Series 6: Starting at $399/£379 for the GPS-only model
- Apple Watch Ultra 2: Starting at $799(£849, AU$1,299)
PCMag.com has similar prices for Apple Watch:
- Apple Watch SE: Starting at $189.00 (List Price $249)
- Apple Watch Series 8: Starting at $399 (£419, AU$629)
- Apple Watch Ultra 2: Starting at $799 (£849, AU$1,299)
According to Forbes.com, the cost of making an Apple Watch Sport is $83.70, but the price for consumers can range from $349 to $17,000 depending on the model.
The Series 6 is the newest model and most advanced, packed with features like an always-on display, ECG app, blood oxygen sensor, and the latest motion sensors.
It’s followed by the mid-range SE, which also has the always-on display and latest motion sensors, but lacks ECG and blood oxygen. The Series 3 is the most affordable model but lacks some of the newer features.
All models run on watchOS and work with iPhone 6s or later. Important functionality features like activity tracking, heart rate monitoring, GPS, water resistance rating, and Apple Pay are standard. The main differences come down to display, design, and select health sensors.
Apple Watch Series 9 Pricing
In addition to the models discussed earlier, Apple recently released the Apple Watch Series 9 in September 2022. Here are the key details on pricing for the latest model:
- Starts at $399 for the 41mm aluminum GPS model.
- $429 for the 45mm aluminum GPS model.
- Adding cellular connectivity costs $100 more for each size.
- Stainless steel models start at $699 and go up to $749 for titanium.
- Features a new temperature sensor and updated motion sensors.
- Battery life extended to 36 hours on a single charge.
- Overall minor improvements over Series 8 with similar core capabilities.
While the Series 9 costs the same as the Series 8 starting price, the extended battery life and temperature sensor add more health tracking value for athletes and fitness enthusiasts. It represents an iterative update that’s available at a similar price point as recent models.
Factors That Influence Apple Watch Pricing
Several variables account for the differences in Apple Watch pricing between models:
- Size: The 40mm and 44mm case sizes usually have a $30 price difference. The smaller 38mm Series 3 is the cheapest.
- Connectivity: Adding cellular connectivity costs around $100 more for any model. The GPS model connects through your iPhone.
- Materials: The aluminum case is standard, but upgrades to stainless steel or titanium raise the price.
- Features: Advanced sensors (ECG and blood oxygen) and the always-on display drive the price up on the Series 6 and SE.
- Bands: The detachable bands have a wide price range depending on the material. Upgrading to premium bands increases cost.
In addition to model and specs, limited special editions can demand an even higher price tag.
Special Editions and Collaborations
In some cases, Apple partners with luxury brands to create unique Apple Watch editions that cost considerably more than the standard versions.
For example, the Apple Watch Hermès collection with premium leather bands and exclusive watch faces starts at $1,249 for stainless steel and $1,499 for the titanium model.
Apple has also offered pricier collaborations with designers like Nike Sport Bands and the Red collection. Limited editions generally provide more premium materials and exclusive customizations.
The Costs of Apple Watch Ownership
While the Apple Watch price depends on the model, your costs don’t stop after that initial purchase. Here are some other expenses to factor in for the complete ownership experience:
- Extra bands: Most buyers like to switch up their band style, which start at $49 each.
- Charging accessories: The magnetic charging cable costs $29, with other stands and docks available.
- Cellular service: Using the cellular feature requires adding the Watch to your wireless plan for around $10 monthly.
- Repairs: Out of warranty service for a damaged or malfunctioning Apple Watch starts around $199.
- AppleCare+: This extended warranty for extra coverage costs $79 for two years.
Considering these potential extra costs allows you to develop a realistic budget as an Apple Watch owner.
Where to Find Apple Watch Deals
The full retail price for an Apple Watch is $199 to $1,499, depending on the model. But you don’t necessarily have to pay that much with the right shopping strategy. Here are some tips for finding savings:
- Check Apple’s website for any current sales or discounts. They occasionally offer $50 off select models.
- Look for holiday sales around Black Friday and Cyber Monday for the best deals all year. Savings can reach $100 or more.
- See if your cell provider has promotions, especially when adding your watch to a service plan.
- Buy refurbished directly from Apple to save 15% or more off retail price.
- Go with a pre-owned Apple Watch from reputable used sellers like Gazelle and Decluttr.
- Consider an older generation like the Series 4 or 5 for lower prices while still getting great features.
With the right timing and retailer, you could potentially save big on an Apple Watch compared to the MSRP.
Buying Pre-Owned or Refurbished Can Be a Smart Option
For even more significant savings on an Apple Watch, going with a used or refurbished model is a smart money move. Here are some tips for shopping pre-owned:
- Stick to trusted sellers like Apple, Gazelle, or Decluttr for certified refurbished watches to get quality assurance.
- Review the condition details carefully for cosmetic flaws like scratches on the case or band.
- Confirm features like model, size, and connectivity match the product description.
- Look for a return policy in case you need to send it back after inspecting it.
- Search for deals on an older generation in “good” condition to maximize value.
While pre-owned lacks the new product experience, you could pay hundreds less for an Apple Watch that functions like new.
So while the Apple Watch isn’t cheap, some savvy shopping can help you save money while still getting to enjoy all the great features of an Apple smartwatch. Considering factors like budget, desired features, and style preferences will ensure you select the right model at the best possible price.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is the Apple Watch worth buying?
The Apple Watch is one of the best and most popular smartwatches available today. For most iPhone users, the seamless integration with iOS and the Apple ecosystem makes it a worthwhile investment.
Pros of buying an Apple Watch:
- Sleek, customizable design with advanced OLED display
- Activity and fitness tracking features motivate you to stay active and healthy
- Latest health sensors like ECG and blood oxygen provide meaningful data
- Convenient access to notifications and apps on the go without glancing at your phone
- Apple Pay and other smart features improve the day-to-day experience
- Great selection of bands to fit different styles and occasions
Potential cons to consider:
- High price compared to basic fitness trackers
- Frequent software updates can require regular setup adjustments
- Limited battery life means daily charging for most users
- Not compatible with Android devices
- Some features require iPhone connection to use
The Apple Watch delivers substantial utility and seamless integration for iPhone owners making it a worthwhile investment for many buyers. But it also has limitations to factor into your decision.
What is the disadvantage of the Apple Watch?
While the Apple Watch has many excellent features, there are some potential disadvantages to consider before purchasing:
- Battery life is limited at around 18 hours, requiring daily charging for most users. Frequent use drains the battery more quickly.
- Display can be difficult to read in very bright sunlight compared to basic watches.
- The cost is higher than many competing smartwatches and fitness trackers.
- Durability is not as high as traditional watches. The glass face is prone to cracking and water resistance wears down over time.
- Compatibility only works optimally with iOS devices. Many features are unavailable for Android users.
- Learning curve to navigate the interface, customize settings, and adjust to notifications on your wrist.
- Can be distracting with constant alerts and app access. Some users disable notifications for better focus.
- Limited water resistance means you can’t swim or shower with the Apple Watch on.