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A rumor on Tuesday claims Apple's upcoming Apple Watch will be priced at $500 for the mid-tier steel model and up to $5,000 for top-end gold "Edition" versions, a number much higher than previous estimates.
Citing an unnamed source, French website iGen reports Apple is looking to field the Apple Watch at a proposed retail cost of $500 for versions with stainless steel cases and between $4,000 and $5,000 for Apple Watch Edition models. This leaves the Apple Watch Sport version as Apple's lowest-priced option, which the company said would come in at $350.
While the website has been accurate in predicting recent Apple product launches, the claims are unverifiable and should be taken with a grain of salt.
Previous estimates from jewelers and industry analysts pegged high-end Apple Watch Edition models at $1,200. Edition versions are crafted from 18-karat gold, feature sapphire crystal and come with a variety of luxurious strap options. Apple has not commented on whether the entire chassis is solid gold, or merely gold plated, but the company apparently developed a variant of the metal twice as strong as the standard.
Additionally, the source claims Apple is still shooting for a launch on Valentine's Day.
Prior to the Apple Watch announcement, noted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo accurately predicted that the device would come in two sizes and multiple models spread across a wide range of price points. At the time, he speculated the wearable could cost into the "thousands of dollars."
Apple announced its anticipated first foray into the wearables market in September, saying only that pricing would start at $350. Given that the Apple Watch Sport is made from relatively low-cost materials — aluminum, elastomer band and non-sapphire window — many believe it to be the entry-level model.