First, spend a minute on this page, which Apple links to with the text “See every Apple Watch”. This is not new, but given all the discussion of what might be happening, it’s refreshing to scroll through a page of fact.
Second, there’s been a lot of discussion about the price of the highest end Apple Watch Edition, with speculation that the highest price point might hit $20,000. I struggled with this, not because I think the watch market won’t support such a price (it obviously can and does), but because existing high end watches are designed to last a lifetime. As they age, they become collectible and tend to continue to work quite well with a minimum of maintenance.
My concern was that an Apple Watch would have a limited lifespan, much like an iPhone. As the operating system becomes more sophisticated, it depends on a faster, more powerful processor to support that enhanced complexity. Add to that, the Apple Watch sensor package will certainly evolve over time as medical applications and sensor technology evolve. The Apple Watch is married to the technology it showcases.
Apple certainly will have a repair program for the Apple Watch, just as it does for the iPhone. The question for me is, will there be an upgrade path for Apple Watch, especially for a high end model? I can’t take my iPhone 4 and plug in a new set of innards to make it compatible with iOS 8. But might that be a possibility for the Apple Watch?
This sentence, taken from Apple’s Apple Watch Technology page, gives me hope that this is the case:
we found a way to integrate many subsystems into one remarkably compact module, which is then completely encapsulated in resin to protect the electronics from the elements, impact, and wear.
If you look at the picture on that page (which John Gruber pointed out a few days ago in this post), you’ve got to wonder if the upgrade path is a simple part swap out.
We’ll find out soon enough.