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The real price of the Apple Watch is at least $1,000

The real price of the Apple Watch is at least $1,000

That's a lot of watches for sale.

That's a lot of watches for sale.

Image Credit: Screenshot from Apple video

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At $349, the entry-level Apple Watch sounds almost affordable.

Except that’s just a fraction of what you’ll actually need to spend. The Apple Watch is useless without a recent-model iPhone.

The cheapest you can get an iPhone 6 right now is $649 without a contract. That brings the total to $998, or almost $1,000.

Don’t forget you’ll need a carrier contract for that phone. While you might be able to make do with a $40 prepaid plan from the likes of T-Mobile, it’s more likely you’ll be spending $70 to $100 per month. Let’s be generous and assume you’re not willing to sign a two-year contract, so you’re only planning on a year of prepaid service at $40 a month: That brings your first-year total to $1,478.

You’ll probably need a computer, too. It’s not mandatory, but it will make a lot of things easier, like backing up and syncing your phone’s data, photos, music, and so on. This is one area where you’re not locked in to Apple’s ecosystem — but if you want to connect to your iPhone, you won’t be able to do it with a cheap Chromebook. You’ll need a cheap Windows computer ($400 and up) or a MacBook or MacBook Air ($899 and up).

That’s the downside of Apple’s “ecosystem” approach. Everything fits together very nicely — but in some cases, it means that accessories like the Apple Watch are not standalone products, and depend on you buying lots of other gadgets.

Apple likes it that way. But your wallet may not.

Apple designs and markets consumer electronics, computer software, and personal computers. The company’s best-known hardware products include the Macintosh line of computers, the iPod, the iPhone and the iPad. Apple software includes t… read more »

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