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New York City’s Fifth Avenue Apple store is a landmark attraction in Manhattan. Its iconic glass cube entrance has drawn tourists from all over the world since opening in 2006. It was even ranked among the most photographed attractions in the city.

Yet the subterranean store and its popular plaza have been closed to the public for almost two years as a new and improved space is prepared. The high-profile location will certainly benefit from an expansion and redesign, but the extended duration of the closure has left excited residents and readers wondering when we can expect to see the highly anticipated store finally reopen.

Discussion of a redesign for Apple Fifth Avenue began at latest in June 2023, when retail SVP Angela Ahrendts told the Associated Press that Apple had plans to redesign 20 existing stores. In May 2023, the New York Post reported that Apple was negotiating terms of a lease to temporarily operate in the former FAO Schwarz toy store located directly behind the glass cube. Apple made its move official in early January 2023 when it announced that its flagship store would temporarily relocate next door to the General Motors Building on January 20th.

In February 2023, Boston Properties, co-owner of the General Motors Building and Apple’s plaza indicated that the store would more than double its underground footprint to 77,000 square feet. A possible architectural model of the space detailed changes in line with Apple’s modern retail strategy and Today at Apple-first design.

After the glass cube was dismantled, our next official status report came in September 2023, when Angela Ahrendts gave an update on Apple’s retail plans during the first keynote held at Steve Jobs Theater:

We’re going to continue to open Apple town squares in the top cities around the world. We’re going to invest in online, and we’re also going to continue to reinvest in our 400 classic locations, including Apple Fifth Avenue in New York City, where we’re opening up the plaza to allow natural sunlight to come in to a greatly expanded space below. And you can see, the glass cube will return when reopened late next year.

Ahrendts’ words onstage lined up with signage at the Fifth Avenue construction site listing October 31st, 2023 as an anticipated competition date. The glass cube did return this past spring, but as October and November passed without an announcement, it became clear that the project had likely fallen behind schedule. At this point, it’s essentially impossible for Apple to reopen the store before the end of the year.

Construction delays are not unprecedented, but for eager Apple fans, the reason for the delay is likely much less interesting than the actual reopening date. As of December 14th, New York City residents passing by the construction site report that much work remains to be done on the plaza surrounding the store. The cube’s Apple logo has not yet been reinstalled and Apple’s temporary store is still in service.

Apple Fifth Avenue on December 14, 2023. (Photo courtesy of Parker Ortolani)

In October, Apple opened a new Beats 1 broadcasting studio in New York City. The studio is located less than three miles from Apple Fifth Avenue at Manhattan’s Union Square. A report published in April 2023 suggested that the redesigned flagship store would be home to its own Beats 1 broadcasting booth. If credible, it’s unclear if the new Manhattan studio represents a change in plans or reflects delays in construction.

Apple also held its October 2023 Special Event in New York City at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. The event began with a video expressing Apple’s fondness for New York City and later included an in-depth update on Apple retail during which Angela Ahrendts announced 60 new Today at Apple sessions and previewed new stores in Bangkok and Paris. It’s easy to imagine that Apple originally intended to announce the reopening of its Fifth Avenue store at this event.

Space in the General Motors building has also been shifting hands. On December 24th, luxury goods company Cartier is moving out of its own temporary store adjacent to Apple’s plaza. A real estate brochure for the space at 767 Fifth Avenue noting availability beginning January 1st, 2023 includes renderings of Apple’s future outdoor space and is worded to imply that the project is already complete.

Opposite Cartier, apparel brand Under Armour has negotiated a deal to open a flagship store after Apple vacates its temporary space. As recently as this past August, the project was still on track to open in 2023. But on December 13th, the Baltimore Business Journal reported that Under Armour’s plans were pushed back to 2023, presumably because Apple is still occupying the space. The company now expects to initially take possession of the storefront during the first half of 2023.

767 Fifth Avenue (via Cushman & Wakefield / Colliers International)

We expect them [Apple] to vacate that premises sometime [in the] first quarter, early second quarter of next year and move into the new premises. But because the project has taken a little bit longer, we had revisions in the lease where we got increases in rent as the redevelopment of the existing store took longer.

Boston Properties’ timeline still provides a few months to finish construction and would allow Apple to avoid messy and cold winter weather spoiling its grand reopening and the debut of a redesigned plaza. Until then, we’ll have to wait patiently. In the meantime, you can check out our handpicked gallery of Apple’s retail holiday displays through the years, including a few scenes from Fifth Avenue. Is anyone in line yet?

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Opinion: Will Future Iphones Lose The 3.5Mm Headphone Socket? What Will Apple Do Instead?

Apple has consistently worked at making the iPhone ever slimmer, and has been willing to make compromises to achieve that, most notably in battery-life. But with the iPhone 6 and 6s, it is close to the limit on how slim an iPhone can be – and the reason for that is the oldest piece of tech in the phone. The iPhone 6/6s is not very much thicker than the diameter of the 3.5mm headphone jack.

The latest iPod touch shows that Apple has a little more room for manoeuvre (above photo Anandtech, below iFixit).

But really not much. If Apple wants to continue the iPhone’s diet, at some point very soon it’s going to have to ditch the 3.5mm headphone socket in favor of an alternative. There are four possible options open to it … 

First, it could replace the standard 3.5mm audio socket with a 2.5mm one. While 3.5mm has been the standard audio socket for mobile devices for a long time, it’s not the only option out there.

Audio kit originally used a quarter-inch socket (6.3mm) – and high-end home kit often still does. That size was too large for mobile devices, so the 3.5mm system was devised to solve the problem, but some manufacturers went further and opted for 2.5mm instead.

The 2.5mm system never really took off, as 3.5mm was small enough for all the mobile devices that existed at the time, but it’s still out there and Apple could adopt it, shaving off a millimeter by doing so.

But all this is old tech. If Apple is going to do anything as radical as drop an industry-standard socket, it’s likely to replace it with something hi-tech.

Which brings us to the second option: drop the audio socket altogether, and co-opt the Lightning socket into performing audio duties as well as power and data. A recent report claimed that Apple plans to do that for the iPhone 7.

That’s possible right now, of course. The Lightning socket can already deliver audio signals, and already does so with a range of audio docks. You can also already buy headphones with Lightning plugs instead of 3.5mm ones (though admittedly the selection available today is rather small).

There are both pros and cons to this approach. On the plus side, Lightning delivers a lossless digital audio signal. This means that headphone manufacturers can include their own digital-to-analog converters, some of which would be of a higher quality than the one built into the iPhone.

Apple’s Digital Audio Module standard also allows headphones to draw power from the iPhone, negating the need to charge the headphones – though at further cost to battery life. Conversely, though, the headphones could supply power to the iPhone, and the protocol supports pass-through power, allowing you to listen to music while the phone is charging.

The big downside, of course, is that you can’t use existing headphones. Because the signal provided by the Lightning port is digital, a simple converter won’t do the trick: the headphones need an on-board DAC to convert to analog sound.

This would normally be a killer argument against the change. Many of us have expensive headphones we love, and we wouldn’t be amused by a new iPhone effectively rendering them obsolete for mobile use.

But there is a potential get-out clause here. It should be technically possible for a DAC in the iPhone to handle the conversion to analog signals, at which point a simple snap-on 3.5mm to Lightning adapter would be all that would be needed. If Apple took that route, existing headphones would continue to work just as they do now.

The third option, and one a sketchy rumor suggests Apple is playing with, is to replace the Lightning socket with a USB-C one.

You could see an argument for this. The USB-C is an extremely powerful standard that could do everything an iOS device needs and more. Audio is just one of its many capabilities, and it wouldn’t be a problem for manufacturers to create USB-C headphones.

Apple has already adopted USB-C for the 12-inch MacBook, and will almost certainly do so for the complete MacBook range next year. There is something to be said for Apple standardizing on a single port across all devices.

But there are three reasons I think it won’t. First, there was enormous controversy when Apple abandoned the old 30-pin connector in favor of Lightning. Many people were vocal in their objection to Apple making old docks and audio kit effectively obsolete – or at least both fiddly and ugly by the time you added an adapter. It was a change that had to be made eventually, but Apple certainly won’t be in a hurry to make a second change so relatively soon after the first.

Second, while USB-C is incredibly powerful, an iPhone doesn’t need most of those capabilities. No-one is going to be hooking up an iPhone to a Thunderbolt display, and an iPhone doesn’t have the computing power to do half of it anyway.

But the third reason is the real convincer. If creating ever slimmer iPhones is Apple’s reason to abandon the 3.5mm socket, switching to USB-C wouldn’t help much. Product designer Josh Flowers helpfully created this graphic to show the problem: the USB-C socket is pretty much the same height as the 3.5mm socket.

So for all these reasons, I think we can rule this one out.

Which leaves one final possibility: simply remove the headphone socket and point people to wireless headphones as the future.

This would, of course, bring us right back to the ‘existing headphones’ objection. If someone has spent $400-500 and up on a pair of expensive headphones, they are not going to be impressed by Apple providing no means to connect them to an iPhone. You could continue to use them with a Bluetooth headphone adapter, but that’s a very clunky solution.

I’ve often observed that Apple has no problem making ruthless decisions when it comes to what it considers legacy technology. Floppy drives. Optical drives. Upgradable laptops. Most ports, in the case of the 12-inch MacBook. Apple consistently does this earlier than almost everyone else.

But while I’m sure wired headphones will, within a few years, seem as quaint as loading a DVD into a laptop to watch a movie, I don’t think we’re there yet – even for Apple.

So, what will Apple do? My money’s on the Lightning route, with an on-board DAC to maintain compatibility with existing headphones. I think that could realistically happen by the iPhone 7, and I’d put good money on it happening no later than the iPhone 8.

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The Inventor Of The Rubik’s Cube Doesn’t Get Why It’s So Popular

Hope Reese is a writer and editor in Budapest, Hungary. Her writing has appeared in the Atlantic, The Boston Globe, The Chicago Tribune, Playboy, Vox, and other publications. This story originally featured on Undark.

In the spring of 1974, a young Hungarian architect named Ernő Rubik became obsessed with finding a way to model three-dimensional movement to his students. After spending months tinkering with blocks of cubes—made from wood and paper, held by rubber bands, glue, and paper clips—he finally created something he called the “Bűvös kocka,” or Magic Cube.

The invention, eventually renamed the Rubik’s Cube, would become the most popular puzzle toy in the world, with more than 350 million sold as of 2023. The cube also inspired numerous artworks and films, and spawned a competitive sport called speedcubing that fills arenas with teenagers racing to complete the puzzle in the shortest amount of time.

But at the start, no one was more stunned about the runaway success of the cube than its creator, as he explains in his new book, Cubed: The Puzzle of Us All. The impact of the cube has been “much more interesting than the cube itself,” Rubik says in an interview with Undark. The book, he adds, is about trying to understand its popularity and “why people love it.”

At first glance, the cube seems deceptively simple, featuring nine colored squares on each side. In its starting state, each side has a uniform color—red, green, yellow, orange, blue, or white. To solve the puzzle, you must twist the cubes so that eventually each side returns to its original color: The challenge is the astounding number of potential variations—more than 43 quintillion of them.

To master the cube, you must learn a sequence of movements that can be performed in successive order—the subject of several best-selling books as well as online tutorials. And the evolution of the cube—from a three-by-three-by-three shape to larger four-by-four-by-four and five-by-five-by-five ones—offers different complicated mathematical principles of group theory.

Rubik initially believed the cube would appeal to those with science, math, or engineering backgrounds—and was shocked when “it found its way to people whom nobody would ever have thought might be attracted to it,” he writes.

In March 1981, the Cube landed on the cover of Scientific American, where Pulitzer-Prize winning scientist Douglas Hofstadter, author of Gödel, Escher, Bach (1979), called it “one of the most amazing things ever invented for teaching mathematical ideas.”

The cube struck Hofstadter as “paradoxical,” he says in a phone interview, since it can be used as a tool to teach group theory, or the symmetries of objects. “Any twist of any face (clockwise 90 degrees, counterclockwise 90 degrees, or 180 degrees) is a group element, and so are arbitrary sequences of such twists,” he later explained by email.

Sitting on the patio of his home in the hills of Budapest, Rubik, now 76, fiddled with a cube as he recalled its “discovery” and accidental success. (He prefers to use “discovered,” rather than “invented”—as if the existence of the object was somehow pre-ordained).

After creating the cube, he explained, he was faced with a second challenge: how to solve it. At the time, he had no idea if his cube could even be put back into place, let alone how fast—and it took him a full month to solve his own puzzle. It was fiendishly difficult “to find your way back, or to find your target—just to solve it as a combinatorical problem,” he says. “And I was without any background for that, because I was the first who tried.”

Rubik describes “Cubed,” as the product of a hermit who is “coming out of the shadows.” He refers to himself as a “concrete and intuitive thinker” and an amateur inventor, but like his invention, he defies categorization. His resume includes stints as a professor, architect, designer, editor and, now, writer. Rubik takes pride in his ability to self-teach, and bristles at the idea that those in authority are in the best position to impart knowledge.

His application to the Hungarian Patent Office in 1975 called the cube a “spatial logic toy.” At the time, Hungary was behind the Iron Curtain—it would remain a communist-controlled Eastern bloc state until 1989—and as Rubik writes, the country had “no particular affinity for toy production.”

The cube’s success appeared to be short-lived: In 1982, The New York Times declared it had “become passe,” and labeled it a “fad”, an assertion that would not stand the test of time. “The cube was far too eternal, far too amazing a structure, for people to lose interest in it,” Hofstadter says. And while interest in the cube dropped, it has recently picked up again—as director Sue Kim illustrates in her new documentary The Speed Cubers.

As a “cubing mom,” Kim began shuttling her son to cubing competitions—and became fascinated with the global popularity of the puzzle. Kim documents the way kids are mastering an analog tool using tools of the digital age—YouTube tutorials, articles, and more—and creating online communities around their love of the cube. “I actually think it’s found a new niche in popular culture because of its immersion within the digital landscape,” Kim says via video chat.

Hofstadter has heard of speedcubers, and thinks it’s fitting that the object has endured. “It’s absolutely deserved,” he says. “It’s a miraculous object, marvelous invention, a beautiful invention, a deep invention.”

For all of its appeal to mathematical skill and logic, the broad popularity of the cube may be rooted in the nearly limitless number of possible solutions. “That is one of its most mysterious qualities,” Rubik writes. “The end turns into new beginnings.”

Apple Retail Will Be The Last Tech Stores Standing (And That’S Ok)

Apple Retail Will Be the Last Tech Stores Standing (And That’s OK)

When I think back over the years, I can remember countless technology-focused brick-and-mortar stores I enjoyed shopping at. From CompUSA to Circuit City to the ridiculous number of other stores that came and went, there was a time when a large portion of my life was spent shopping in the brick-and-mortar.[Image credit: Trey Ratcliff]

Nowadays, there’s only one brick-and-mortar electronics store I visit on a regular basis: the Apple Store. As for Best Buy? Well, I see no reason to go there, and judging by the company’s recent disappointing quarters, it appears many folks agree.

But I’ll take it one step further. At some point in the next several years, Best Buy will fail just as the many companies that came before it have. And Apple Stores will be the only electronics store left standing.

Now, I’m sure there are some of you who will say that retailers like Best Buy need to exist. You might reason that many folks still need to head to retail stores to research products or get accessories when in a pinch. But with Amazon and others shipping products to homes in just a day and the ability to return those products without any financial recourse, I’m not so sure I agree with that logic.

Others might question why I believe Apple Stores will succeed where other companies are destined to fail. It’s simple: Apple’s retail stores offer a different, more-rewarding experience.

Whenever you go to an Apple Store, you’re immediately welcomed to a different environment. You have the ability to surf the Web, check your e-mail, or quickly charge your iPhone without worry of the salespeople stopping you. And if at that point you decide to walk out the door without even considering buying something, that’s just fine.

[aquote]Apple’s stores are about an experience – not just shopping[/aquote]

What’s more, the stores double as technical support locations, educational areas for those who are new to Apple products, and even fun places to bring the kids to try out the iPod Touch. Apple’s stores are about an experience — not just shopping.

Beyond that, I think Apple’s success will only further the company’s chances of succeeding in the brick-and-mortar. Consumers want to use the firm’s products, and they want to try them out as soon as they’re announced. There’s also a camaraderie that develops each year when consumers wait in line for hours just to be among the first people to have an iPhone or iPad.

Apple’s stores are, well, special.

So, as the chorus of critics who say that brick-and-mortar electronics stores will eventually die grows louder, it’s important to point out that Apple won’t be one of the victims.

You cay say what you want about Apple and what its current success represents to the industry, but if there’s one thing you can’t say about the iPhone maker, it’s that it doesn’t understand retail. As the last few years have shown, Apple understands it quite well. And the company will for the foreseeable future.

Will Apple Add Airplay 2 To Airport Express?

UPDATE: Apple released a firmware update on August 28 that added AirPlay 2 support!

AirPlay 2 has been out for a few months now and it has generally been well received, but there’s one mystery left for Apple’s upgraded audio streaming feature: will AirPlay 2 support come to the AirPort Express? There’s both reason to be hopeful and skeptical…

Surely it won’t happen

Apple’s AirPort Express router is unique in that it features an analog/optical audio jack that connects to standard speakers for adding AirPlay. But it’s classic peer-to-peer AirPlay and not the new and improved AirPlay 2 that works with multi-room playback from iOS and reduces streaming latency. You can stream audio from your iPhone to one AirPort Express-connected speaker, but expect latency and streaming to be limited to one speaker at a time.

The problem with expecting Apple to upgrade the AirPort Express with AirPlay 2 is that Apple discontinued the AirPort Express earlier this year, sold out of inventory recently, and totally delisted the product on its online store as of this week. Even Apple’s refurbished inventory for $49 units has been depleted, although you can still find refurbished stock from Best Buy for $75 if still you’re in the market.

Apple will still provide security updates as needed for the AirPort Express for a few years after exiting the router business, but should we really expect a compelling consumer feature like AirPlay 2 to be added now that the AirPort line has been discontinued?

Even the AirPort Utility app for iOS hasn’t been supported that well — its last app update was in 2014 for iOS 8 support and it’s not optimized for the iPhone X display size. As useful as adding AirPlay 2 to any stereo system would be with AirPort Express, it would be surprising to see AirPort Express actually updated with the feature.

The case for optimism

But the whole reason I bring this up is that there’s a non-zero chance that AirPort Express could be updated with AirPlay 2 support. When adding a new HomeKit device in the Home app on iOS 12 beta without a set up code, any nearby AirPort Express will show up and try to join.

The suggestion is that Apple is working on a firmware update for AirPort Express (perhaps planned for iOS 12’s release next month) that will make it work with AirPlay 2 just like select Sonos speakers and other options on the market.

There’s no such firmware update yet, but the message is clear in the dialog box on iOS 12 beta: AirPort Express Update Available: To use AirPort Express with Home and AirPlay, an update using AirPort Utility is required.

This behavior has been present through iOS 12 beta versions and is still included in this week’s developer beta 7 and beta 8 releases. During the iOS 11.4 beta cycle, it also made an appearance for a few releases, but the behavior ultimately didn’t ship in the release that actually introduced AirPlay 2.

Despite AirPort Express being a discontinued and now sold out product, the fact that this unreleased firmware update continues to be mentioned in current betas makes me more optimistic that we could see AirPlay 2 actually come to AirPort Express.

If that happens, speakers connected to AirPort Express can play audio alongside HomePod and other AirPlay 2 speakers in perfect harmony, and a lot of AirPort Express customers will have one last gift from Apple before support totally winds down.

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What Will The Apple Watch Edition Cost? Jewelry And Watch People Weigh In

When we first started talking about the Apple Watch, some predicted that the highest-end model—the 18k gold Edition—could retail for more than $1,000. Now that seems almost quaint. Apple-focused blogs such as Daring Fireball now regularly bandy about numbers like $10,000—and sometimes far more.

The jewelry and watch sources I spoke with all think a price tag of $6,000 or more is reasonable, maybe even probable. “If it’s under $5,000, it will shock me,” says Michael Pucci, founder of the Los Angeles–based Abbiamo Group, marketing and sales consultants for jewelry and watches. He thinks the price tag will fall between $6,000 and $10,000, but not likely much more than that.

The 18k gold is, of course, the watch’s most valuable component. While it’s difficult to judge gold content from photos—given questions about thickness, etc.—industry experts believe the watch and accompanying case will use about 1 ounce of gold (currently trading for around $1,200).

The Apple Watch Edition.

Yet, you can’t just value the gold by weight, argues Torry Hoover, president of Hoover & Strong, the metals refiner.

“These can’t be mass-produced,” he says. “You can machine parts of it, but it will take a fair amount to make a case. There is still a lot of handwork that has to be done with it.”

That’s because gold’s properties sometimes make the metal ill-suited for assembly lines, says Jason Wilbur, a Los Angeles–based watch designer.

“We all know how soft gold is. It’s tricky. It moves around a little more than other metals. You have a lot of sharp edges and soft materials and little connection points, so you can’t just use manufacturing tools. The lugs may end up snapping off. One little pockmark on this thing will show up. You can’t just use the same tools as the other models and throw some gold in there, and there is your watch.”

Apple claims it’s using a company-developed metal that’s “up to twice as hard as standard gold.” Of course, saying “up to” gives it a lot of leeway, and no one I spoke to thinks it will introduce anything truly radical.

“There are always different alloys, but I think that’s more marketing than anything else,” says Morris Chabbott, managing director of New York City–based Morét Time. “I’ve been in the gold business, and there are many different things you can do with it. Apple is about making the best technology, so if they are making gold they may want a little edge to it.”

Given all the extras involved—including promotion costs and Apple’s traditional 40 percent margin—most guessed the watch will likely wholesale for around $3,000–$4,000. Then comes the thornier question of how much it will retail for.

Apple’s hiring of Patrick Pruniaux, former sales director at TAG Heuer, signals it wants to sell the high-end watch sold at the standard places that sell high-end watches—perhaps department stores like Saks Fifth Avenue and Bergdorf Goodman.

But the company is known for offering retailers (including its own) meager margins. Stores make a scant 3 percent on each iPad, according to ZDNet. High-end retailers may like the Apple Watch as a traffic builder. But they may draw the line at 3 percent.

“This could bring a new consumer to department stores,” says Pucci. “But I think they will also tell them: ‘Look we love you guys, but we have to make at least 35 to 40 percent.’ ”

So what category does this fall into? Apple being Apple, retailers may give it some leeway—to a point.

“Apple’s brand is formidable,” says Block. “But so is Rolex’s, so is Patek Philippe’s. Some of the other brands are just as formidable in this category. It hasn’t established its value yet in gold.” (He believes the Apple Watch will be bigger in overseas markets such China and South America than it will be in the United States.)

Apple could sell the watch at its own high-end boutiques—it is reportedly opening a store on Madison Avenue in New York City, on a retail strip surrounded by jewelry stores. In addition, according to The New Yorker, Apple design head Jonathan Ive and store chief Angela Ahrendts—who formerly ran Burberry—are remodeling the standard stores so they “become a more natural setting for vitrines filled with gold.” (Among the rumored changes: Salespeople will wear shirts with collars.) Ive talks about overhearing one conversation: “I’m not going to buy a watch if I can’t stand on carpet.”

So it’s safe to say Apple stores will now feature nice carpets. That costs money. So does the extra security needed for high-end items. Carrying a gold watch is “totally antithetical to their current retail model,” says John Kennedy, president of the Jewelers’ Security Alliance. “You can’t have people touching it. You can’t have it out on counters. You have the same problems that retail jewelers have, in terms of distraction thefts, in terms of switching, in terms of grab and runs.”

Then there are the X factors. Wilbur believes that Apple will leverage the “psychology of luxury brands.”

“No one wants an Hublot for $3,000. They want it for $20,000 or $30,000. A lot of people will only want this if it’s $10,000 or more.”

It is difficult to find a gold watch for less than $10,000—many retail for double that. Of course, Swiss manufacturers will argue this is an Apple-to-Rolex comparison, as their products’ intricate craftsmanship justifies that high price tag. “What makes a high-end watch?” asks Hoover. “It’s the Swiss movements, the inner workings. That’s why collectors buy them. This has none of that. It’s inserting a high-end case on a piece of electronics.” (That said, not all consumers will realize that—or care.)

Then there’s the question of value. As the watch industry likes to remind people, its products are built to last generations. The Apple Watch might turn obsolete by next week. The high-end model might allow users to upgrade by making the “guts” removable, which would partly solve the problem, but not totally. “The Watch will become thinner,” says tech site Venture Beat. “It may incorporate a better battery. It might get a camera.… After a couple of years of ownership the first-generation 18-karat gold Apple Watch will be outdated beyond anything a firmware update can fix.”

This is also still pretty new ground for the company, and tech in general. “As far as I’m aware, this is the first technology product that is made out of precious metal besides the Vertu phone,” says Chabbot. “I think it will fit into a price point where it’s accessible luxury.”

I agree, and predict a low price point—possibly $5,999. High margins and low turnover are the luxury store business model. Not Apple’s. If the company makes a thousand dollars or more on each high-end watch, that’s far better than what it takes home on a $700 iPhone.

Plus, it can always go higher. If Apple establishes itself as a luxury brand, it could produce watches sprinkled with diamonds, or introduce limited-edition designs, or do co-ventures with established names.

The company is still dipping its toe in the water here. Whatever number the first Edition retails for, it may not be the ceiling, but the floor.

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