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Ming-Chi Kuo and The Legend of the $3,000 iWatch

Mike Wehner, @MikeWehner
April 11, 2014
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Along with the iPhone predictions I covered yesterday from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo -- who, despite being wrong about new Apple products many times, is described by various outlets as "spot on" and "pretty reliable" -- we were graced with a supposed bit of insider info on Apple's still mythical iWatch.

Along with Kuo's theory that there will be two different sizes of the wearable, the analyst makes a downright shocking claim that Apple's watch will be priced as high as "several thousand US dollars." As usual, this sketchy claim was treated as all but confirmation that Tim Cook is indeed poised to drop a wrist-worn device as expensive as a used car on the world, and the headlines flowed forth.

"Here's how much the iWatch will cost," "The most accurate Apple analyst in the world is predicting iWatches will cost several thousand dollars," and "Apple's iWatch could cost over $1,000" are just a few choice examples, but there are plenty more. Perhaps I wake up on a different frequency than the rest of humanity, but I would sooner believe that Apple is planning to purchase a national coffee chain than give any credit to a rumor that the company's unannounced wearable is priced as high as the Mac Pro.

Do you know who would buy a $3,000 iWatch? Nobody. Ok, that's probably not true; I imagine there are a half dozen executives growing tired of their Rolexes, but that's never been Apple's market. Apple makes premium products, and the iPad, iPhone, and Mac are often pricier than the competition, but they're priced to be desirable. Apple isn't in the business of cheap products, and they're also not going to try to compete with Louis Vuitton.

Kuo adds a little bit of flavor to the iWatch rumors by adding that the device itself will have a "fashionable appearance" and "we predict the iWatch casing and band will come in various materials." Talk about painting with broad strokes. By adding obscure, meaningless details like this, Kuo's overall iWatch prediction list looks a little bit better, even after we discover that the most critical bullet point -- the price -- was a total miss.

So if and when the iWatch is announced, and we all discover it's priced in the ballpark of Apple's other mobile gadgets, will this be counted as a massive error by Kuo? Of course not. The world will brush it off and the next time the analyst comes calling with a wild guess, he will still be described as "almost always correct."

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