Monday, 02 March 2015 12:22

Vogue Magazine confirms Apple Watch Sport model US$349

Click image to enlarge - Vogue Magazine via 9to5Mac Click image to enlarge - Vogue Magazine via 9to5Mac

There has been debate over whether the regular or Sport version of the Apple Watch would retail for US$349, and now we know.

When Apple announced three different versions of the Apple Watch, in Sport, Regular and Edition models, there was some confusion as to whether or not the Sport version, with its ion-strengthened glass, would be the $349 model.

This seemed to make sense because both the regular and 18k-gold versions come with a sapphire protected display, something that’s important especially seeing as the curved display of the Samsung Gear S watch I’m testing already has an annoying scratch on it.

Given the higher cost of a sapphire protected display, it made sense that the Sport version would be the cheapest, yet there has been debate online as to whether this would be the case, or not.

Now we know for certain thanks to the latest edition of Vogue Magazine, which lists the Apple Watch Sport with 38mm Space Grey aluminium case and black band for US$349.

This news comes courtesy of 9to5Mac, which has a double-page spread that I’ve taken the above image from that you can see here. The linked article also has another page of review text on the Watch, which if you enlarge the image can be read. 

Vogue’s reviewer seems to love the Apple Watch, suggesting it is a must-have device that virtually every iPhone owner will soon want, whether they’re current watch wearers or not, and whether they’re luxury watch owners, or not.

However, Vogue's reviewer wishes the watch had a camera. I've used watch-based cameras before, and they have all sucked, so it's definitely no great loss whatsoever. 

The Apple Watch can be used as a remote screen for the camera anyway, just as is the case on an Android Wear watch and paired Android smartphone, which more than does the job and is far more versatile than trying to get your wrist in the right spot to take a watch camera photo. 

9to5Mac seems to be hedging its bets on whether the Sport watch really is $349, stating “However, it is unclear whether the magazine is simply guessing the price to be $349 (extrapolating from the ‘from $349′ announced back in September), so it shouldn’t be fully trusted just yet.”

That said, given Vogue has clearly been given an Apple Watch directly from Apple for the purposes of review, pre-sales excitement building and fashion branding by being reviewed in Vogue Magazine, it’s hard to imagine Vogue has gotten it wrong - Apple surely would have simply confirmed to Vogue what the price is.

Why Apple would have to be coy at this point or would have a need to make Vogue wrong by letting it speculate and guess wrongly, if that were to be the case, isn't clear - and just does not seem likely. 

So, while 9to5Mac still has its doubts, it seems crystal clear to me that the ion-strengthen glass Sport version of the Apple Watch is the most affordable model, with all to be 100% confirmed by 9 March 2015 at Apple’s ‘Spring Forward’ launch - which for Australians kicks off at the usual 4am start time on the next day due to time zone differences - 10 March 2015.

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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