In the weeks before Monday’s keynote all people did was talk about what the retail price would be. Almost nobody talked about the design except when using it as a way to talk about price, and neither did anyone really write about features or experience.
And you know what? After the event one thing became clear: aside from the 349$ baseline, the price doesn’t matter.
Has Apple lost its way by creating a 10k product for the rich? Certainly not.
A student buying a Sport model, a business man choosing a fancy Space Black Watch with a steel bracelet or a millionaire buying a rose gold Edition that matches his custom Porche Cayenne: they’re buying the exact same device. The only thing that’s different between a 349$ and a 10.000$ model? The materials it’s made of.
In most people’s vocabularies, design means veneer. It’s interior decorating. It’s the fabric of the curtains and the sofa. But to me, nothing could be further from the meaning of design. Design is the fundamental soul of a man-made creation that ends up expressing itself in successive outer layers of the product or service. The iMac is not just the color or translucence or the shape of the shell. The essence of the iMac is to be the finest possible consumer computer in which each element plays together. – Steve Jobs, Fortune, Jan. 24 2000
Where a more expensive Mac is almost always faster than a cheaper one, where a Ferrari is faster and more expensive than a Lada, here the only difference is material and design.
If you want the best experience, it’ll cost you 349$.
If you are easily influenced by your environment, or feel the need to prove your standing or show your wealth, or if you happen to like a different design, well, Apple offers a solution for that, but they’re not forcing you to pay up for a better experience.
In a way, a gold Watch is a bit like those gold plated HDMI cables. They don’t give you a better quality, but if your willing to spend a lot more for the same experience, who am I to judge you.