Apple (AAPL) Watch to Start at $500: Analyst

Piper Jaffray’s Gene Munster thinks the price of the Apple Watch will cost over $500 at the very least. Apple (AAPL) has already revealed that the entry-level model will start at $349 in the U.S.

“Traditionally Apple comes at a market with a technology approach, this time it is going to be more of a design approach,” he told CNBC on Tuesday. “The bands and the accessories are ultimately the higher margin products here.”

On March 9, Apple is expected to unveil its much anticipated iWatch, including the price tags and launch date. Muster said however, that the launch will be a “small catalyst for the stock.” He points out that “the substance of the stock is going to be about how the iPhone does and we think there is an opportunity over the next few quarters for the iPhone numbers to be significantly higher than the street.”

Apple is a latecomer to a smartwatch space already crowded with names like Samsung, Sony Corp. (SNE), Microsoft (MSFT) and other players. Munster, who remains bearish on iWatch sales projecting 8 million in unit sales this year versus Street’s 14 million forecasts, believes that if Cupertino can successfully brand itself around the designer watch category, the Apple Watch could ultimately be a success story.

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