Here's why there are so many different versions of the Apple Watch

When the Apple Watch ships in April, it will be available in different sizes, styles, and colours. There’s a rose gold edition, brightly-coloured sports straps, and stainless steel options to choose from, just to name a few.

That level of variety is a bit unusual when it comes to smartwatches. Many companies, including Motorola and Samsung for instance, may offer their watches in different sizes or maybe a few different colours. But it’s rare to see customisation beyond that.

There’s a reason Apple chose to offer so many choices, according to The New Yorker’s recent profile of Apple’s design chief Jony Ive. It boils down to one basic idea: people don’t like to wear the same thing as someone else.

Here’s what The New Yorker’s Ian Parker wrote:

Ive’s position was that people were “O.K., or O.K. to a degree,” with carrying a phone that is identical to hundreds of millions of others, but they would not accept this in something that’s worn. The question, then, was “How do we create a huge range of products and still have a clear and singular opinion?”

Apple announced several different models of its watch during its unveiling in September, but Ive hinted that there may be more variations in the works.

“We’ve not stopped,” he said to Parker when discussing the different types of materials and designs Apple offers for its watch.

The base model will start at $US350, but some such as well-connected blogger John Gruber of Daring Fireball have speculated that high-end models could cost thousands of dollars. Smartwatches currently being made by other tech companies usually cost anywhere between $US150-$US300.

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