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Snazzy steel Apple Watch could cost the same as the iPad Air 2

The sleek and sexy stainless steel version of the Apple Watch will cost a wallet-emptying $500 according to the latest web rumours.

The Apple Watch has been in the news rather a lot recently and not for particularly nice reasons either. Recent reports claim that the Watch’s release date has been pushed back to spring 2015, but fresh rumours are concerned with the predicted price of the device. A trusted source claims that the stainless steel version of the smart timepiece will cost $500 when it goes on sale, which admittedly is the same as the iPad Air 2, but is still less than originally hinted.

Reports from iGen, a French site concerned with all things Apple, claims that the Apple Watch will launch in three flavours, with the sport edition coming in at $349 (£220), the stainless steel version at $500 (£315) and the top of the range at $5000 (£3,146) – yes, that’s a whole extra zero.

Naturally, the final prices may be higher when they’re officially released in the UK (thanks a bunch, import taxes), but nothing official has been announced by Apple. It has been suggested that the iPad Air might make a fair barometer, as the device costs $500 stateside and £400 in the UK, but we’ll have to wait (and wait) to see.

The report also claims that, contrary to the word of Angela Ahrendts, Apple’s Senior VP of Retail and Online Sales, the Apple Watch will launch on Valentine’s Day, rather than being pushed back to spring 2015. Obviously, the word of an Apple executive is the more sensible choice if we’re looking for a reliable source, but it wouldn’t be unprecedented for the company to pull a surprise out of the hat to shake things up a little.

Apple’s choice to sell the upcoming watch retail, rather than wholesale, suggests that we may see a good number of aftermarket, tweaked models on sale too. One vendor of luxury watches told Forbes last week that he intends to carry the watch, but may choose to add a diamond bevel, to make his models more sought after – and we’d imagine that little treasure might cost slightly more than $5000.