Apple Watch Edition Risks Global Gold Supply Shortage, Prices

By @ibtimesau on
An Apple Watch is shown making a tap transaction during an Apple event at the Flint Center in Cupertino, California, September 9, 2014. REUTERS/Stephen Lam REUTERS/Stephen Lam

Anticipation for the Apple Watch Edition has many analysts worry for the overall health of the global economy as far as its dependence on the safe haven yellow metal gold is concerned. If reports are true based on Apple’s earlier declaration of one million target sales per month of the Apple Watch, then the company could end up as the sole largest consumer of the world’s gold supply at a single time.

Rob Wensing of Apple Spotlight believes that each Apple Watch Edition carries a gold content possibly ranging from 50 and 75 grams. Using this and Apple’s one million sale projection, TidBITS estimated Apple would need 746 metric tonnes (24 million troy ounces) of gold annually, which could widely disrupt the world’s economy as well as the global prices of gold.

As of the end of 2011, according to portal, gold producers get to mine about 2,500 metric tonnes of the safe haven yellow metal per year. The 746 metric tonnes estimates that Apple will use to produce the Apple Watch Edition would mean the Cupertino tech giant will already use up 30 percent of the world’s annual gold production.

“There are two conclusions we can draw from this scattering of data. The first is that Apple is about to take over the world,” TidBITS’ Josh Centers said. “Not only will it be the most valuable company on the planet, but it will also be bidding for a third of the world’s annual gold supply, wreaking havoc on gold prices and doing who knows what to the global economy.”

Gold is currently hovering at $1,200 per ounce. At this rate, Apple’s gold demands for its Apple Watch alone per year translates to some $28.8 billion. Apple Watch Edition smartwatches feature a casing made from 18 karat gold.

Apple has yet to release official price tags for the Watch Edition, but surely figures will depend on the gold content each model has. Experts have flaunted its price could go from a lowly $1,200 or less, to a whopping $20,000 each unit.

Either way, the Apple Watch Edition will create a significant impact on the world’s gold supply, moreso if Apple, Nathanael Arnold of Tech Cheat Sheet said, “decides to stockpile the metal in anticipation of a price increase.”



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