Buy an Apple Watch now, get half your money back in 12 months

The resale value for Apple's first smartwatch should make it worth the punt
Apple Watch resale value examined

The Apple Watch's resale value could be as high as 76% of the original price after six months, and 44% after one year.

Read this: The best Apple Watch apps to download

If you pay $349 for the cheapest Apple Watch Sport now, it could still be worth up to $265 in six months time and up to $153 in 12 months.

That's if Apple's first smartwatch continues the Cupertino tradition of Apple gadgets, which retain their value over time much more than Android rivals.

The above estimates are based on the resale value of the 16GB iPhone 6 after six months and the first iPad (16GB) after twelve months. According to the eBay price tracker site bidvoy, which tracks over 135 million auctions, the iPhone 6 is being resold on the shopping site for as much as $585.37 in April, six months after going on sale for $649 at launch.

The first iPad meanwhile launched at a price of $499 in April 2010. After 12 months this dropped to $218 in the US (44%) and after another year, the price was down to $151 (30%).

Cash for a second gen Watch

Apple Watch release date

Of course, the starting price for the Apple Watch is exactly that: a starting price, and many people will consider buying a more expensive model because they want to make a fashion statement or hope that the stainless steel and sapphire glass of the Watch lasts longer than the Sport's less resilient Ion-X glass.

Read this: Celebrities wearing Apple Watch

Still, if the Apple Watch meets these estimates and retains 44% of its value after 12 months, that's a decent amount of money to put towards the second-gen Watch, which could rectify many of the faults and flaws of version one.

Chances are that the Apple Watch 2 will sell for the same price as the original because Apple historically keeps flagship product prices the same or similar each year.

Depending on how many devices Apple produces and which model you've gone for, some first generation Apple Watches may even become collectors' items.

It almost goes without saying that if you've chosen an Apple Watch Edition, there is at least the gold to be recouped if you get bored of your luxury toy after a few months. Apple stores are even weighing Watch Edition returns to make sure none of the gold is missing.

The competition

Android Wear watch prices are being slashed now that the Apple Watch is on sale. But some of the most popular devices have done better than expected at holding their value until now.

According to bidvoy's tracking, the Moto 360, which went on sale for $250 in September 2014, is now selling for $169, six months later. That's 67.6% of its original value in the US and 58.5% in the UK. Bear in mind, Motorola has nowhere near the brand power of Apple and it's likely that smartwatches will mirror the smartphone market where Android has less resale power than Apple with the exception of Samsung Galaxy phones.

That said, if estimates are to be believed Apple sold more smartwatches in a day than Samsung, Motorola, LG and Sony put together in the first six months of Android Wear sales. So in the next few months there will be a lot more Apple Watch devices out in the wild with a percentage potentially heading to eBay.

Smartwatch showdown: Apple Watch v Android Wear

The resale market is skewed at the moment as some online customers face long waits and in-store stock is limited. Early buyers are taking advantage of this with people willing to pay a high price to get a Watch on their wrist quickly. At the moment, various model and band combinations are selling for at least $100 more than Apple's official price for delivery to the US.

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