Most companies, especially tech players, typically provide employees with their products for free as they can and do use them as part of their work and in their jobs.
When the product isn't provided gratis, the company will offer employees a very healthy discount option if they want to buy the product, and half price typically isn't too shabby a discount. Most companies aren't looking to make a buck on employee sales.
Then there are extraordinary examples where the size of a discount doesn't seem too generous. The Apple Watch employee purchase program somehow falls under that category.
Why? Well, because Apple is offering workers 50 percent off its Watch and Watch Sport, which start at about $350, and just $550 off its high-end Edition, which starts at about $10,000.
Hmmmm. In his email to employees regarding the discount offer, Apple CEO Tim Cook only names the discount on the Watch and Sport models.
"Starting Friday in countries where the watch is available for pre-order, a special Employee Purchase Plan will offer a 50% discount on any Apple Watch or Apple Watch Sport for your personal use," states his email.
Then he notes that AppleWeb, the company's internal portal, has more details - and that's where the $550 discount is mentioned.
Cook thanks "everyone who has worked so hard for years to help this product reach our customers. And thanks in advance to the thousands of retail employees around the world who will start placing it on people's wrists starting Friday."
In addition, Cook mentions that more than 1,000 Watch apps have been sent to Apple for approval.
As media reports relate, in the past, Apple gave most employees a free iPhone when the smartphone first arrived, but then again not so on the iPad.
Now since consumers won't be able to walk into an Apple store and just buy a Watch (they'll have to order online or at the store online) it makes sense to have the product, at least the basic version, on the wrists of staff making those sales.
"I know that many of you have been looking forward to choosing an Apple Watch for yourselves, and we want to make it easy for you," writes Cook in the email.
As another media outlet points out, the employee discounted Watch is meant to be for personal use only and the discount to employees is only good for the first 90 days the Watch is for sale.
"Our products enrich people's lives like no others, and we think Apple Watch is going to delight our customers in ways people can't yet imagine," Cook writes. "We want you to share in that experience right alongside them."
That is, at least, the experience of wearing the Watch and Sport devices. It's hard to fathom that many typical Apple employees can afford the Edition. We're guessing Jony Ive, the designer, got his for free as did most of Apple's executive leadership since they've been wearing them for months.
The wonky employee discount strategy could be a budget issue as Apple has employed 92,600 workers as of September 2014 and 46,200 work in Apple retail stores.
Then again many a media report has hinted the margin markup on the Watch could be one of the biggest in Apple's history. One report noted that the Edition's gold device sported under $1,000 in gold cost.