The larger Apple Watch Series 8 model expected to arrive later this year is rumored to have a titanium case, raising questions about the future of the Apple Watch Edition.
yesterday, BloombergMark Gorman mentioned that the larger new Apple Watch model due to be launched this year will have a case made of “a more durable composition of titanium to make it even more durable.”
Apple has introduced a titanium version of the Apple Watch since the launch of the Apple Watch Series 5 in 2019, under the “Apple Watch Edition” branding. Currently, the Apple Watch version comes with an additional Sport Band, and while it offers a lighter, stronger case than the stainless-steel model, it’s identical to the standard Apple Watch.
Now, a slew of rumors are pointing to an all-new, high-end Apple Watch model launching later this year. The device is expected to feature a larger screen, longer battery life, a durable cover, and an all-new design. Possible names for the device include “Apple Watch Pro” or “Apple Watch Explorer Edition,” and the device has been associated with extreme sports, athletes, hikers, and other users who need a more durable watch.
With a starting price of $749, the current Apple Watch version is $150 more expensive than the stainless-steel Apple Watch. For this year’s new high-end Apple Watch, Gurman has put up a price point “from $900 to $999,” which puts it higher than the Apple Watch version.
Overall, it seems clear that the new, high-end Apple Watch will be more of a departure from the standard Apple Watch models than any previous Apple Watch Edition model in terms of features, size, design, and price. This raises the question of whether Apple will continue to offer the Apple Watch Edition after the launch of the new, high-end Apple Watch later this year.
The Apple Watch Edition has evolved significantly since its launch in 2015. When it was first launched, the Apple Watch Edition line consisted exclusively of Apple Watches with 18k yellow or rose gold cases that cost between $10,000 and $17,000. These products were discontinued just a year later at the launch of the Apple Watch Series 2, which replaced expensive gold cases with more expensive white ceramic models, starting at $1,249.
A gray ceramic variant was added with the Apple Watch Series 3 in 2017. Although Apple Watch Edition models for the Series 4 are not available, Apple has revived the Apple Watch Edition line in white ceramic for the Series 5 along with new models in natural titanium and space black. . With the Series 6, Apple once again discontinued the ceramic Apple Watch, briefly dropping the line again before launching the Apple Watch Edition Series 7 titanium models last year.
Since the Apple Watch Edition has such a turbulent history, it’s by no means certain that Apple will continue to offer the device. With its titanium case the main differentiating feature of the Apple Watch version, it’s hard to see how the variant in the lineup can be justified with an entirely different titanium model placed right above it, not least because the Apple Watch version could steer clear of sales. Upscale new style.
Earlier this month, display analyst Ross Young said the new, high-end Apple Watch is expected to sell in relatively low quantities — just like previous reports of lower sales of Apple Watch Edition models due to their higher price tag. Apple allegedly expects to ship just one million units of the larger Apple Watch in the third quarter of this year, compared to four million models of the 45mm Apple Watch Series 8.
Besides pricing and position in the market, Gurman’s confirmation on a titanium case for this year’s high-end new Apple Watch is the best indication yet that Apple may be planning to effectively fold the existing Apple Watch Edition line into this new product category. This will allow it to continue to offer a titanium casing, but more prominently for the weight and strength advantages of the material amid an emphasis on durability at a higher price point.
Leaving the more expensive titanium version of the Apple Watch in the lineup could have the undesirable effect of unraveling sales of the high-end new model. Likewise, the new Apple Watch could be more attractive to some customers than the Apple Watch version, with meaningful differentiation aspects such as screen size, battery life and design providing more justified reasons for increased selling.
With names like the Apple Watch “Pro” far from closing at this point in the rumor cycle, it’s also worth noting that new high-end Apple Watch models could simply form the Apple Watch Edition line going forward. At least, it looks like the Apple Watch Edition line in its current form may not be around for much longer.