Last April I was worried the $10,000+ Apple Watch Edition would alienate Apple’s core customers. Separating technology enthusiasts and everyday people from a company that once prided itself upon making “the computer for the rest of us.”
I wasn’t alone.
Estimates “Apple Watch revenue will be dominated by the gold Edition units” were overly optimistic. Just 10 months after its release, Apple began removing mention of the Apple Watch Edition from its retail stores and website.
At a time when Apple has just launched its cheapest ever iPhone, and when Phil Schiller caused a few raised eyebrows over what some interpreted as an elitist remark, Apple seems to be aiming for a more egalitarian image where the Apple Watch is concerned.
Apple has quietly revamped the Apple Watch section of its website, rendering the Edition almost invisible unless you specifically go looking for it. In addition, we’re hearing reports that Apple’s most expensive Watch is also being removed from some retail store displays …
It doesn’t look like 18K gold has a bright future at Apple. That is why I was surprised to hear of a new Apple Watch Edition announced at Apple’s September 7th Special Event.
John Gruber tells us more:
Gold is out. Taking its place as the Series 2 Apple Watch Edition is a white ceramic model. In person it is gorgeous, and feels great. The price is a non-ludicrous $12491299 (3842 mm). It seems pretty clear that everyone who looked at the original Edition prices ($10,000–20,000) and said “No one is going to buy those” was proven correct. This $1,000–1,500 range feels about right for the high-end Apple Watches.
Even though I was never an Apple Watch Edition customer, I am glad to hear gold is out and the price has returned to pre-ludicrous levels. As a flagship product, the new Apple Watch Edition in ceramic feels much more like an forward-facing Apple product than the anachronous 18K gold models that proceeded it. With four times the hardness of stainless steel and virtually scratch proof, ceramic is the kind of fashion statement I hope makes its way into future Apple products.
I also agree with John. The “Apple Watch Edition could just as well be called Apple Watch Jony Ive Edition.”
Ive is famously fascinated with using new materials. The original Edition lineup may well have existed not so much because Apple believed they would sell in significant numbers but because Jony Ive wanted to work with gold, and the watch is the only Apple device to date where gold made even a lick of sense. This white ceramic has Jony Ive written all over it.
If Apple Watch Edition gives us a glimpse into the future of Apple’s product and keeps Jony Ive happy that is alright by me.