The bigger Apple Watch Sequence 8 mannequin anticipated to reach later this yr is rumored to characteristic a titanium casing, elevating questions on the way forward for the Apple Watch Version.
Yesterday, Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman reported that the brand new, bigger Apple Watch mannequin scheduled to launch this yr will characteristic a casing manufactured from “a extra sturdy formulation of titanium to make it additional rugged.”
Apple has provided a titanium model of the Apple Watch because the launch of the Apple Watch Sequence 5 in 2019, beneath the “Apple Watch Version” model. At present, the Apple Watch Version comes with an extra Sport Band, and whereas it presents a lighter, stronger casing than the chrome steel mannequin, it’s in any other case similar to the usual Apple Watch.
Now, a variety of rumors level towards the launch of an all-new high-end Apple Watch mannequin later this yr. The gadget is anticipated to characteristic a bigger show, longer battery life, a ruggedized casing, and a fully new design. Potential names for the gadget embody “Apple Watch Professional” or “Apple Watch Explorer Version,” and the gadget has been related to excessive sports activities, athletes, hikers, and different customers that require a extra sturdy watch.
Priced beginning at $749, the present Apple Watch Version is $150 costlier than the chrome steel Apple Watch. For this yr’s new high-end Apple Watch, Gurman has floated a value level that “begins nearer to $900 to $999,” positioning it above the Apple Watch Version.
Total, it appears clear that the brand new high-end Apple Watch might be extra of a departure from the usual Apple Watch fashions than any earlier Apple Watch Version mannequin by way of options, dimension, design, and value. This raises the query of if Apple will proceed to supply the Apple Watch Version after the launch of the brand new high-end Apple Watch later this yr.
The Apple Watch Version has advanced significantly since its launch in 2015. When it first launched, the Apple Watch Version line was completely made up of Apple Watches with 18 karat yellow or rose gold casings that price $10,000 to $17,000. These had been discontinued only a yr later upon the launch of the Apple Watch Sequence 2, which changed the costly gold casings with extra reasonably priced white ceramic fashions, beginning at $1,249.
A grey ceramic variant was added with the Apple Watch Sequence 3 in 2017. Whereas there have been no Apple Watch Version fashions accessible for the Sequence 4, Apple revived the white ceramic Apple Watch Version line for the Sequence 5 alongside new pure and Area Black titanium fashions. With the Sequence 6, Apple once more discontinued the ceramic Apple Watch Version, and briefly discontinued the road as soon as once more forward of the launch of the titanium Apple Watch Version Sequence 7 fashions final yr.
Because the Apple Watch Version has such a tumultuous historical past, it’s certainly not sure that Apple will proceed to supply the gadget. With its titanium casing being the Apple Watch Version’s key differentiating characteristic, it’s troublesome to see how the variant could possibly be justified within the lineup with a considerably totally different titanium mannequin positioned simply above it, not least as a result of the Apple Watch Version might draw gross sales away from the brand new high-end mannequin.
Earlier this month, show analyst Ross Younger mentioned that the brand new high-end Apple Watch is anticipated to promote in comparatively low quantity – similar to earlier stories of low gross sales for the Apple Watch Version fashions as a result of their excessive value level. Apple is purportedly anticipating to ship only one million models of the bigger Apple Watch within the third quarter of this yr, in comparison with 4 million 45mm Apple Watch Sequence 8 fashions.
Past pricing and positioning out there, Gurman’s affirmation of a titanium casing for this yr’s new high-end Apple Watch mannequin is the most effective indication but that Apple could also be planning to successfully fold the present Apple Watch Version line into this new product class. This is able to permit it to proceed to supply a titanium casing, however extra overtly tout the burden and power benefits of the fabric amid a deal with sturdiness at a better value level.
Leaving the extra reasonably priced titanium Apple Watch Version within the lineup might even have the undesirable impact of cannibalizing gross sales of the brand new high-end mannequin. Likewise, the brand new high-end Apple Watch could possibly be rather more interesting to some clients than the Apple Watch Version, with significant differentiating points like show dimension, battery life, and design offering extra justifiable causes for an upsale.
With names like Apple Watch “Professional” being removed from locked-in at this stage of the rumor cycle, it is usually value noting that the brand new high-end Apple Watch fashions might merely type the Apple Watch Version line going ahead. At minimal, it appears to be like just like the Apple Watch Version line in its present type is probably not round for for much longer.