Photo Source: iHelp BR
There have been plenty of iPhone rumors over the last few months, but that isn’t anything new. However, things have been significantly quieter on the Apple Watch front. That’s the thing about the iPhone. Even with its sales and profits hovering between stable and decline, it still tends to hog the spotlight.
However, with most of the iPhone news already public knowledge, this should start to shift. The iPhone and Apple Watch will likely share the same reveal date, as they did last year. Now that we are under a month to showtime, details of the coming Apple Watch has finally started to trickle out.
Today we got what looks to be the first bit of news on the new hardware. According to iHelp BR, it seems that the demise of the Apple Edition may have been short-lived, as two new premium exterior finishes will reportedly be coming this year. Well, one of the two is new, while the other would be making a return. They are platinum and ceramic, respectively.
iHelp BR found this information in startup screens contained in the latest watchOS Beta 6. The two screens shown above are no guarantee that ceramic and titanium are coming. Betas have been known to have the occasional feature and addition that don’t see the light of day, and this could be the same thing. However, Gui Rambo and Steve Troughton-Smith have made a living picking through Apple betas and leaking accurate information for the last few years, so this is definitely worth paying attention to.
If you recall, ceramic was the premium material used on the Apple Watch Edition Series 2 and 3 that replaced the gold of the ill-fated Series 0 Edition. Apple continued to use ceramic for the back of the Series 4, but no longer offered a model covered entirely in the material this year. As for platinum, it would be making its debut as an Apple Watch material, if this report is true.
Platinum and ceramic are both common materials used for premium watches, so Apple potentially offering both shouldn’t come as any surprise. These would also likely be higher-end offerings over and above the current stainless steel Apple Watch models.
If these do turn out to be real products, then it will be interesting to see if they stick with the Edition tag or come up with something different. Considering that there was nothing about the original Edition that could be considered successful, I would be surprised to see the name re-appear now. I also think the fact that Jony Ive has moved on can’t be ignored. I can’t think of the Apple Watch Edition without hearing Mr Ive expound about it in video form and I can’t help but think that him being gone will affect Apple Watch branding going forward.
So new ceramic and platinum Apple Watches sound completely reasonable to me. They aren’t going to sell in high numbers, but Apple will make money on them because they will go for higher prices. Such models won’t be about sales figures. They would be about image and branding. It’s about Apple finding a balance between the lower-end models as a health and fitness accessories and the higher-end watch world. Apple has mastered one segment, but has never been able to get the right formula for the other. This looks like a legit third try to me.