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Titanium Apple Watch “Pro” may herald the end of the Apple Watch Edition Model

The larger Apple Watch Series 8 model may arrive later this year, which is rumored to feature a titanium casing, raising questions about the future of the Apple Watch Edition.

titanium apple watch
titanium apple watch

Yesterday, Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman reported that the new, larger Apple Watch model scheduled to launch this year will feature a casing made of “a more durable formulation of titanium to make it extra rugged.”

Since the introduction of the Apple Watch Series 5 in 2019, Apple has been offering a titanium version of the Apple Watch under the “Apple Watch Edition” brand. Currently, the Apple Watch Edition comes with an additional sports strap, which is otherwise identical to the standard Apple Watch, although it offers a lighter, stronger case than the stainless-steel model.

Now, various rumors point to a new high-end Apple Watch model coming later this year. The device is expected to feature a larger display, longer battery life, a sturdy case, and an all-new design. Potential names for the device include “Apple Watch Pro” or “Apple Watch Explorer Edition,” which is associated with extreme sports, athletes, hikers and other users who need a more durable watch.

The current Apple Watch Edition starts at $749, which is $150 more than the stainless steel Apple Watch. For this year’s new high-end Apple Watch, Gurman has proposed a “starting near $900 to $999” price point, positioning it above the Apple Watch Edition.

Overall, the new high-end Apple Watch will be more of a departure from the standard Apple Watch model than any previous Apple Watch Edition model in terms of features, size, design, and price. That 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.

titanium apple watch
titanium apple watch

The Apple Watch Edition has come a long way since its launch in 2015. When it first launched, the Apple Watch Edition line consisted entirely of Apple Watches with 18-karat yellow or rose gold cases, priced between $10,000 and $17,000. Just a year later, the Apple Watch Series 2 was discontinued when it launched, replacing the pricey gold case with a more affordable white ceramic model that started at $1,249.

titanium apple watch
titanium apple watch

In 2017, the Apple Watch Series 3 added a grey ceramic style. While there is no Apple Watch Edition model available for the Series 4, Apple has revived the white ceramic Apple Watch Edition line for the Series 5 as well as new natural and deep space black titanium models. With the Series 6, Apple again discontinues the ceramic Apple Watch Edition, and again briefly halted production of the line before the launch of the titanium Apple Watch Edition Series 7 model last year.

Because the Apple Watch Edition has such a turbulent history, it’s impossible to say whether Apple will continue to offer the device. Since its titanium case is the main differentiating feature of the Apple Watch Edition, it’s hard to see how this variant could justify the variant by placing a completely different titanium model on top of it, especially since the Apple Watch Edition could Attract sales of new high-end models.

titanium apple watch
titanium apple watch

Earlier this month, display analyst Ross Young said that sales of the new high-end Apple Watch are expected to be relatively low — as was previous reports of low sales of the Apple Watch Edition model due to its high price. Apple is said to expect to ship just 1 million of the larger Apple Watch in the third quarter of this year, compared to 4 million for the 45mm ‌‌Apple Watch Series 8‌‌ model.

Pricing and market positioning aside, Gurman’s confirmation of a titanium case for this year’s new high-end Apple Watch models is the best indication yet that Apple may be planning to effectively fold the current Apple Watch Edition line into this new offering in the category. This would allow it to continue to offer titanium casings, but more openly tout the material’s weight and strength advantages, while focusing on durability at a higher price point.

Keeping the more affordable titanium Apple Watch Edition in the lineup could also hurt sales of the new high-end model. Likewise, the new high-end Apple Watch may be more appealing to some customers than the Apple Watch Edition, with meaningful differentiation in terms of display size, battery life, and design providing a more plausible reason to upsell.

At this stage of the rumor cycle, names like Apple Watch “Pro” are far from locked in, and it’s worth noting that new high-end Apple Watch models could simply form a future Apple Watch Edition line. At the very least, the Apple Watch Edition lineup in its current form probably won’t last long.

Read More: ‘Apple Watch Pro’ Model Rumors: Everything you need to know

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