2019 Apple Watch: New Ceramic Casing, ECG Support for More Countries

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In his wide-ranging research note today touching on Apple's product releases for 2019, Ming-Kuo provided a glimpse at upcoming AirPods, iPads, iPhones, displays and MacBook Pros. Regarding the Apple Watch, however, he had only a brief mention:
ECG supports developed for additional countries. New ceramic casing design added.
Expanding Apple Watch ECG support to other countries is not particularly revealing. Apple has been working to expand access since its launch but regulations may hold up its acceptance in many countries.


A new "ceramic casing design" is the more intriguing rumor. With the Apple Watch Series 2, Apple introduced "Edition" models that were made from ceramic priced starting at $1,299, which it continued offering when the Series 3 Apple Watches were announced. Apple discontinued the Edition models in 2018 with the Series 4 release. Current Apple Watch models do have a ceramic back, but this rumor opens the possibility for Apple to revisit a new high end ceramic model in 2019.

Article Link: 2019 Apple Watch: New Ceramic Casing, ECG Support for More Countries
 

Scooz

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Apr 9, 2012
339
347
Would be cool if they came up with something beyond the bug’s exoskeleton glossiness of the black steel model. I might buy it anyway though :oops:

I wonder if ceramic would allow for some texture and color while providing improved roughness over the aluminum cases.
 

alphaod

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Feb 9, 2008
22,177
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After owning two ceramic Apple Watches and how they’re basically impossible to resell I don’t think I want another. I had so much trouble selling my Series 3 ceramic that I gave it to my dad instead. The ceramic finish was also very difficult to keep clean. Seemed that a simple wipe didn’t remove sweat marks instead require firm rubbing whereas now with the stainless steel Series 4 it’s very easy to clean with a cloth or sometimes a shirt.
 

Ricebucket

macrumors member
Jul 30, 2004
46
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If they only allow ECG in other countries on series 5, that would be the ultimate d!ck move
I don't think there was any promise made to support ECG on series 4 outside the US. If you go to the foreign Apple websites, there's no mention of ECG. Zero. So I wouldn't be surprised if only series 5 has ECG support outside US.
Plus, given the amount of time that has passed, might as well wait for a series 5.
 

Nozuka

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Jul 3, 2012
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I hope that means that there‘ll be no series 5 but only new casing options because it would really suck if ECG outside the US would be series 5 exclusive.
Even apple can't be that stupid... the required hardware is clearly present.

On the other hand.... with apple nothing is impossible.
 
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BvizioN

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Mar 16, 2012
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I hope that means that there‘ll be no series 5 but only new casing options because it would really suck if ECG outside the US would be series 5 exclusive.
It won't happen. The reason why ECG is not approved outside the US has nothing to do with the technology used but rather to do with different rules and regulations on other countries. It is similar to Apple Pay. Apple needs to work with these countries to approve ECG.
 

johnyslats

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Mar 14, 2012
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I fully expect to see ECG to be available to more countries in the coming months. The end of March marks 6 months post launch. If this functionality doesn’t extend beyond the US by then I’d argue that Apple isn’t working hard enough. Even with the ‘US only’ launch, the expectation was there that functionality would soon be coming to other markets
 

Relentless Power

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Jul 12, 2016
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Interesting if Apple reintroduces the ceramic edition, especially since it was discontinued with the Series 4. But starting at $1250 with for the ceramic model for the Series 3, it’s just generally too much for the consumer to want to spend _that_ much on a smart watch, and not when they all can complete the same watchOS capabilities, when most want to opt for the aluminum. If Apple does reintroduce the ceramic, I would like to see it at a lower price to make it more attractive, but I doubt that would happen.
 
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jezbd1997

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Jul 8, 2015
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If they only allow ECG in other countries on series 5, that would be the ultimate d!ck move
They wouldn't do that. They announced it as a feature that can be opened up basically when/if regulations allow in different countries. I'm in Australia and would return my S4 straight away if they did this, but they wouldn't. Hoping Australia will be one of the next countries approved
 
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SethBoy

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Jun 23, 2007
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It won't happen. The reason why ECG is not approved outside the US has nothing to do with the technology used but rather to do with different rules and regulations on other countries. It is similar to Apple Pay. Apple needs to work with these countries to approve ECG.
I checked with my country's regulator which confirmed that no application was made by Apple.

Same situation as Canada: https://9to5mac.com/2018/12/11/apple-watch-ecg-canada/

It is all on Apple if they haven't even bothered applying
 

Relentless Power

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Jul 12, 2016
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I'd like to see the ceramic come back, it's a great material for a watch.
It’s a great material, but is it practical at the price point that it once was? No, it wasn’t. Apple would have to re-strategize the ceramic if they wanted to be a higher seller, rather than starting at $1250, isn’t attractive. Although I do like the properties that ceramic offers in terms of scratch resistance, it’s more likely for a niche demographic.
 
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Kabeyun

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Mar 27, 2004
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Apple needs to add ECG to Series 4 outside the US first before worrying about the Series 5.
Maybe they can start with their nextdoor neighbour.
If they only allow ECG in other countries on series 5, that would be the ultimate d!ck move
Even apple can't be that stupid... the required hardware is clearly present.

On the other hand.... with apple nothing is impossible.
It’s so easy to take pot shots at Apple, isn’t it? Way easier than, say, reading the article, where you’ll be reminded of this:
Apple has been working to expand access since its launch but regulations may hold up its acceptance in many countries.
It’s not Apple dis“allowing” anything. It’s the approval process in other countries that’s taking time. Let’s not get too indignant that an American company first rolled out a new feature to the American market.
 
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KarimLeVallois

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Feb 22, 2014
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It’s a great material, but is it practical at the price point that it once was? No, it wasn’t. Apple would have to re-strategize the ceramic if they wanted to be a higher seller, rather than starting at $1250, isn’t attractive. Although I do like the properties that ceramic offers in terms of scratch resistance, it’s more likely for a niche demographic.
Totally agree! Apple have to revisit the whole pricing structure of the three materials to include this in the lineup in order to even be considered by most people. I personally would pick ceramic again over steel, but it would be hard justifying that price point and the depreciation once owned.
 

triton100

macrumors 6502a
Dec 15, 2010
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How comes this min kuo guy has not been ‘taken out’ yet. He seems to be a hub of leaks for many years, yet nothing has been done to ‘keep him quiet’, even though he must be obtaining all of his info illegally from insider leaks.
 

mrex

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Jul 16, 2014
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It won't happen. The reason why ECG is not approved outside the US has nothing to do with the technology used but rather to do with different rules and regulations on other countries. It is similar to Apple Pay. Apple needs to work with these countries to approve ECG.
The reason is that apple has done nothing to make it work. If there are no application left, it wont hapoen by itself.

And that has nothing similar with apple pay. Many countries has their own nfc thing already - been years before apple pay - and banks are not interested in paying apple for apple pay.
 
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