Bloomberg: $10,000-Plus 18-Karat Gold Apple Watch Edition Sales Fizzled After Just Two Weeks

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In a profile of Apple's operations chief Jeff Williams, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman has revealed some interesting anecdotes about development of the Apple Watch, which Williams has reportedly overseen since 2013.


Months before the Apple Watch launched in 2015, for example, the report claims some employees testing the device began having allergic reactions to the type of nickel used in its casing, leading Williams to make the decision to scrap thousands of already-produced units and restart manufacturing with a different kind of nickel.

The amount of nickel eventually included in select Apple Watch models and bands falls below restrictions set by the European Union, according to Apple:
Apple Watch models with a stainless steel or an aluminum case, the stainless steel portions of some Apple Watch bands, the metallic portions of the Hermès bands, and the magnets in the watch and bands, each contain some nickel. However, they all fall below the strict nickel restrictions set by European REACH regulation. Therefore, while nickel exposure is unlikely to be a problem, you should be aware of the possibility in case you're susceptible to nickel-related reactions.
The report claims employees also noticed that the Apple Watch's Taptic Engine was prone to long-term failure from corrosion. In that case, Williams decided to give those few thousand watches to employees, according to Gurman.

As for the $10,000-plus, 18-karat gold Apple Watch Edition, the report claims Apple's sales were "in the low tens of thousands" of units, with "few after the first two weeks." The line was discontinued in September 2016 after just 16 months and, humorously, the gold models are now stuck on watchOS 4 and below.

Williams now oversees the development of all Apple hardware products, according to the report, and he is widely considered a frontrunner to succeed Tim Cook as CEO when the time comes -- the two share similar backgrounds and mannerisms.

Article Link: Bloomberg: $10,000-Plus 18-Karat Gold Apple Watch Edition Sales Fizzled After Just Two Weeks
 

AngerDanger

macrumors 601
Dec 9, 2008
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Months before the Apple Watch launched in 2015, for example, the report claims some employees testing the device began having allergic reactions to the type of nickel used in its casing, leading Williams to make the decision to scrap thousands of already-produced units and restart manufacturing with a different kind of nickel.
But the fizzling gold finishes are worth no mention save for the title?

Oh, erm… :oops:
 

sputnikBA

macrumors 6502
Jan 2, 2018
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Months before the Apple Watch launched in 2015, for example, the report claims some employees testing the device began having allergic reactions to the type of nickel used in its casing, leading Williams to make the decision to scrap thousands of already-produced units and restart manufacturing with a different kind of nickel.
We need more of this line of thought, and less of what let the MB/MBP keyboard nonsense go on for as long as it has.
 

kemal

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Dec 21, 2001
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allergic reactions to the type of nickel used in its casing, leading Williams to make the decision to scrap thousands of already-produced units and restart manufacturing with a different kind of nickel
You mean, like a different isotope? /smarta$$
 
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Rogifan

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What’s with the click-bait? I thought MacRumors was better than this.

Newsflash: Apple didn’t produce the gold Watch with the expectation of selling a ton of them. Heck they didn’t even talk about it on stage and never marketed it on Apple’s website. But getting it in the pages of Vogue magazine and on the wrists of a few celebrities probably didn’t hurt from a brand standpoint. Just put it down as a marketing expense.
 

yaxomoxay

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What’s with the click-bait? I thought MacRumors was better than this.

Newsflash: Apple didn’t produce the gold Watch with the expectation of selling a ton of them. Heck they didn’t even talk about it on stage and never marketed it on Apple’s website. But getting it in the pages of Vogue magazine and on the wrists of a few celebrities probably didn’t hurt from a brand standpoint. Just put it down as a marketing expense.
Yep, I was going to make the same point. The gold AW was never intended to sell and make money, it was intended to make a statement through media and celebrities.
 
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konqerror

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10K USD price and 10k watches = $100m in revenue.
The subtract the cost of the raw gold, engineering, manufacturing tooling, quality test, regulatory certifications, security for the distribution network, warranty stock...
 

truthertech

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Jun 24, 2016
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The article implies that the gold Apple Watch was a flop, which is a view held by those who don't understand how marketing works. Quite apart from a failure, it was a smashing success because the point was never to sell a large quantity of gold watches, but rather to generate a huge buzz and draw attention to how the Apple Watch was in a very different category than the rest of the smart watch market, including that it could be a high fashion accessory depending on the bands, etc., you chose. Ingenious. All of that was achieved, and that initial introduction kick started the Apple Watch into the tremendous success it is today where it essentially owns the smart watch category.
 
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rosegoldoli

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If it sold a few tens of thousands at 10,000 a piece...that's good money right? Or am I missing something?
i think it all depends on the costs of the item. Reading it only has about $640 worth of gold so i believe with the incredible mark up they mustve made profit because prior estimations said the watch should have cost $5,000 but it cost double or more than that
 

Relentless Power

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Jul 12, 2016
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Kind of a strangely written article. The headline focuses on the title ‘gold edition Apple Watch sales’, but primarily discusses the taptic engine failure/nickel allergens, but quickly mentions the low sales of the Apple Watch Gold Edition, which seems kind of obvious given the price point. The article could easily just have discussed the other details about the Apple Watch aside from the gold watch edition based off what we already know.
 

fokmik

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Oct 28, 2016
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Like someone who took care of the first iPhone and sold it for around 10.000$ , imagine in 5-6 more years, a perfect working Solid Gold AW, will be sold around 50k...So who bought one of these and kept it in perfectly condition can make triple the money
 

nStyle

macrumors 65816
Dec 6, 2009
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10K USD price and 10k watches = $100m in revenue.
Which is absolutely nothing to Apple, especially considering it's not even a sustainable product line. Complete waste of time for them and everyone else involved. Future evolved species will look back on that moment and just shake their head at the stupidity of all involved.
 
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