When did the Link Bracelet disappear?


Newtons Apple

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Mar 12, 2014
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Jacksonville, Florida
Many of the original bands have just disappeared. Only two leather loops left . . . makes me feel like Apple is moving away from these and going with the multicolored bands which do not interest me in the least.
 

Arran

macrumors 601
Mar 7, 2008
4,353
2,725
Atlanta, USA
The problem with buying a complete link bracelet watch is that practically no stores stock them and it can take a week or two to order one.

So you end up buying any SS watch with sport band (immediate availability) and ordering a link bracelet separately (delivery in a day or two). I've done that twice now.

The downside is that the Applecare you buy for the watch only covers the original sport band. The separate link bands are not covered.

So maybe this is a move to cut Applecare claims for link bands? They seem solidly engineered to me, but maybe folks are abusing them and claiming replacements?
 
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Relentless Power

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Jul 12, 2016
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I got on the Apple Store app a few minutes ago and notice the Series 2 SS with link bracelet is no longer an option. the bracelet is still available separately, but I wonder if it will be going away soon as well.https://www.apple.com/shop/buy-watch/apple-watch
I think part of this is due to less likely popularity the high dollar amount for the stainless Watch and link combination. Perhaps it's not selling as well as they expected, hence why the stainless options are now packaged with cheaper band options that are more affordable and expand their product line with more Sport/nylon bands. .

Perhaps by Apple selling the link bracelets separately, those who want one, will purchase one to pair with their Apple Watch. And then you have to consider the net profit Apple likely generates selling the link band separately at $450.00 versus a bundle at around $1100.00.
 

chuyn

macrumors 6502
Nov 13, 2015
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... And then you have to consider the net profit Apple likely generates selling the link band separately at $450.00 versus a bundle at around $1100.00.
There would be little to no difference. Canada's price for a 38mm SS with sport band is $700. A link bracelet is $600. Together that's $1300. That means you would have the Watch, a sport band, and a link bracelet for $1300.

The link combo used to cost $1230. That would be a Watch and link bracelet only. Add on a $70 sport band and you're at the same $1300 like buying the link separately today.
 

Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
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There would be little to no difference. Canada's price for a 38mm SS with sport band is $700. A link bracelet is $600. Together that's $1300. That means you would have the Watch, a sport band, and a link bracelet for $1300.

The link combo used to cost $1230. That would be a Watch and link bracelet only. Add on a $70 sport band and you're at the same $1300 like buying the link separately today.
Regardless if the Watch is bundled or not, that doesn't answer the question, what does Apple generate for a net profit for a $450.00 link band? The Sport band costs Apple approximately $2/$3 to make (Not including shipping/the box) and sells the Sport Band for $50.00. That's a 96% net profit.

That said, it leads me to believe Apple perhaps wants to sell the link bracelet separately due to the initial mark up and maximize the potential it could generate. And I still believe the Link/Watch combination was not highly popular due to the price point and specific preference for that type of band, which is why I believe Apple disbanded it.

http://www.geek.com/apple/49-apple-watch-sport-band-only-costs-2-05-to-make-1625665/?amp=1
 

petsk

macrumors 6502
Oct 13, 2009
349
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You can try finding deals on the original watch with the link bracelet. I got the 38mm SS original watch with link for just 310€. Right now I find deals on the 38mm with link for 400€ in my country.
 

chuyn

macrumors 6502
Nov 13, 2015
365
108
Regardless if the Watch is bundled or not, that doesn't answer the question, what does Apple generate for a net profit for a $450.00 link band? The Sport band costs Apple approximately $2/$3 to make (Not including shipping/the box) and sells the Sport Band for $50.00. That's a 96% net profit.

That said, it leads me to believe Apple perhaps wants to sell the link bracelet separately due to the initial mark up and maximize the potential it could generate. And I still believe the Link/Watch combination was not highly popular due to the price point and specific preference for that type of band, which is why I believe Apple disbanded it.

http://www.geek.com/apple/49-apple-watch-sport-band-only-costs-2-05-to-make-1625665/?amp=1
What difference does it make to their profits of the link bracelet if they sell it bundled or separate? What I pointed out was whichever band they bundled with it, the price went up according to how much that accessory would cost on its own. $700 SS that includes $70 sport band. Take away the sport band, that's $630 for the Watch body-only. Add in the $600 link bracelet, there's the $1230 price the old bundle used to cost. Bundled or separate, Apple was getting $600 for the bracelet from its customers.
 

TxWatch

macrumors 6502
Nov 30, 2015
439
107
Texas
The link combo used to cost $1230. That would be a Watch and link bracelet only. Add on a $70 sport band and you're at the same $1300 like buying the link separately today.
There's the different right there. The $2-3 dollar band they sell for $50 US is a large amount of profit. I already owned an S0 SG Sport with the $50 black band, so I did not need another one when I bought my S2 SBSS. I really wanted the leather loop with the SBSS, so I had to spend an additional $150. Now, I have a brand new $50 black Sport band in the SBSS box that I will never use.

It is a good marketing strategy and allows them to minimize the number of band/watch combinations they keep in stock. It is also a money maker... ;)

TxWatch
 
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Relentless Power

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What difference does it make to their profits of the link bracelet if they sell it bundled or separate? What I pointed out was whichever band they bundled with it, the price went up according to how much that accessory would cost on its own. $700 SS that includes $70 sport band. Take away the sport band, that's $630 for the Watch body-only. Add in the $600 link bracelet, there's the $1230 price the old bundle used to cost. Bundled or separate, Apple was getting $600 for the bracelet from its customers.
It makes every bit of difference, which Has already been pointed out twice to you now. I understand your point(s) regarding the influx of price point with the included band separate or included with a purchase.

Apple still axed the link the band from the line up likely due to liquidating old stock and making the link band a separate purchase, which likely is a better option for those who want a high end band in addition to what they already own.

Second, Apple is ALL about profit margins and the link band mark up is likely between 60/70%, which is why I indicated the Sport band has a 96% profit Margin with a $2/$3.00 manufacturing cost. Hence, the link band is highly likely a mkre profitable cause for Apple to sell separately, being the combined link band options were NOT selling as well as the lower tier models with a Sport band.

Selling the link band stainless Watch combinations certainly are not everyone's first choice, which if Apple still sells the link band separately (Which is likely not stocked/manufactured as much as a Sport band), they still are making a substantial profit.
 

chuyn

macrumors 6502
Nov 13, 2015
365
108
It makes every bit of difference, which Has already been pointed out twice to you now. I understand your point(s) regarding the influx of price point with the included band separate or included with a purchase.

Apple still axed the link the band from the line up likely due to liquidating old stock and making the link band a separate purchase, which likely is a better option for those who want a high end band in addition to what they already own.

Second, Apple is ALL about profit margins and the link band mark up is likely between 60/70%, which is why I indicated the Sport band has a 96% profit Margin with a $2/$3.00 manufacturing cost. Hence, the link band is highly likely a mkre profitable cause for Apple to sell separately, being the combined link band options were NOT selling as well as the lower tier models with a Sport band.

Selling the link band stainless Watch combinations certainly are not everyone's first choice, which if Apple still sells the link band separately (Which is likely not stocked/manufactured as much as a Sport band), they still are making a substantial profit.
You commented on apple's profit off the link bracelet from it being separate or bundled. That's what I commented about not being different. If you were trying to say they're making a bonus off the sport band now because it's mandatory, I get that. It wasn't clear to me that's what you tried to relay in your previous post. I wasn't saying they were selling well. I do agree they weren't, so getting rid of the combo is good. It probably should've always been separate to be honest. There were too many combinations before
 
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Ixidor

macrumors regular
Mar 22, 2016
161
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Apple makes more money from first time buyers in three ways:

1) Better inventory management which is already discussed. Poor inventory management leads to unnecessary losses.

2) People who primarily only want the link bracelet will have to "purchase" a sport band in a colour Apple chooses.

3) people who want the link bracelet AND a sport band but in a colour not bundled with the watch.

Price-wise, consumers who intend to buy the specific sport band color and a link bracelet won't face any difference. But if you only wanted the link bracelet with the watch, or wanted the link bracelet with an unoffered sport band color, you would have to cough up the price of an unwanted sport band.
 
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Relentless Power

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Jul 12, 2016
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You commented on apple's profit off the link bracelet from it being separate or bundled. That's what I commented about not being different. If you were trying to say they're making a bonus off the sport band now because it's mandatory, I get that. It wasn't clear to me that's what you tried to relay in your previous post. I wasn't saying they were selling well. I do agree they weren't, so getting rid of the combo is good. It probably should've always been separate to be honest. There were too many combinations before
I definitely agree that Apple is trying to limit their combinations of the Apple Watch. And I think it's easy to forget, that the Apple Watch is still fairly new device for Apple and they're still experimenting where they want this to lead from where this first started. I think Apple sees a lot of potential with the watchbands, more specifically the sport and nylon bands, that they seem to keep refreshing every six months or so. I think those bands specifically generate a lot of profit based off the manufacturing costs.
 

Arran

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Mar 7, 2008
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Atlanta, USA
Apple makes more money from first time buyers in three ways:

1) Better inventory management which is already discussed. Poor inventory management leads to unnecessary losses.

2) People who primarily only want the link bracelet will have to "purchase" a sport band in a colour Apple chooses.

3) people who want the link bracelet AND a sport band but in a colour not bundled with the watch.

Price-wise, consumers who intend to buy the specific sport band color and a link bracelet won't face any difference. But if you only wanted the link bracelet with the watch, or wanted the link bracelet with an unoffered sport band color, you would have to cough up the price of an unwanted sport band.
Nailed it!
 

bhayes444

macrumors 6502a
Jul 13, 2013
772
287
The Changes with the band configurations occurred on the same day as the release of the 9.7 iPad and Product Red iPhone on 03/24/2017.

https://www.macrumors.com/2017/03/24/apple-store-down-red-iphone-7-launch/amp/
Not that I don't believe you, but that article says nothing about band configurations with Apple watches. It only states that new bands were added.

This article, another on 3/21/2017 also mentions the configuration changes. Neither of my linked articles mentioned when they change would take place however.
https://www.macrumors.com/2017/03/21/apple-watch-gets-new-bands/
 

Relentless Power

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Jul 12, 2016
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Not that I don't believe you, but that article says nothing about band configurations with Apple watches. It only states that new bands were added.
Correct. Apple never announces or makes its widely known when they delete something from their line up. The same day they added the bands on 03/24/2017, Apple deleted certain Watch combinations and band configurations. It's usually forum members finding out for themselves that certain Bands were deleted from the inventory and posting Comments for others to be made aware of the changes.

On a few of these articles/threads, there are comments indicating the bands were once in existence, that are no longer available.
 
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fischersd

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Oct 23, 2014
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Vancouver, BC, Canada
The downside is what has been pointed out... no AppleCare on the LB.
Actually, we had this discussion a couple of years ago. The reps at AC+ said that whichever band is attached to your Apple Watch at time of damage would be covered by your AC+. Apple legal wasn't willing to make that explicit in the warranty T's & C's, but the AC+ reps stated that was the policy.
 
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Arran

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Mar 7, 2008
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Actually, we had this discussion a couple of years ago. The reps at AC+ said that whichever band is attached to your Apple Watch at time of damage would be covered by your AC+. Apple legal wasn't willing to make that explicit in the warranty T's & C's, but the AC+ reps stated that was the policy.
Interesting. Thanks. I'm hoping that's still true and that, should the unthinkable occur :eek:, the store employees will indeed have discretion to make a replacement. I've certainly had some very pleasant surprises in the past when things have gone south.

Of course I'm really hoping it never comes to that.
 

have24

macrumors newbie
Sep 14, 2016
22
13
I kind of wish Apple had a "Dell" approach to their watches online. Choose what case you wanted, what band you wanted, and charge you accordingly. Sell a limited number of pre-bundled watches in stores but if someone really wanted a certain band they could go online and order it. Just a thought.
 

BSG75

macrumors regular
Jul 21, 2015
230
111
Tennessee
I've yet to see a SS/Link combo in the wild. I have a third party link bracelet for my SS. Last year, I bought SBSS Watch/Link on eBay for $400. I figure that I could recoup a good chunk of that purchase if I just sold the SB link bracelet alone.
 

Mactagonist

macrumors 65816
Feb 5, 2008
1,042
94
NYC - Manhattan
Shame. The link bracelet is still what I use 90+% of the time. Every now and then I will throw the nike band on there but you really can't beat the look, feel and weight of the link bracelet.