Tuesday, July 23, 2019 [Tweets] [Favorites]

How Many Gold Apple Watches Were Sold?

Joe Rossignol:

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.

Nick Heer:

Even with the lowest possible numbers within this framing — 10,000 units sold of a minimum $10,000 product — that still means Apple made a hundred million dollars on the first-generation Edition. I’m not making a judgement on whether this is good, obviously, but it’s noteworthy.

Previously:

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Sören Nils Kuklau

Even with the lowest possible numbers within this framing — 10,000 units sold of a minimum $10,000 product — that still means Apple made a hundred million dollars on the first-generation Edition.

Yup.

There’s a lot of companies out there who would kill to have a product make a hundred million in revenues on a rare variant of a product.

What’s a lot harder to say is if the “Apple Watch Edition” excursion was worth it. Was Angela Ahrendts hired because of it? Did Jony Ive get distracted by it (but then, conversely, would he have otherwise been interested in projects closer to Apple’s core business?)? Was the possible gain in luxury cachet worth the loss in reputation for everyday people?

My guess is Apple ultimately decided “no” on that last question.

It’s also very interesting to read that A Flop Unlike Any Other link — many of the concerns have since been addressed. The side button has a far more useful function now. Glances are gone (the first watchOS I ever got to properly experience myself was 4.0, so I’m a little sad at having missed that evolution). This prediction came out true:

Apple obviously thought that sending little hand-drawn pictures was a big enough feature to warrant a dedicated hardware button. Perhaps now, armed with a year of data, they can reassess that decision in the next update to the OS. If you never put a product into the hands of real people, you can’t learn anything about how people will use it and what they’ll want from it.

And overall, the Watch has become a pretty decent product of its own, slowly but continuously iterating just as John Gruber predicted. They got a concerning amount of things wrong at launch, but they’ve been fixing them.

Maybe with SwiftUI this year, they’ll resolve the final big one — making apps easier to write.

"Did Jony Ive get distracted by it (but then, conversely, would he have otherwise been interested in projects closer to Apple’s core business?)?"

I note that the Edition watch and the butterfly keyboard were both gestating at about the same time and announced on the same day.

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