The company sold a gold version early in the evolution of the Apple Watch. It set buyers back as much as $17,000. Apple will no longer repair these, leaving buyers with little more than a gold brick that does not tell time. (These iconic gadgets have shaped our lives since the 1950s.)
Apple sold the gold watch in 2015. According to MacRumors, the decision not to service the watch is part of a larger decision: “The list of obsolete models includes the first-generation Apple Watch Edition with an 18-karat gold casing, which cost up to $17,000 in the U.S. when it was available.”
Apple must believe the PR fallout that will occur as it abandons gold watch owners it not worth the very modest effort to keep them running.
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The Apple Watch is part of a division that Apple calls “Wearables, Home and Accessories.” The division brought in $8.3 billion of Apple’s $81.2 billion in revenue in the most recent quarter.
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While the smartwatch is not the company’s flagship, it is one of Apple’s most visible products. It also pairs with Apple’s flagship iPhone, which makes it, to some extent, an extension of that product When Apple releases new iPhones, it generally introduces an Apple Watch as well. It currently has three versions, the most expensive of which is the Watch Ultra 2, which carries a price tag of $799.
Apple always abandons the service of products that are several generations old. However, few match abandoning a $17,000 product.
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