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If you were hoping to score a last-minute deal on a Series 6 titanium Apple Watch Edition model before the new Series 7 lands next month, it looks like you may be out of luck, as it appears they’re no longer anywhere to be found.
While it’s not unusual for stock levels of Apple products to dwindle in the weeks leading up to a new release, the scarcity of the Apple Watch Series 6 Edition models comes a bit earlier than usual. This signals that Apple may have actually underestimated how much demand there would be for the premium titanium finish.
Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman called out the shortage over the weekend in his Power On newsletter, and MacRumors has confirmed the Apple Watch Edition is “unavailable entirely for delivery in major markets,” although a few US Apple retail stores still have some models available for in-store pickup.
Gurman theorizes that Apple likely didn’t expect the titanium-encased Edition versions to sell particularly well, and therefore only made a small production run for them. Obviously, with only a few weeks to go before the Series 7 lands, Apple isn’t about to restart production of the older Series 6 model, which will almost certainly be discontinued entirely in favour of its replacement.
With just weeks to go until the next version of the Apple Watch, Apple has nearly run out of the titanium models. Given the high price point, Apple probably only made a small amount expecting they wouldn’t sell very well. They likely stopped manufacturing them months ago and are finally running out of supply.Mark Gurman
Although Apple has kept the Apple Watch Series 3 alive in the lineup — arguably for much longer than it should have — neither of the subsequent Series 4 or Series 5 models were sold by Apple for more than a year.
Unlike the Series 4 and beyond, the older Apple Watch Series 3 is a smaller and more affordable entry-level model for those looking for a basic Apple Watch without all the more advanced features and health sensors. However, it’s already the oldest product that’s still being sold by Apple, so this could be the year that it finally gets the axe.
Will There Be a Series 7 Apple Watch Edition?
The other interesting question is whether Apple will continue to offer an “Edition” model when the Apple Watch Series 7 debuts next month.
It wouldn’t be the first time Apple chose to abandon the premium tier. After unveiling a ludicrously priced 18-karat gold Apple Watch Edition with the original model back in 2015, Apple shifted into a ceramic casing for the Series 2 and Series 3 models, before dropping it entirely for the Apple Watch Series 4.
There have also been recent suggestions that Apple intended to release a “Ceramic Edition” from the beginning, but for whatever reason chose to go exclusively with the decadent Gold Edition to impress the fashion industry instead.
To be fair, the Apple Watch Series 4 wasn’t left entirely without a premium version — Apple has continued selling its luxury Apple Watch Hermès to this day. Unlike the Apple Watch Edition, however, the Hermès is still just a stainless-steel Apple Watch that differs only in the engraving on the back and the inclusion of a special Apple Watch face that’s not available on any other model.
The following year, however, the Apple Watch Series 5 was available in the widest variety of different materials of any Apple Watch before that time or since. With the Series 5, Apple not only reintroduced the Ceramic Edition, but also unveiled the brand-new titanium finish. This was the only Apple Watch model to give users a choice of two different Edition models, as the ceramic version didn’t continue with last year’s Series 6.
By all reports, the Apple Watch Series 7 is expected to get a major redesign this year, with a new flat-edged casing that will be more in line with the style of the iPhone 12 and iPad Pro. It’s also likely to be available in several new colours, at least in the basic aluminum versions.
Of course, a redesign doesn’t inherently rule out the possibility of a titanium casing, but it does mean that Apple would have to rework its materials and assembly line for the new design, and it’s perhaps telling that the last time Apple skipped the Edition models was for the Apple Watch Series 4 — which was also the last time the Apple Watch got a major redesign.
Ultimately, it’s hard to know what Apple plans to do with the Series 7 this year, as anything seems possible. However, Gurman notes that he wouldn’t be surprised at all if Apple once again abandoned the Edition lineup entirely — perhaps for good this time.
We’ll see if Apple chooses to keep titanium for the Apple Watch Series 7, but it wouldn’t surprise me if the company ditched the pricier Edition material, as it did in the past with both ceramic and real gold. Seriously, what’s the point of spending $800 or more on a watch that will be outdated in one year and nonfunctional in under five?Mark Gurman
As Apple undoubtedly learned from the original Apple Watch Gold Edition, unlike premium traditional watches from companies like Rolex, which justify their higher price tags through decades of usefulness, it’s a hard sell to ask customers to spend large sums of money on an Apple Watch that will almost certainly be obsolete in less than five years.
Of course, only Apple knows for sure how well the higher-end titanium and ceramic models have sold, and if the shortage of Apple Watch Series 6 Edition titanium models is any indication, there’s still enough demand to justify the continued existence of Apple’s premium finishes.
[The information provided in this article has NOT been confirmed by Apple and may be speculation. Provided details may not be factual. Take all rumors, tech or otherwise, with a grain of salt.]