Pour one out today for Apple’s super luxe Apple Watch Edition, which devolved from “gold and ridiculously overpriced” to “ceramic and merely pricey” before disappearing from the Apple Watch lineup. But don’t shed a tear for Apple: It’s about to make up for any lost Edition revenue by increasing the prices on its new Apple Watch Series 4 models.
Before today, Apple offered the following Apple Watch options:
- Apple Watch Series 1 Aluminum GPS – $249 and up
- Apple Watch Series 3 Aluminum GPS – $329 and up
- Apple Watch Series 3 Aluminum GPS + Cellular – $399 and up
- Apple Watch Series 3 Steel GPS + Cellular – $599 and up
- Apple Watch Edition Series 3 Ceramic GPS + Cellular – $1,299 and up
As of now, Apple is offering these options:
- Apple Watch Series 3 Aluminum GPS – $279 and up
- Apple Watch Series 3 Aluminum GPS + Cellular – $379 and up
- Apple Watch Series 4 Aluminum GPS – $399 and up
- Apple Watch Series 4 Aluminum GPS + Cellular – $499 and up
- Apple Watch Series 4 Steel GPS + Cellular – $699 and up
One way to look at the lineup is that the range has become smaller, and overall more affordable, with better value. Last year’s Series 3 models are now available for less, and although there’s no $249 Watch, there’s also no Edition to blow $1,299 on. Beyond Apple having to price in new U.S.-China tariffs that are threatening to hit the Apple Watch, this year’s Series 4 watches include a host of new hardware features that arguably justify higher prices.
But if you look in the middle of the lineup, the changes aren’t pretty. If you want 2018’s latest tech, you’ll need to pony up at least $70 more than you did for 2017’s newest model when it was introduced. The difference expands to a $100 premium for the cellular models.
And if you want a steel Apple Watch, the least expensive option is now $699, up from $599 for last year’s steel model. Somewhat surprisingly, the steel version of the Series 3 Apple Watch was discontinued and replaced by an aluminum version. So if you’ve been holding out for a steel Apple Watch, you’ll probably need to go with Series 4. (If that $100 uptick means the difference between sticking with aluminum or having the shiny model of your dreams, start checking stores for refurbished or closeout Series 3 models.)
Apple probably didn’t sell a lot of Editions. But thanks to the $70 to $100 premiums across its other Series 4 watches, it’s a safe bet that average selling prices for the Apple Watch won’t suffer this quarter, even if mid-range Apple Watch consumers aren’t particularly happy about the higher prices.