The 18-karat gold Apple Watch Edition drew a ton of social media ballyhoo when the pricey luxury watch was part of the first generation watches in 2015.
But who would pay $10,000 for a watch sure to be obsolete in a hurry? As many predicted, not a lot of people.
The gold Apple Watch’s disappointing sales are among several interesting tidbits
in a Bloomberg profile of Apple operations chief Jeff Williams, seen as CEO Tim Cook’s eventual successor.
Apple tapped Williams to lead the Apple Watch team in 2013, one of several responsibilities piled on his plate.
The Bloomberg story’s mention of the gold watch does not explain why the company decided to enter the luxury watch market with the model.
Reporter Mark Gurman wrote: “The company discontinued the exorbitant gold versions after a year; it sold in the low tens of thousands of them, but few after the first two weeks. Still, as the Watch’s hardware and software have improved, Apple has quietly taken control of the market for internet-connected fitness wristbands, accounting for more than half the sales in the category last year, according to researcher Strategy Analytics.”
The Apple Watch Series 2 lineup featured the first ceramic Apple Watch Edition. That upscale model cost a more reasonable $1,299.
Apple recovered from the gold watch’s skimpy sales, refining the device and focusing heavily on its health benefits, which garner near-daily headlines for saving lives. Williams saw this potential, pitched it to the higher-ups, and rose to lead the watch development team.