Buried in the watchOS 6 beta are a couple of images showing that this fall’s Apple Watch will be apparently available with titanium and ceramic casings.
It seems early details about Apple’s 2019 wearable are finally starting to trickle out.
Why an ceramic Apple Watch make sense
The Portuguese-language site iHelp BR discovered watchOS 6 animations that refer to the additional casing options. These show a 44mm titanium case and a 44mm ceramic case. The standard casing is aluminum.
— iHelp BR (@iHelpBR) August 17, 2019
There were ceramic editions of Apple Watch Series 2 and Series 3, but not of last year’s Series 4, and these didn’t have 44mm screens. The company has never made a titanium version of the Apple Watch.
The previous ceramic versions cost considerably more than the standard ones. The Series 3 model using this material started at $1299, and the upcoming one could be equally pricey. Still there are advantages. Zirconia ceramic, the material Apple used its previous wearable, is rated 8.5 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness. In comparison, steel is rated 4.5, while aluminum is rated just 2.5 to 3.
Titanium is rated a 6 on the Mohs scale. There’s no word yet on what the version made of this metal could cost, but certainly more than the standard one.
More on the Apple Watch Series 5
Even though it could debut in three weeks, surprisingly little is known about the next-generation Apple Watch. This reference to new casings is probably the most important leak so far.
There were significant hardware changes in Series 4 — larger screens and an ECG — so these upcoming models might have more modest improvements.
Still, they’ll certainly be able to take advantage of what’s coming in watchOS 6, which was unveiled in June. This will add an on-device app store to Apple’s wrist computer. It also brings brand new faces and complications, as well as new apps like Audiobooks, Voice Memos and Calculator.
Apple Watch Series 5 might be announced alongside the iPhone 11 Pro at a Sept. 10 press event.