Ceramic, Titanium Apple Watch 5 Models Coming Next Month

Apple is just a few weeks away from unveiling new hardware products including the iPhone 11 series and Apple Watch Series 5. Over the last several months, the iPhone 11 has been dominating the limelight, thanks to a plethora of leaks and rumors. Now fresh details about two new Apple Watch 5 models have emerged.

Apple-focused Brazilian blog iHelpBR has discovered references to two new Apple Watch 5 models in the watchOS 6 developer beta. The Cupertino company doesn’t include fake features or assets in the beta versions of its software. So, you can expect it to be the real deal.

The titanium and ceramic models were spotted in the pairing animations that appear when you pair your Apple Watch with an iPhone. The new case materials would come to both the 40mm and 44mm versions of Apple Watch Series 5. The Cupertino company had used the ceramic casing for the Series 2 and Series 3 Watch models.

The 38mm ceramic Series 3 was priced at $1,299 and the 42mm ceramic Series 3 was selling for $1,349. Apple ditched the ceramic material from the Apple Watch Series 4, most likely because of poor sales due to ridiculously high prices. The new leak suggests that Apple will bring back ceramic with the Series 5 Watch next month. The ceramic version could sit at the higher end of the pricing table.

Apple has never used titanium on the Apple Watch, but the company has launched the Apple Card, which is made out of titanium. The appearance of the titanium Apple Watch Series 5 model is expected to be similar to that of Apple Card. Both new materials – ceramic and titanium – will help boost the average selling price of the company’s smartwatches.

It’s unclear whether the new ceramic and titanium models would launch alongside the existing aluminum and stainless steel casings, or replace one of them. Given the cost and complexity involved in making ceramic Apple Watches, the ceramic model could launch as a luxury watch. So, it’s unlikely to replace the aluminum or stainless steel versions.

The titanium version could either replace one of them or sit between the two (aluminum and stainless steel) in terms of pricing. The aluminum Apple Watch Series 4 starts at $399 and the stainless steel version costs $699. The titanium model could be priced at $499 or $599 considering titanium is more expensive than aluminum. If Apple keeps all four casings – aluminum, titanium, stainless steel, and ceramic – it could end up confusing customers.

Separately, reputed Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has told investors that all the Apple Watch Series 5 models would use OLED screens. Samsung and LG Display supply OLED screens for iPhones. As per Kuo, Apple would also rope in China’s BOE as an additional OLED supplier. Japan Display will supply 15% – 20% of OLED panels for the 2019 Apple Watch, and gradually increase its share to 70% – 80% by 2021.

The analyst added that the Apple Watch Series 5 would bring a larger battery, sleep tracking, and more health features. The 2020 Apple Watch models are expected to feature a MicroLED display. Kuo has also predicted that the iPhone 11 models would feature the same OLED screens as Samsung’s Galaxy S10 and Galaxy Note 10 models. That shouldn’t come as a big surprise given Samsung is the biggest supplier of OLED panels for iPhones.

The Apple Watch Series 5 would launch alongside iPhone 11 at Apple’s annual hardware event in September. According to the rumor mill, this year’s event will be held on September 10. The China trade tariffs could force Apple to increase the prices of its devices or absorb the cost of tariffs, which would hurt its profit margins. Additional tariffs on Apple Watch will come into effect on September 1. The iPhones will be subjected to increased tariffs starting December 15.



About the Author

Vikas Shukla
Although he has a background in finance and holds an MBA, Vikas Shukla is a technology reporter. He has a strong interest in gadgets, gizmos, and science. He writes regularly on these topics. - He can be contacted by email at vshukla@valuewalk.com