It feels like 1,000 years since Tim Cook stood on stage an announced that Apple was selling a gold-plated smartwatch for $15,000. At the time, it was difficult to say if this was a sensible move or just one involving “courage,” because no one had tried to sell a small wrist computer for that much before.
Two years later, the normal-human Apple Watch is doing surprisingly well, exceeding expectations by being the best-selling smartwatch in its category. The $15,000 gold Apple Watch Edition? Well, it’s been discontinued, and now its fancy Paris flagship store is closing.
As Mac4Ever discovered, the dedicated Apple Watch boutique in Galeries Lafayette, a famous shopping center in Paris, is going to be closed down. The report cites dwindling sales figures and a “change in focus” as the reasons for killing off the picture-perfect store. The boutique is expected to close in January next year. There’s two similar boutiques in Tokyo and London, and the future of those is said to be undecided.
You can also see the shift in focus from the current Apple Watch lineup. When Apple debuted the Watch Series 2 last month, they Apple Watch Edition underwent a conspicuous change. The $15,000 gold-plated version isn’t sold any more, and instead the Apple Watch Edition is wrapped in ceramic, and costs a much more palatable $2,000.
Now, $2,000 is what you should spend on a laptop, not a smartwatch. But it put the top-end Apple wearable far closer to the rest of the company’s lineup. It’s possible to see someone who owns several $10,000 watches splurging on a ceramic Apple Watch Edition. It’s far harder to see many people making their most expensive watch a gadget that will be out of date in a few years’ time.