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Black Apple Watch Ultra existed, and I can’t believe Apple scrapped it

Published Nov 17th, 2023 6:43AM EST
Black Apple Watch Ultra
Image: ParrotSWD on X/FCC

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It might seem crazy what I’m about to say, but Apple indeed tested a black Apple Watch Ultra before introducing the original model a year ago. According to FCC images found by user @ParrotSWD on X (via 9to5Mac), Cupertino sent the Federal Communications Commission a prototype of an Apple Watch Ultra with a black ceramic back.

What’s interesting about these images, despite the black finish, is the plastic Action Button, which then got redesigned and got a metal finish instead. Although it’s unclear how much of a prototype this device was, Apple usually doesn’t send – or at least we don’t find – unfinished versions of its products.

The last time something like this happened was with a gold version of the iPhone X six years ago. Later, Apple released this color with the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max. Unfortunately, since this black Apple Watch Ultra was an early prototype of the original model, and a second version has just been released, it leads me to believe that Apple will never release this finish for the Ultra version.

Interestingly, Cupertino was rumored to introduce a variant of the titanium Apple Watch Ultra in black for the 2023 release. It was rumored by an X user, and Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman even hinted at that possibility, saying Apple had thought about unveiling a darker version and ultimately scrapped it.

But after seeing the images of a black Apple Watch Ultra, I can’t believe Apple decided not to move forward. Most likely, the reason behind this is that people are more likely to scratch this Apple Watch – and the colorless parts in a black model would be more noticeable. With a natural titanium finish, even if you scratch the sides of the Watch, it isn’t that noticeable.

That said, I really hope Apple releases a darker Apple Watch Ultra in a future iteration of this product.

José Adorno Tech News Reporter

José is a Tech News Reporter at BGR. He has previously covered Apple and iPhone news for 9to5Mac, and was a producer and web editor for Latin America broadcaster TV Globo. He is based out of Brazil.