Apple has killed off the most premium version of the Apple Watch, which originally cost $10,000 and came in an 18-karat gold case

Stephen Lam/Getty ImagesApple introduced the gold Watch Edition Apple Watch models when it launched its smartwatch three years ago.
  • Apple has apparently discontinued the high-end Watch Edition model of the Apple Watch.
  • The Watch Edition version is no longer listed on Apple’s website, and the company didn’t mention it at its big press event on Wednesday.
  • The Watch Edition originally came in gold; the most recent version had a ceramic case.
  • Apple also discontinued four phones and dropped mention of an expected wireless charging device from its website.

Apple, it seems, is quietly backing away from the luxury watch market.

The company has dropped its premium-priced Watch Edition Apple Watch. That handful of a gadget, which most recently featured a ceramic case and a starting price of $US1,250, no longer appears on Apple’s website, and the company didn’t mention it at its press event on Wednesday.

Introduced when Apple first launched its smartwatch three years ago, the Watch Edition line came with an 18-karat gold case and a starting price of $US10,000. The device could be spotted on the wrist of mega-celebrities like Kanye West and Beyoncé. The following year, Apple replaced the gold cases with ceramic ones and lowered the starting price of the Watch Edition models by 88%, to that $US1,250 price point.

The new Apple Watch Series 4, which the company unveiled at that event, are only available with stainless steel and aluminium cases – and start at a more affordable $US399.

The Verge previously reported the discontinuation of the high-end Apple Watch model.

Consumers who want a high-end version of the Apple Watch can still buy one that the company co-brands with luxury watchmaker Hermès. Those models, which come with leather bands and custom watch faces, also start at $US1,250.

The Watch Edition models are among several products Apple appears to have pruned from its lineup on Wednesday as it introduced new watches and iPhones. It also apparently discontinued four iPhone models, including the last with headphone jacks – the iPhone X, SE, 6S and 6S Plus. Additionally, the company removed all mention of the AirPower wireless charging device it announced last year but never shipped.

In June, Apple announced that owners of the original Apple Watch models – including the gold Watch Edition version – won’t be able to update them to WatchOS 5, the latest version of the operating system, which is due out on Monday.

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