Jul 23, 2019

Report Explores Jeff Williams’ Leadership Of 2013-14 Apple Watch Development


Mark Gurman from Bloomberg released a report about the development of Apple Watch.  He revealed everything that Apple COO Jeff Williams has overseen before the 2015 release of the original Apple Watch. The report consists of the Apple environmental team testing metals for allergic reactions, the aging of the Taptic Engine and the sales of the original, 18K gold Apple Watch Edition.

Firstly, Williams says that some of the employees got allergic reactions to the nickel in the watch casing. This resulted in him to scrap thousands of prototypes and altering the type of nickel to the safest one. Nickel amounts of the Apple Watch casings and bands are below the restrictions implied by the European Union, as stated by Apple:
Apple Watch models with stainless steel or an aluminum case, the stainless steel portions of some Apple Watch bands, the metallic portions of the Hermès bands, and the magnets in the watch and bands, each contain some nickel. However, they all fall below the strict nickel restrictions set by European REACH regulation. Therefore, while nickel exposure is unlikely to be a problem, you should be aware of the possibility in case you're susceptible to nickel-related reactions.
All of the bands that have stainless steel parts and Apple Watches regardless of material all have nickel in it. Even though not all bands have magnets, they still contain nickel including in its lugs. If you can tolerate only a bit of nickel, then you can only wear the ones that do NOT have any nickel on it, including the buckles. This includes bands such as the Sport Loop and many other ones.

Secondly, the Apple employees developing the Apple Watch found out that the Taptic Engine can get a long-term failure from corrosion. This means that the original Apple Watch didn’t have any waterproofing characteristics in the Taptic Engine, making it more susceptible to tarnish from excessive water exposure. That’s another reason why COO Jeff Williams gave a few Apple Watch models to employees for free.

Finally, Gurman’s report suggests the sales of the original, gold Apple Watch Edition only turned out to 10% of the thousands’ worth of the models in the production line. This data has been released a few weeks after its release in April 2015. These Apple Watch models had sales below average in contrast to the stainless steel models, which lead to the cause for the Cupertino company to discontinue the gold watches. Instead, they replaced it with ceramic models for Series 2 and 3, with the Edition line shutting down entirely last September. The wake of the Apple Watch Series 4’s gold stainless steel model replaces the Edition line nowadays.

All in all, the team has to undergo lots of testing and prototypes to ensure that the Apple Watch can last for a long time and safe to every iPhone user. Although the Edition line’s lack of sales contributed to its discontinuation last fall, the company is still keeping up with the sales of the Apple Watch.

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