Apple has been evaluating platinum for future versions of the Apple Watch, and may be using ceramic blending to achieve the extra-durable gold in first-generation Edition units, according to a new report.
Sources told the Wall Street Journal that Apple has been studying platinum casings, but that even if the company intends to build them, they are not expected to be announced during today's press event in San Francisco. Platinum watches can often sell for triple the price of gold ones.
The gold in the Edition Apple Watches is already anticipated to make them some of the most expensive products Apple has ever sold. Rumors have put prices anywhere between $5,000 and $20,000; for that reason, Apple is also allegedly installing special safes in its stores. The cheapest Watch will be $349, and midrange models could start around $500 or $600.
Apple may not be using standard 18-karat gold. Company exectutives have repeatedly claimed that their material is "twice as hard" as regular gold — which is fairly malleable — but haven't explained how this possible. Leancrew points to an Apple patent application describing an infusion of low-density ceramic particles.
By weight, 18-karat gold is actually just 75 percent gold, with the remaining quarter normally being silver, copper, or a combination of metals. The Apple alloy could use less than a third of the gold traditionally required while still meeting 18-karat standards.
AppleInsider will be providing live coverage of today's press event, which begins at 10 a.m. Pacific, 1 p.m. Eastern, and can be viewed at live.appleinsider.com. The Apple Watch is expected to occupy the most stage time.