As spotted by Andrew Cunningham, the next version of Apple’s watchOS operating system announced yesterday at the kickoff of the WWDC developers conference, will not be compatible with first generation Apple Watches. Among those first-gen devices? The Apple Watch Edition which cost anywhere from $10,000 up to a whopping $17,000 before it was discontinued in 2016.
FUN FACT: the $10k gold Apple Watch Edition that came out three years ago won’t get new software updates starting this fall pic.twitter.com/ZprkFYU6hc
— Andrew Cunningham (@AndrewWrites) June 4, 2018
A lack of updates will not cause the watch to cease functioning, at least not yet. It will simply be ineligible for the latest Apple Watch features that require the most up-to-date operating system. It’s possible, however, that somewhere down the line, future versions of iOS might drop support for outdated versions of Apple’s watchOS entirely. These kinds of breaks have been known to happen as tech marches on, like when iOS 11 cut ties with all 32-bit apps that weren’t updated to 64-bit by developers or when iTunes dropped support for the first-gen Apple TV.
It’s unlikely that anyone who bought these pricey watches really expected them to last forever, and if you had ten grand to drop on one in the first place, it stands to reason that an upgrade isnt’ really out of the question. Still, the sky-high price of the Apple Watch Edition illustrates the natural conclusion of a consumer electronics market much more concerned with pumping new gadgets into the wild than supporting the ones that already exist. If this kind of stuff can fly, no wonder no one is bothering to fix what is actually wrong with phones.