Apple has been caught ripping off data storage from its customers. The company is expanding this model to other products like its new Apple Gold.
After Apple’s launch of a number of new products Monday at their “Spring Forward” Event, some of their claims were thrown into question. For one, the battery life of the Apple Watch, according to Tim Cooke, would be 18 hours. The reality is, if you actually use all the functions of that watch, the battery life can drop to as low as three hours. Apple would say they were merely giving best scenarios, but in the process they were misleading. Their Apple Edition Watch, also, has been scrutinized.
Mainstream press, in its difficulty to create engaging material about relevant topics, has created a storyline about how “gold investors have been positively giddy ever since Apple announced it planned to make a high-end watch with 18-karat gold casing.” News sources like CBS cited some pretty off-kilter websites to pull this little tidbit of info.
Any serious gold investor never took seriously the bold claim that Apple’s new phone might use up 30% of the world’s gold supplies. The reality is, Apple will be watering down its gold content. It says this is so the watch is “tougher and more resistant to scratches,” but the reality is this move will likely save the company lots of money on its $10,000-$17,000 watch, which will carry an operating system likely obsolete within a year. The “Edition” Model, the Apple gold watch, will be made from custom gold alloys of rose or yellow 18-karat gold. But wait – just how much 18k gold?
Apple marketed its custom alloy as a good thing, but the gold blend which Apple’s metallurgists have been cooking up come with a worrisome caveat. Apple filed a patent on a type gold which contains the least amount gold possible…Hmm…
18-karat gold is usually 75 percent gold by mass, although American jewelry producers have been known for coming in just under that by however much law permits. The remaining metal in the blend is nickel, copper, zinc and other materials.
Generally, 18-karat gold is 75 percent gold by mass, with the remaining 25 percent made of nickel, copper, zinc or other metals. Pure gold is too soft for jewelry — and certainly for a watch — so the other metals help make 18-karat gold more durable.
Apple needed to find a way to make its 18-karat gold extremely tough – more tough than Rolex, for some reason. Hence the patent. Its patent application outlines an 18-karat metal composite formed via blending gold and ceramic powders into a mixture that is compressed and heated. According to the patent, the powders could comprise diamond, garnet, sapphire powder, zirconia and tungsten carbide.The blend could change depending on the color or density desired.
What’s unclear is whether or not this patent describes the gold used in Apple’s Edition watch. The company did not return a request for comment though in the following video the company claims the Edition watch alloys include silver, copper and palladium.
Jonathon Ive, Apple designer, told the Financial Times that the molecules in Apple gold are closer together creating more hardness than standard gold. “Has Apple finally left a reality-based existence behind it?” asked Ars Technica.
Jordan Weissman of Slate suggested that the gold in Apple Edition could make up 75 percent of the mass but just 28 percent of the volume. That means a prevalence of non-gold materials in the watch.
“Apple gets to use less gold per cubic centimeter and still call it 18-karat,” Weissman wrote. “It gets to stretch its gold out further than, say, Rolex would, to make a watch this size and shape.”
The real story about Apple’s fraudulent-esque gold has been overshadowed by talk of whether or not the watch could increase the price of gold.
“Apple may consume up to 756 metric tonnes of gold per year in the production of its new luxury Apple watch,” read an e-mail from Goldcore. “This equates to roughly one-third of gold’s total annual global mine supply. May have enormous ramifications for gold market and propel prices higher.”
What Goldcore might not have considered is that the gold used by Apple will be Apple gold – a watered-down substitute. But, also, Goldcore might have based its figures off lofty sales assumptions.
Wall Street Journal reported Apple could sell as many as 1 million gold watches per month. Speculation that there will be 2 troy ounces of gold in each watch led to some internet bloggers to posit that 750 tons of gold each year would be used in the watch line. Gold demand from the entire global jewelry industry last year was 2,153 tons, according to the World Gold Council.
Others are more skeptical about sales assumptions.
Gene Munster, an analyst at the investment bank Piper Jaffray, estimates that watch industry leader Rolex sells 750,000 watches a year at most, far short of the 1 million per month estimates suggested for Apple. Munster conjectures that Apple will only sell 10,000 of the priciest model.
Doubtless, Apple will sell many Apple Edition’s, but this is an extremely risky investment for anybody looking to take it. Are you get what you’re paying for? A good question any customer should ask themselves.