Did Apple underestimate the most popular Apple Watch Sport color?

“Apple Watch preorders were off to a bang, with an estimated 1.25 million being ordered on day one. Of those watches, the Space Gray Apple Watch Sport with Black Band was, by far, the most popular,” John Brownlee writes for Cult of Mac. “Did Apple screw up its orders?

One more thing about those Apple Watch estimates from Slice Intelligence: if they’re accurate, they suggest Apple screwed up the color choices for the Sport collection. According to Slice, a whopping 64 percent of Sport purchases were for the space gray model with black band, 22 percent for white, and a mere 6/4/4 for blue/green/pink respectively. If this is even close to the true mix, Apple probably should have left the blue/green/pink bands as accessories only, and added a black-strap-on-silver-watch choice.John Gruber, Daring Fireball

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple forced the Space Gray Apple Watch Sport with Black Sport Band to be the most popular choice. Just like they forced us to buy our Apple Watch Sport units with White Bands (that we plan to leave in the boxes) and to spend an extra $49 per Watch for the Black Sport Band that the Silver AWS obviously should have been offered with in their canned preorder configs (if Apple were interested in offering a model that would be several times more popular than any other Apple Watch Sport combo). Plus the fact that the “blue,” “green,” and “pink” colors that they did offer with AWS are, in varying degrees, unwearable, ugly, and putrid (not to mention generally too-feminine for a 42mm AWS on a male wrist).

Apple Watch Sport preorder configs in Snow White, Baby Blue, Oh-So-Tender Green,  Puke Salmon, and Black (but not for the Silver AWS)
Apple Watch Sport preorder configs in Snow White, Baby Powder Blue, Oh-So-Tender Green, Puke Salmon, and Black (but not for the Silver AWS)

It’s almost as if Apple’s assemblers produced too many Space Gray AWS and/or not enough Silver ones, so they tried to manipulate the preorders by leaving the Black Sport Band out of the choices for the Silver AWS. Or they were trying to grab an extra $49 for Black bands (with us, they succeeded multiple times; regardless, it did guarantee we’d get our Watches on Day One, so it was worth the extra $49 per). Or they were trying to push AWS buyers (many of whom will be transitioning from things like Nike+ FuelBands and are therefore looking for the lightest weight possible) to AW in order to get the silver (Stainless Steel) with Black Sport Band preorder config that they did, for some reason, deign to offer, proving that a Silver Watch with a Black band is not aesthetically offensive to Jony Ive (who may, in fact, given the evidence above, be colorblind). (We’re not decorating nurseries here, Jony. These are watch bands.)

So, how many people chose the Space Gray case just because it was the only AWS preorder config that offered a black band?

As we wrote last Friday: With each report, it becomes clearer that not only using the iOS Apple Store app, with a favorited Watch, at exactly 12am PDT, but that choosing a Silver 42mm Sport with White band and then pairing it with a $49 Black Sport band bought separately offered us a better chance than choosing the preorder config Space Black Sport with Black Sport Band which, as we guessed, would be quite a popular choice. (We were concerned about scratching the anodized Space Black to reveal silver aluminum with wear and simply preferred the contrast between the Silver and the Black band better.)


  1. I too think Apple purposefully left the silver/black option off the table in order to get more $$ from customers. I, for one, am going to wait and see how the band feels (blue is an awful color, but the best of the other options, IMHO). If the band feels as good as it’s supposed to, I’ll pay Apple the extra $50 for a black one. If not, I’ll go on Amazon and buy a nice black leather strap for 40-50, as leather will be a nice every day band. I can then swap out for the blue when I run or bike, so as to save the leather band from all that sweat. Imperfect solution for sure. I’m not pleased Apple was so chinzy in their sport watch band colors. Boo on them.

  2. I ordered/wanted the 42mm Space Gray Black WATCH SPORT band because it reminds me of all the black Casio watches millions of U.S. Wore in the last forty years. Also if you study the specs, the above model is the LIGHTEST 42mm model of all the WATCH choices. And if you see it in person or via try on videos, it is not Gray. It’s black. Also bought a $20 rubber bumper for it so it won’t get scratched.😀💥👍🏿👀🚀

        1. That is not a stock configuration. LIGHTEST 42mm model of all the WATCH choices is the Apple Watch Stainless with the Black Classic Buckle. But then again, I already know what you are stating as I already did my research. Perhaps there is even lighter third party band.

  3. i dont trust the spice numbers. To be counted on their numbers you must own and use their app. So I you dont use their app, you are not accounted for.
    By the way, the color I ordered my wife because it is her favorite color, silver with “bright, putrid” band. And of the pictures is any way to tell, it will look gorgeous. Too many boring men on this tech writers articles.

    1. My wife, during the in-store try-on, eagerly opted for the 38mm “putrid” blue-banded Sport. Coincidentally, the band matches her running shoes.

      Being a boring tech guy with zero whimsy, of course I had no choice than to opt for for the 42mm Space Gray with black band.

  4. The first week is to just get an idea what the trends are…easy to pump up one color/model in production. All this early adopter stuff is a test for helping the rest of us later adopters…thanks!

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