Apple Calls New Smartwatch Its First Carbon Neutral Product

Apple Inc. unveiled a new smartwatch lineup that it described as a major environmental milestone for the company: its first carbon neutral product.

(Bloomberg) — Apple Inc. unveiled a new smartwatch lineup that it described as a major environmental milestone for the company: its first carbon neutral product. 

The new Apple Watch Series 9 and a second-generation version of the high-end Ultra model are manufactured with clean energy and use a more eco-friendly band, the company said at a livestreamed presentation Tuesday. They also have a faster S9 chip and come in colors such as pink, gold and black. The new chip represents the first speed increase for the watch in three years.

As part of the green push, Apple is eliminating leather watchbands. The latest watches will also process Siri voice assistant requests on the device, making it more responsive. They’ll also respond to a new hand gesture — the double-tapping of a user’s fingers — to handle various tasks.

The watches start at $399 for the Series 9 and $799 for the Ultra, similar to last year’s prices. They go on sale Tuesday, and will be available Sept. 22, the company said.

The company also unveiled its new iPhone 15, which featured a USB-C charging port and camera improvements. It’s not unusual for Apple shares to fall during its big product announcements, and Tuesday was no different. Shares fell 1.7% at 2:00 p.m. in New York.

While it wasn’t announced during the presentation, Apple is also testing a new 3D-printing-based manufacturing process for device enclosures with the case of the stainless steel Apple Watch Series 9, Bloomberg News has reported. Apple plans to bring this process to the Apple Watch Ultra next year and eventually to more products, including the iPhone. 

Read More: Apple Tests Using 3D Printers to Make Devices in Major Shift

These new Apple Watch hardware is receiving only minor tweaks. But the company’s new watchOS 10 software — which will be available for older models as well — will offer updated widgets, new app designs, and features for bikers and hikers.

The Apple Watch is a major part of Apple’s wearables, home and accessories segment, which generates about 10% of Apple’s annual revenue — about $40 billion a year. However, the company’s market share fell in the first quarter this year to 26% from 32%, according to data from Counterpoint Research. The data provider said that was the first time first-quarter shipments of the Apple Watch fell below 10 million units in three years. 

The new models are unlikely to spur upgrades from users with a first-generation Apple Watch Ultra or an Apple Watch Series 7 or 8, but could bring in share from rivals like Samsung Electronics Co. The company is also looking to bring new people into the smartwatch market. It has touted that about two-thirds of recent Apple Watch buyers are new to the product.

(Updates with environmental push starting in first paragraph.)

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