With the Ultra, Apple took a similar approach to broadening the appeal of its mobile devices and applied it to its watch line.

  • Step 1: Introduce a solid but still not fully realized version 1.0.
  • Step 2: Refine, refine, refine.
  • Step 3: Make a “pro” version.

The Ultra is the first truly new Apple Watch variant since the first one was introduced in 2015. I don't count the SE because it's basically some old parts that have been changed to fit a lower price point. The Ultra won't be the final one. We don't know how to know that. At Step 3, Apple does not stop.

  • Step 4: Let some “pro” features trickle down.

It hasn't done that with the watch. The materials of the new models were the only things that differentiated them. There is a lot of room to run in a new market. The market for watches is not new and Apple needs a different approach.

Apple tried to segment the market based on features. Some people might like the new features, but the real draw is the jaunty titanium case, bigger battery and international orange Action Button.

I think the Action Button will migrate down market. It's utility and potential is obvious, as my colleagues discovered. There is no substitute for a physical interface when it comes to watches for athletes. Do you want to start running? The button can be changed to launch a workout. You can log a lap once in the workout.

The appeal of the Action Button will likely grow as developers explore new uses for it. The secondary action can only be tailored to the app. If Brian and Kirsten want it, that could change.

The first non-Ultra with an Action Button will most likely be an aluminum model because it is too heavy for a sports oriented watch. The case is likely to be changed to distinguish it from the regular Apple Watches. It will most likely be slimmer than the Ultra's G-Shock. The new model will have a better battery life than the regular models. It is possible for Apple to cram a bigger battery into its larger case.

The larger watches aren't for everyone. The smaller size (40mm on the SE) is still there. Many people with smaller wrists have come to accept the trade-offs of larger watches because they enable extra sensors, bright displays and days-long battery life.

The new features could give the Apple watch a boost. The Ultra stole the show, overshadowing decent but expected updates to the Series 8. An Apple Watch with a lot of new features is likely to draw a lot of attention.

It's possible that Apple will bring back the name "Sport", a name that dates back to the original Apple Watch. The Apple Watch has some to draw on after seven years on the market. It is in line with Apple's naming convention, which is straightforward and conveys the product's qualities. The words "air" and "pro" are related to thin and light. It would work well with an aluminum model that is tailored to athletes.

The Ultra caters to the same group of athletes. Half marathons are more likely to be run than full marathons. They are very fit but not extreme in the sports they play. Some of the features of the Ultra are not included in the price. Is titanium a better choice than aluminum? Yes for some people. For most of the population, no.

With the Sport back in the lineup, Apple could continue to sell the regular aluminum and STAINLESS models with it. The company can make the Ultra and Sport models dressier than they are. They will get an Action Button if it catches on, but without a flashy accent color.

Where would the Apple Watches go? This is what it would look like if we ignored inflation.

  • Apple Watch SE – $199 (GPS only), $249 (GPS and cellular)
  • Apple Watch (aluminum) – $299 (GPS), $399 (GPS and cellular)
  • Apple Watch Sport – $499 (GPS and cellular)
  • Apple Watch (stainless steel) – $699 (GPS and cellular)
  • Apple Watch Ultra – $899 (GPS and cellular)

The Ultra will remain Apple's flagship. The large size of the bands will help it stand out. The large case will allow Apple to experiment with new sensors that may draw too much power or take up too much space in the regular models. Some of the sensor designs will trickle down once the company has refined them.

Apple has found a way to expand its offerings in each market segment it competes in, and there's no reason to think it won't do the same for the Watch Now that Apple has figured out how to market the Watch, it is on solid ground to expand into new niches. The Sport could be brought back as a more affordable Ultra in order to conquer another part of the watch market.