Skillful sea ice forecasts from days to years ahead are becoming increasingly important for the operation and planning of human activities in the Arctic. Here we analyze the potential predictability of the Arctic sea ice edge in six climate models. We introduce the integrated ice-edge error (IIEE), a user-relevant verification metric defined as the area where the forecast and the “truth” disagree on the ice concentration being above or below 15%. The IIEE lends itself to decomposition into an absolute extent error, corresponding to the common sea ice extent error, and a misplacement error. We find that the often-neglected misplacement error makes up more than half of the climatological IIEE. In idealized forecast ensembles initialized on 1 July, the IIEE grows faster than the absolute extent error. This means that the Arctic sea ice edge is less predictable than sea ice extent, particularly in September, with implications for the potential skill of end-user relevant forecasts.