Apple yesterday officially confirmed its annual special event in September for next week. The September 15 event is said to focus primarily on a new iPad Air and new Apple Watch hardware, including the Apple Watch Series 6. Interestingly, Apple is reportedly also preparing a new Apple Watch Series 3 replacement. Read on as we detail what that could mean for the Apple Watch series this year.
Apple Watch Series 3 story
The Apple Watch Series 3 was first introduced in 2017, and it was a remarkable update at the time. It was the first Apple Watch model to offer mobile connectivity. It was also powered by Apple’s S3 processor which provided significant speed improvements in the watchOS experience.
The Apple Watch Series 3 is starting to show its age, especially as we approach the release of the Apple Watch Series 6. The Series 3 S3 processor is simply not up to the task of many watchOS features today, and the boxer design. looks especially dated compared to the modern Apple Watch Series 4 and newer design.
With the looming release of the Apple Watch Series 6, the Apple Watch Series 3 is hard to recommend. This year, however, things are further complicated by reports that Apple is also planning a lower Apple Watch that will serve as a direct replacement for the Series 3.
Apple Watch SE
Bloomberg was the first to report that Apple is planning a lower Apple Watch for this year. In a report published last week, Mark Gurman wrote that the Series 3 replacement will help Apple compete with cheaper devices such as those from Fitbit:
The new Apple Watch series includes a successor to the Apple Watch Series 5 and a replacement for the Series 3 that will compete with affordable training devices such as those from Fitbit Inc.
In essence, it looks like Apple plans to give the Apple Watch series a treatment similar to the iPhone lineup with the introduction of what sounds like the Apple Watch SE.
Earlier this year, Apple released the new iPhone SE as a replacement for the iPhone 8. It has the same physical design, but with Apple’s latest A13 processor inside, upgraded camera technology and support for wireless charging. It is the most affordable iPhone in Apple’s range, and it is a popular option for those who want a reliable and future-proof phone, with a well-known design and lower price tag.
The reported Apple Watch Series 3 replacement may be quite similar to the iPhone SE: bringing one of Apple’s latest processors to the lower market for budget-conscious customers. The new processor will give the Apple Watch a much lower headroom for the new watchOS 7, from both Apple and third-party developers.
One thing that is unclear, however, is what kind of design the Apple Watch Series 3 replacement may have. Currently, the Apple Watch Series 3 is available in 38mm and 42mm sizes, while the Series 4 and Series 5 are available in 40mm and 44mm sizes.
The Apple Watch Series 3s 38mm / 42mm form factor that sticks around has been a pain point for many developers. Apple may be able to give the Series 3 replacement a minor redesign to increase the screen size options to 40mm / 44mm, but that’s unclear for now.
Finally, the Apple Watch Series 3 lacks many of the health features that make the Apple Watch Series 4 and Series 5 so appealing. While it is unlikely that Apple will bring ECG functionality to the lower end of Series 3 replacement, it can certainly add fall detection features.
Should you buy the Apple Watch Series 3 now or wait?
The Apple Watch Series 3 is a tempting alternative in Apple’s laptop range. However, we definitely recommend waiting to see what Apple has in store until next week. The Apple Series 3 replacement will certainly be a better product than the current Series 3. What is unclear, however, is whether Apple will be able to maintain the $ 199 price point.
Ideally, the Apple Watch SE will use Apple’s 64-bit S5 processor and add more health features, while retaining the $ 199 / $ 299 price structure. We’ll learn more from Apple itself on September 15th.
What do you think about the rumors of a new Apple Watch SE? What’s on your wish list for the new Apple Watch hardware this year? Let us know in the comments!
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