Apple Watch 3 Will Likely Be Discontinued in 2022
Apple is clearly favouring a strategy based around 3 core products: Watch Series 3, SE and now Apple Watch Series 7. These 3 products set the starting prices for each tier and Apple clearly are using the Watch 3 as their introductory-level product and perhaps even as a kids’ version in the 38mm size.
Whatever happens with new Apple Watches in the next year or so, it is almost certain that at least 3 starting price points will be maintained and currently, the Series 3 comes in at just under £/$/Eu200, sometimes falling to $169 in the sales. This is clearly a price point that works for Series 3 and the SE is only recently experiencing price cuts to bring it closer to the Series 3 pricing, perhaps indicating what is to come?
Indeed the Watch 3 is probably the best selling Apple Watch of all, primarily because of its longevity in the marketplace having been first released in September 2017. This makes it certain that Apple sees the entry price point as highly important, maybe they will try to raise the lowest price a tad with an SE coming in at just over £/$Eu200?
Options that Apple Might Consider For its entry-level product
Whichever option Apple goes for, the differentiation between the 3 remaining products must be clear. In descending order of likelihood, these are my 3 best bets on new Apple Watch products next year.
- Discontinue the Series 3. Lower the price of SE and introduce SE Gen 2 which might have a larger always-on screen or faster charging or the new HR sensor. Introduce yet another incrementally improved watch 8; or
- Maintain the Series 3. Replace the SE with SE Gen 2. This could plausibly happen in April 2022 (likely September); or
- Discontinue the Series 3. Lower the price of SE, lower the price of Watch 7 and introduce a significantly different Watch 8 (outdoor version? glucose-sensing? More angular design?)
Whilst the Series 3 is a decent product, it just has to go in my opinion. The usable screen areas are starting to look too tiny, the battery is as inadequate as it always was and, well, it’s just old! It’s a testament to Apple that Series 3 still supports the latest, greatest watchOS 8.
Chronology of Apple Watch Series
|Watch||Released with||Release date||Final supported OS||Support ended|
|Apple Watch (1st generation)||watchOS 1.0 (iOS 8.2)||April 24, 2015||watchOS 4.3.2 (iOS 11.4.1)||September 17, 2018|
|Series 1||watchOS 3.0 (iOS 10.0)||September 12, 2016||watchOS 6.3 (iOS 13.7)||September 15, 2020|
|Series 2||September 16, 2016|
|Series 3||watchOS 4.0 (iOS 11.0)||September 22, 2017||Latest watchOS||(Current)|
|Series 4||watchOS 5.0 (iOS 12.0)||September 21, 2018|
|Series 5||watchOS 6.0 (iOS 13.0)||September 20, 2019|
|SE||watchOS 7.0 (iOS 14.0)||September 18, 2020|
|Series 7||watchOS 8.0 (iOS 15.0)||September 14, 2021|
I think the Series 3 will finally bow out in 10 months time and I’m pretty certain there will be an improved SE model. As always the next top-end Apple Watch will draw the most speculation from people like me who hope for considerably more than will be delivered in reality.