Apple announced at the WWDC22 plans to laying to rest the Series 3 smartwatch which debuted about five years ago. Apple revealed that the watchOS 9 will not be supporting the Series 3 and that now means that Apple’s Watch SE may officially take over as Apple’s budget smartwatch.
In 2017, when the Series 3 smartwatch launched, users has a feeling it was a great smartwatch because it introduced the cellular calling. Over the years as Apple supported the watch it became increasingly clear that the days of the Series 3’s were numbered. In 2020 when watchOS 7 was released, many users complained how the Series 3 struggled to update to new the software. watchOS 9 has now debuted along with a lot of new health and fitness features.
When the Apple Watch SE launched in 2020 alongside the Series 6, it muddied the waters with regard to which watch was truly the budget option. That’s because the Series 3 was still an option — for a heavily discounted price. At the time, the Series 3 was put forward as an entry-level watch, while the SE was for folks looking for the next level up without having to shell out for a flagship.
Rumours currently around says that plan is in motion for Apple to release three new Apple Watches this year. They are the Series 8, a rugged Apple Watch, and an updated version of the SE. As watchOS 9 make plans to add multisport activities for triathletes, more in-depth metrics for running, and several new workout views, that’s a pointer that some kind of rugged watch will debut after today’s updates. The intention to drop support for the Series 3 gives extra credibility to rumors that we may see a new SE at the next Apple keynote event.
Should this all pan out, it’d be a much smarter product lineup than what’s currently available. Users will be introduced to a smartwatch that caters to the Garmin or Polar crowd, a watch for folks who prioritize smart features over fitness, and a watch for users who are on a budget. This effectively would mean Apple is repositioning SE as its entry-level device rather than its midrange device. That also could mean the standard Series 8 may become the new midrange watch while the rugged Apple watch takes the premium spot. In essence, Apple is intentional about creat a watch lineup that would look a lot more like the iPhone lineup.