Come September, Apple Watch Series 3 might get the boot

The Apple Watch Series 3 might be discontinued from September 2022 according to a prominent leaker. The device is over 4 years old now.

The prediction comes from Ming-Chu Kuo. He tweeted today that Series 3 will hit its end-of-life in a few months as it will not be able to support future versions of watchOS.

This shouldn’t really come as too much of a surprise. Kuo’s projected timing coincides with the launch of the Series 8 device and release of watchOS 9. Apple typically discontinues older iterations when newer ones see the light of day.

It remains unclear whether Series 3 will be compatible with the upcoming version of the operating system. It currently runs on the most up-to-date software. But it might very well mean that generation will not be getting watchOS 9 as Apple does not actively sell hardware that does not support its current software.

Essential reading: Best fitness trackers and health gadgets

We still do not know what the next version of the operating system will bring. What we do know is that, like clockwork, it will be demoed at Apple’s WWDC 2022 (the annual Worldwide Developer Conference). This is likely to fall in early June – the exact date has not been set yet.


The Series 3 is Apple’s budget watch

The Series 3 device was unveiled back in the now remote September 2017. But despite it being very old in wearable tech terms, its quality means some users still wear it on their wrist.

How do the other generations fare – which have been discontinued?

Generation

Launched

Discontinued

1st generation

April 24, 2015

September 7, 2016

Series 1

September 16, 2016

September 21, 2018

Series 2

September 16, 2016

September 12, 2017

Series 3

September 22, 2017

???

Series 4

September 21, 2018

September 10, 2019

Series 5

September 20, 2019

September 15, 2020

Series 6

September 18, 2020

September 21, 2021

SE

September 18, 2020

???

Series 7

October 15, 2021

???

The Series 3 is Apple’s most affordable watch. As can be seen from the table above – it is also the oldest device that it is currently supporting.

However it looks quite dated now with a 272 x 340 resolution display (the same as the original Apple Watch!) and a thick bezel. Plus the device running the aging S3 chip and only 8 gigabytes of memory. Many had expected the company would shelve the device last year. But it remains as a more budget-friendly offering of Watch SE (around 80 bucks less expensive).

Apple is reportedly working on a more robust Series 8 model to come this autumn, alongside a low priced Watch SE 2. The original SE borrows a lot from the Apple Watch Series 6 but omits some of its functions such as SpO2 and ECG. It also doesn’t support the always-on display option. If the Series 3 is discontinued, Apple might keep this iteration going as the cheaper option to the SE 2.

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