Gurman’s report, plus the Series 3's aging hardware and the upcoming updates to watchOS 7, make a newer budget watch option seem highly probable.
So far, we don’t know much about this lower-cost Apple Watch—an “Apple Watch SE,” if you will—other than it’s aimed at competing with wearable makers like Fitbit in the budget smartwatch category.
A Bloomberg report says alongside the forthcoming Series 6, Apple is planning to introduce a new, more affordable Apple Watch to replace the Series 3.
Meanwhile, 9to5 Mac theorizes the cheaper watch is likely to have a faster chip and some more advanced features, like fall detection, while forgoing the upgraded displays you see on the Series 4 and Series 5.
The Series 3's $200 price tag (or lower if you find it on sale) is awfully tempting if you’re just looking for a basic smartwatch and don’t give a rat’s ass about advanced health features.
Regardless, it’s likely that the new budget watch will feature upgraded guts compared to the Series 3.
If you were wondering whether you should save yourself a couple hundred dollars and opt for an Apple Watch Series 3: Don’t.
When Apple previewed watchOS 7 at WWDC, it quietly noted that the update would not work on watches older than the Series 3.
That was a big signal that the hardware on older Apple Watches was finally maxed out—but it also indicated that the Series 3 was also on its way out.
Unless you find a Series 3 being resold for $150 or less in the next few weeks, it’s not worth the “savings” when a new launch is just around the corner.
Whatever the new budget Apple Watch is, it’ll be more future-proof and likely get you more bang for your buck, even if it ends up being slightly more expensive.
You’ll be good for another year, or at least until WWDC 2021, when we find out whether watchOS 8 updates will come to the Series 3.
That’s still largely true, considering we don’t have a firm idea of what pricing on the potential low-cost Apple Watch will be.
A few weeks ago, I argued that the only people who should opt for a Series 3 are folks who aren’t sure whether a full-featured smartwatch is something they actually want.
It’s possible that it might be $200 like the Series 3 currently retails for.