It’s been 5 years since Apple debuted the Collection 3, and at WWDC 2022, it successfully laid the smartwatch to relaxation. watchOS 9 won’t help the Collection 3, and that seemingly means the Apple Watch SE will formally take over as Apple’s funds smartwatch.
The Collection 3 launched mobile calling when it launched in 2017, and on the time, it was an excellent smartwatch. (Although, the battery life may’ve been a bit higher.) Whereas Apple continued to help the watch through the years, it turned more and more clear that the Collection 3’s days have been numbered. Because the launch of watchOS 7 in 2020, many customers have reported the Collection 3 struggles to replace to new software program. And watchOS 9 launched a lot of latest well being and health options.
When the Apple Watch SE launched in 2020 alongside the Collection 6, it muddied the waters with regard to which watch was actually the funds choice. That’s as a result of the Collection 3 was nonetheless an choice — for a closely discounted value. On the time, the Collection 3 was put ahead as an entry-level watch, whereas the SE was for people searching for the following stage up with out having to shell out for a flagship.
That… wasn’t an excellent thought. Even in case you managed to improve to the most recent watchOS, most of the newer options didn’t work as nicely. Some weren’t even included in any respect, regardless of the Collection 3 supporting later variations of watchOS. App load instances have been so sluggish that it simply wasn’t value it.
At present, the rumor mill is saying Apple plans to launch three new Apple Watches this yr: the Collection 8; a rugged Apple Watch; and an up to date model of the SE. It’s virtually sure after in the present day’s updates that some type of rugged watch is on the best way as watchOS 9 provides multisport actions for triathletes, extra in-depth metrics for operating, and several other new exercise views. However dropping help for the Collection 3 offers further credibility to rumors that we may even see a brand new SE as nicely.
Ought to this all pan out, it’d be a a lot smarter product lineup than what’s at the moment out there. You’d have a watch that caters to the Garmin or Polar crowd, a watch for people who prioritize sensible options over health, and a watch for people who don’t need to spend an excessive amount of. This successfully would imply Apple is repositioning SE as its entry-level gadget as a substitute of its midrange gadget. That, in flip, may imply the usual Collection 8 turns into the brand new midrange watch whereas the rugged model takes the premium spot. In essence, the watch lineup would look much more just like the iPhone lineup.
For those who’re a Collection 3 proprietor, you don’t have to improve instantly. It’s really higher to attend till later this fall when Apple pronounces the Collection 8. At the moment, you’ll be able to often discover older or refurbished flagships just like the Collection 4, 5, 6, and seven at a extra palatable value. Or, relying on if we get a brand new SE with up to date options, that may be a compelling choice. However, as soon as once more, in case you’re enthusiastic about shopping for a brand new Collection 3 for tremendous low-cost — don’t. It doesn’t matter how “good” the deal is. It was a nasty purchase in 2020 and 2021, and it stays a nasty thought in 2022.