The Apple Watch Series 3 is the cheapest smartwatch in Apple’s lineup right now, starting at $199 (38mm) or $229 (42mm). They’re even less if you take advantage of these great Apple Watch deals. But Apple might cancel the device soon, after five years of service. That’s according to an insider who is usually aware of Apple’s plans for the near future.
The Apple Watch Series 3’s dated hardware might not support the upcoming watchOS 9 operating system. Needless to say, that’s a good reason to cancel the aging smartwatch.
Is Apple Watch Series 3 worth buying?
The cheapest entry to Apple’s smartwatch ecosystem is still a great deal, assuming you purchase the device for specific purposes. Starting at $199 or less on sale, it can be a great first wearable device for certain users, including children and teenagers. But it lacks support for fall detection, which makes it less useful for older people who decide to finally get a wearable to track their health.
You can consider it the equivalent of a smart fitness tracker available from the competition. But the Apple Watch 3 has a bigger screen, a rich ecosystem of apps, and advanced health-tracking features. Also, the device runs the latest watchOS operating system. That means it can support all the watchOS 8 features that do not require newer hardware or sensors.
The Watch 3 is also a communications device that can be used to respond to texts calls. The cellular version turns it into a phone replacement, assuming you can still get the cellular version. Apple only sells the GPS versions of the Apple Watch Series 3.
But considering the Apple Watch SE starts at $279 (40mm) or $309 (44mm) and it’s available in cellular versions, the Apple Watch Series 3 will not make sense for most people looking to jump on the Watch bandwagon. It’s still a better choice than many fitness trackers out there, but the SE offers much more value.
Also of note, the Apple Watch SE is up to $40 off right now.
End of life is imminent
It’s not just the price that makes the Apple Watch SE the best budget Apple Watch for most people. The SE model features a bigger display, a faster processor, and better health sensors than the Apple Watch 3.
Even without well-known analyst Ming-Chi Kuo tweeting that the Apple Watch Series 3 might be reaching the end of life this year, one could see the writing on the wall.
Apple made the most of the 2017 device, keeping it around as it unveiled better Watch hardware. Apple kept lowering the price while still ensuring it could run the latest version of watchOS. But with each new Watch generation, the gap between the entry-level model and the top version widens.
The Apple insider tweeted earlier this week that Apple might cancel the Apple Watch Series 3 in the third quarter of 2022. Kuo said the smartwatch’s hardware might not meet the requirements of future watchOS builds.
That’s not enough to confirm that the Apple Watch Series 3 will be canceled this year once the Series 8 arrives. But Ming-Chi Kuo is by far the most accurate Apple leaker out there.
Also, it’s unclear at this time what new features watchOS 9 will deliver. Apple will introduce the new operating system for its wearable devices at WWDC 2022 in June. At that time, we’ll learn whether the Apple Watch Series 3 can support the new OS version.
If the 2017 model isn’t on the list of devices set to receive watchOS 9, that would be an indication that Apple could soon cancel the wearable.
More Apple Watch coverage: For more Apple Watch news, visit our Apple Watch Series 8 guide.