Apple Watch Ultra 2 and Series 9 will be the only new wearables from Apple this year

Apple Watch series 8
(Image credit: Future / iMore)

Fans of the Apple Watch SE are going to have to look elsewhere for their budget wearable this year, it seems. A new report suggests that Apple will only update its best Apple Watches, leaving the Apple Watch SE 3 to wait until 2024.

If true, the Apple Watch Ultra 2 and Apple Watch Series 9 will be the only new wearables Apple announces this September. This would also mean that the Apple Watch SE is falling into a two-year update cycle having last been refreshed in September 2022.

It isn’t yet clear what this will mean for the current Apple Watch SE, however, and it’s possible that it will hang around at the current $249 price point.

Apple’s most affordable wearable 

The Apple Watch SE is the most affordable wearable that Apple sells right now, but that cheaper price comes at the cost of some big features. The Apple Watch SE doesn’t have an always-on display, for example, nor does it support taking an ECG from your wrist. Alongside the Apple Watch Series 8, it also looks dated thanks to thicker bezels than its more costly cousin, although it does support watchOS 10 when it launches soon.

But writing in the weekly Power On newsletter, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman claims that “there isn’t a new Apple Watch SE coming this year, which makes sense as that model is on a two-year upgrade cycle and was refreshed in 2022.”

All eyes will now be on 2024 to see what Apple does with the Apple Watch SE. We can surely expect it to get some new features and thinner bezels at that point, otherwise, it’ll look even more out of place in a lineup full of high-end wearables.

The SE news follows reports from Gurman that Apple Watch Ultra 2 could come in an all-new black finish, meanwhile, both that and the Apple Watch Series 9 are set to benefit from Apple Watch's first major chip upgrade since the Series 6

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.