When the Apple Watch SE was announced last fall, I was super excited to get my hands on it. Finally, Apple had introduced a mid-tier option into its Apple Watch lineup. Not only does the Apple Watch SE bring down the price, making the life-saving device more affordable, but when you compare the Apple Watch SE to the Apple Watch Series 6, it's not even missing that many features.
With September fast approaching and very few solid rumors on any Apple Watch announcements, I have been wondering what the fate of the Apple Watch SE will be. Luckily, we can look to the iPhone SE for some answers.
Will there be a new Apple Watch SE this year?
While anything is certainly possible, I would say no. There will not be a new Apple Watch SE this year. That doesn't mean the Apple Watch SE will be discontinued. I'm positive it will be sold as Apple's low-cost option in the lineup. The Apple Watch Series 3 is likely to be put out to pasture (and if it isn't, it really should be), and the new Apple Watch lineup will likely consist of the current Apple Watch SE, the upcoming Apple Watch Series 7, and perhaps the base Apple Watch Series 6 as the mid-tier option. That's assuming Apple decides to keep the three different price points, which I think it might do. If you look at what the company has been doing with its device lineups recently, I think they are trying to hit as many price points as possible so that everyone can get their hands on the best Apple Watch for them.
That's my prediction, and if you look at how Apple seems to be handling the iPhone SE, I think it's a pretty good one.
The iPhone SE story
Even though there were four years between the iPhone SE (2020) and the original model from 2016, rumors and leaks seem to be hinting at another iPhone SE launching sometime in 2022. This would put the iPhone SE on a two-year timeline and show that Apple is serious about serving a lower-cost market, something Apple has been accused of ignoring in the past.
Apple Watch SE (2022)?
Apple launched both the new iPhone SE and the Apple Watch SE in 2020, and I think a two-year refresh cycle would be perfect for the SE lineup. This gives the chances for people to jump aboard with a new device that has a lot of flagship features and will last them a good four or five years should they choose not to upgrade right away — many people don't.
So don't get discouraged if a new Apple Watch SE doesn't get launched this fall. I suspect the Apple Watch SE has a bright future ahead of itself.
Luke Filipowicz has been a writer at iMore, covering Apple for nearly a decade now. He writes a lot about Apple Watch and iPad but covers the iPhone and Mac as well. He often describes himself as an "Apple user on a budget" and firmly believes that great technology can be affordable if you know where to look. Luke also heads up the iMore Show — a weekly podcast focusing on Apple news, rumors, and products but likes to have some fun along the way.
Luke knows he spends more time on Twitter than he probably should, so feel free to follow him or give him a shout on social media @LukeFilipowicz.
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