Comment: Apple Watch Series 3 has become a white elephant for Apple

Posted by Ryan Mai on

The Apple Watch Series 3 is becoming a problem for Apple. Updating the smartwatch is getting messier and messier but, at the same time, having a $199 Watch option is an incredible deal for a brand like Apple. So what the company should do about the Apple Watch Series 3?

A few weeks ago, 9to5Mac’s Filipe Espósito said Apple should discontinue the 2017 Apple Watch Series 3 because it’s become “nearly impossible to install watchOS updates on Series 3 without having to restore the entire device first.” And he is right.

He also points out that the Series 3 has also become a problem to developers:

In addition to not delivering the experience users expect, Series 3 also upsets some developers who are forced to support the old display form factor in their apps — even if they no longer run reasonably well in terms of performance on Series 3. If the product can barely be updated without relying on tricks and advanced settings, why does Apple still sell it?

And with Filipe’s question, I’ll try to answer why having the Apple Watch Series 3 around is still a good deal for Apple, although not for new customers.

What could Apple do about the Apple Watch Series 3?

The Apple Watch Series 3 is almost 4 years old but it still looks good for the average customer. It’s relatively cheap and for those who don’t care about all the fancy things the Apple Watch Series 6 is able to perform, it’s almost a steal for $199.

The biggest problem is that Apple only offers the model with 8GB of storage. If the customer buys – or already has – the Apple Watch Series 3 with Cellular, they won’t have any trouble using the Watch, since it has 16GB of storage, more than enough to update the smartwatch.

So if you own the Cellular version of the Series 3, you’re probably expecting Apple to give it at least another year of a software update with watchOS 8. At the same time, if you own – or plan to buy – a Series 3 at Apple right now, you’ll get really frustrated about needing to restore your brand new Watch just to update it every other month. This is why we can’t recommend anyone buy the Apple Watch Series 3 right now.

The best thing Apple could do now is to discontinue the Apple Watch Series 3, give it another year of watchOS updates, and lower Apple Watch SE prices by around 10%. This would be enough to sell an amazing Watch for $250, only $50 more than the outdated Series 3.

It would be a win-win situation for users and Apple. There’s also precedent since Apple lowered prices of the original Apple Watch before announcing Series 2. Another thing the company could do, apart from letting users know they should restore their Series 3 to update it, is to offer a software update that needs less storage. We all know the Series 3 can’t handle multiple complications, so why not just offer an update with a few features inside of it?

Wrap up: the Apple Watch SE is the next big deal

Apple Watch SE

As we are only a few days away from WWDC 2021, Apple could announce what it plans to do about the Apple Watch Series 3 very soon. One thing that’s for sure is that if Apple keeps silent, it could be worse for the company. The Apple Watch Series 3 brought great additions to the Watch but its lack of storage is now becoming a greater problem than just having it around for customers who want to try an Apple Watch for the first time.

With less than $100 differing this Watch for a much faster and capable Apple Watch SE, this should be the company’s focus right now. What do you think Apple should do about the Apple Watch Series 3? Tell us in the comment section below.



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