There’s no bad time to buy an Apple Watch, but there are better and worse times. Apple releases new Apple Watch models (called “series”) on a yearly cadence, and the price rarely changes by all that much. So to avoid buying an Apple Watch that is outdated after just a few weeks, you want to time it right.
Here’s what we know about Apple Watch release dates and when you should or should not buy.
Updated 08/05/21: With the Apple Watch series 8 and possibly a new Apple Watch SE coming as soon as next month, this is not a great time to buy.
Apple Watch: Pricing and specs
Most recent release: October 2021
Apple released the Apple Watch Series 7 on October 15, 2021. It’s mostly identical to the Series 6, only with a bigger display thanks to slimmer bezels and a USB-C charging cable that enables slightly faster charging. It carries the same price the Series 6 did, starting at $399.
In the fall of 2020 Apple introduced the Apple Watch SE. It’s basically a slightly updated Series 4 and starts at $279 for 40mm and $309 for 44mm, with cellular options costing $50 extra. It’s often a little cheaper at Amazon. Apple often sells earlier-model Apple Watches at a reduced price, and right now that’s the Series 3, which starts at a modest $199.
Apple Watch: Why you should buy
While we don’t think the Series 7 is much of an upgrade over the Series 6, it is better, and is essentially the best smartwatch you can buy. And the iPhone SE is a very affordable entry to Apple Watch.
With both models possibly being replaced in the lineup soon, you might want to consider holding off, though.
Apple Watch: Why you should wait
Apple typically introduces the new Apple Watch at the same event as the new iPhones–almost always in September. With that coming up so soon, you don’t want to buy an Apple Watch only to have it made obsolete a few weeks later. Or, to spend more on a Series 7 that drops in price right afterward.
The Apple Watch Series 8 is expected to have similar specs to the series 7, with the possible addition of a skin temperature sensor. The latest rumors say a bigger “Pro” model with great durability and battery life for heavy sports use is going to join the lineup. The Apple Watch SE 2 will probably look just like the current Apple Watch SE, but with a better processor and possibly new sensors and an always-on display.
Macworld recommends: WAIT
The new Apple Watch lineup is probably less than two months away, making this a bad time to buy a current model. The biggest change in the Series 8 is probably going to be the new extra-large, extra-rugged “Pro” sports model, but the possible addition of a skin temperature sensor is intriguing. If you’re thinking about the Apple Watch SE, you should definitely wait, as the new model is rumored to bring several useful new features like an always-on display and newer health sensors.