Apple Watch includes all the bells and whistles you would expect from a smartwatch, including an App Store, extensive fitness and wellness tools, and oh-so-much-more. Rumors suggest Apple could soon release a stripped-down version of the Apple Watch for the first time in the history of the wearable device.

Dubbed “Apple Watch SE,” this model is almost certainly going to contain the same features of the model it’s likely to replace (the Series 3). And yet, little else is known about this pesky wearable device that could launch in just a few days.

The short list

  • Release date: September 15 (unconfirmed), which is when Apple’s also likely to reveal the Apple Watch Series 6.
  • Included: Unknown
  • Price: Around $199, which is the starting price for the model that it’s likely to replace.

Update: September 11, 2020 – Prosser says it’s a go! – The Apple leaker says the Apple Watch SE will look similar (but won’t be the same) as the retired Apple Watch Series 4. Among the features it won’t have: ECG capabilities and an always-on display.

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What are the rumors?

On September 1, Bloomberg reported Apple would reveal a successor to the Apple Watch Series 5 and a replacement for the Series 3.

When the Apple Watch Series 5 was announced in 2019, Apple quickly discontinued the Series 4 while resurrecting the Series 3, making it the company’s entry-level wearable device. Apple could duplicate this process in 2020 by bringing back the Series 4 as a cheaper model. Because Bloomberg says the Apple Watch SE has been designed to compete with Fitbit, however, it’s more likely this is a new product.

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What might it include?

Because an Apple Watch SE would be replacing the Series 3, I would expect the newer model would at least carry over the signature features of the 2017 model. That means the Apple Watch SE should be splashproof and swim-proof, include Apple Pay and a built-in App Store, offer menstrual cycle tracking, and more.

The Apple Watch SE should also support the new software features set to arrive with watchOS 7. Although, there will probably be noticeable hardware differences between it and the flagship Apple Watch Series 6.

Sleep tracking

In watchOS 7 and iOS 14, Apple’s (finally) making it possible to track sleep using the company’s native Clock app. The feature will almost certainly get carried over to whatever less expensive wearable device Apple is set to launch. The Apple Watch Series 6 is rumored to include specific hardware features that allow for better sleep tracking. One of these could be a built-in blood oxygen monitor. To keep the price of the Apple Watch SE low, don’t expect to find that extra feature here.

Fitness upgrades

The Apple Watch SE would also include all of the fitness workouts found on the existing Apple Watch models, plus the new ones coming with watchOS 7. These include Dance, Functional Strength Training, Core Training, and a fresh post-workout Cooldown.

Watch face Sharing

For the first time, Apple Watch users will be able to share Watch faces with other users through texting, emailing, or posting a link online. Customized Watch faces will also be downloadable from the built-in App Store.

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Line in the sand: Apple Watch Series 6 vs. Apple Watch SE

It’s going to be interesting to see the key differences between the two 2020 Apple Watch models. Most of these changes should be on the hardware side. Think of a better processor and improved water resistance plus more case choices (aluminum, stainless steel, and ceramic) on the flagship model.


Apple’s holding a remote press conference on Tuesday, September 15. The event, which begins at 10 a.m. PDT, is likely to feature the big Apple Watch Series 6 reveal. Naturally, this would also be the appropriate time for the Apple Watch SE to make its debut too.

What say you?

Would you buy an Apple Watch without all the goodies? Let us know in the comments below.

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