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Apple's next big idea could be a cheap Apple Watch 'clone'

The Apple Watch SE 3 could commit the same iPhone 5c mistake.

Published onJuly 8, 2024

An image of the Apple Watch Series 7, Garmin Venu 2, Samsung Galaxy Watch 4, and more smartwatch lying on a table
Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority
  • The Apple Watch SE 3 could potentially retire the aluminum casing in favor of a cheaper plastic one.
  • This possible material shift could make the company’s budget smartwatch even more affordable.
  • By doing so, Apple may win over undecided budget-conscious consumers who otherwise would pick the cheaper Samsung Galaxy Watch FE.

A few years ago, Apple started catering to budget-conscious customers by releasing the plastic iPhone 5c. The product flopped spectacularly, pushing Apple to rethink its strategy. That’s when it began putting out SE-branded phones and smartwatches, which offer dated technology rather than poor builds. Despite that failure, the iPhone maker could revisit plastic products, as it has reportedly considered adopting the material for the upcoming Apple Watch SE 3.

According to a Bloomberg report, Apple is looking into ways to drop the cost of its SE smartwatch, which is currently pricier than Samsung’s Galaxy Watch FE. To do so, the company could retire the Apple Watch SE 3’s aluminum shell in favor of rigid plastic.

For reference, the budget Apple Watch costs $249, while Samsung’s goes for $199. So, platform-agnostic customers seeking an affordable smartwatch will generally opt for the Galaxy Watch FE or one of the unofficial Apple Watch clones. By potentially dropping the price to match Samsung’s, Apple could win over some of these consumers.

Given that Apple prototypes all sorts of products but doesn’t release most of them, there’s a chance that a plastic Apple Watch won’t ever see the light of day. The report only states that the company has tested the idea of this material swap, and there are seemingly no credible rumors pointing to a mass production of said model.

The Apple Watch SE 3 could launch during the company’s fall event in two months. Until then, we won’t know for sure what the next-gen SE smartwatch will look like.

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