Apple may introduce a plastic Watch SE

  • According to Bloomberg, Apple is planning to introduce a plastic version of its more affordable Watch SE.
  • The report comes in the same week that Samsung is readying to reveal new wearables at Galaxy Unpacked.
  • The regular Apple Watch and Watch Ultra are also expected to see improvements this year.

While the Apple Watch is the dominant force in the wearables space, ommanding 20.6 percent of shipments in the first quarter of this year per IDC, the company’s hardware does not come cheap. Even its more “affordable” option, the Watch SE, costs R6 399 locally.

There could be some reprieve, however, if the latest Power On newsletter from Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman is to be believed.

This as the Cupertino-based firm is reportedly readying to debut a plastic version of the watch SE which would swap out the current aluminium body with a hard plastic variant. It is not mentioned whether this would be recycled plastic though, despite Apple and many others moving to integrate recycled materials wherever possible in hardware these days.

“The company is also working on a new version of its lower-cost Apple Watch SE model, which it last updated in 2022. One idea that the company has tested is swapping out the aluminum shell in favor of rigid plastic. Perhaps it’s looking to get the cost down to something that could better rival Samsung’s cheapest watch, the $199 Galaxy Watch FE,” writes Gurman.

The mention of Samsung there is notable as this week the South Korean outfit is preparing to host its latest Galaxy Unpacked event in Paris. On Wednesday afternoon local time, the company will showcase new foldables powered by Galaxy AI, but a pair of smartwatches have already been leaked online.

As such, the latest versions of Apple Watch would go up against what Samsung reveals later this week.

On this front, Gurman highlighted that thinner bodies were on the cards for the regular Watch (now in its Series 10 generation) and the updated Watch Ultra. New displays and chipsets are also rumoured, along with the ability to detect health issues like high blood pressure and sleep apnea, although these may not find their way onto the upcoming releases.

No date has been outlined in the report, but seeing as how last year’s iteration debuted in September, we should expect a similar timeline for 2024.


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