When will the Apple Watch’s price drop?


What will the Apple Watch 3 bring to your wrist? A price cut on the Apple Watch 2, at the very least.


Just a few days from now, on Sept. 12, Apple will announce the iPhone 8. But rumor has it we’ll be getting our first look at the Apple Watch 3 as well.

Does that mean a discounted Apple Watch 2 ($369.00 at Apple) is in our future? If so, when? And how much can you expect to save? Let’s go to the crystal ball.

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A brief history of Apple Watch pricing

Historically, when Apple introduces a new iPhone, previous models get a $100 price cut almost immediately. But there’s a lot less history to draw on where Watches are concerned.

Exactly one year ago, Apple trotted out the Watch Series 2 with a starting price of $369 — $20 higher than the original price of the original model (which became known as the Series 1). But the latter wasn’t discontinued right away; instead, Apple gave it a $50 price cut.

Today, the Series 2 still starts at $369, while the Series 1 remains available at $269 and up.

Are price cuts imminent?

If Apple does indeed introduce the Watch Series 3 next Tuesday, it seems very likely the Series 2 will get an immediate price cut — possibly by $50, same as the Series 1 did, or possibly down to $299 to help goose sales a bit more. It depends, in part, on the price of the new model: Will Apple keep the $369 starting price, or could we see it float up to, say, $399? Even higher? The company certainly isn’t shy about premium pricing, as evidenced by the rumored $1,000 sticker for the iPhone 8.

What’s more, the Watch 3 is rumored to incorporate LTE, a FaceTime camera and a new, slimmer design — all of which could contribute to a steeper cost.

There’s also the question of what will happen to the Series 1. Although I’m sure many potential buyers would welcome a lower cost of Apple Watch entry, it seems unlikely Apple will continue selling three generations of the product. Instead, it’s a good bet that model will be discontinued.

Other ways to save

Anytime a new Apple anything hits the market, it usually results in a glut of used previous-generation models, as fans often sell last year’s gear to help subsidize this year’s.

Assuming you’re willing to consider a used or refurbished Apple Watch, that’s good news: You should see some killer deals in the weeks to come.

Although sites like Glyde, Gazelle and Nextworth can hook you up with good deals on used iPhones, however, these resellers don’t deal in Apple Watches. That leaves you with the likes of Craigslist and eBay, where it can be tougher to gauge the condition of what you’re getting — and Craigslist offers no buyer protection to speak of.

But do keep an eye on Apple’s refurbished Watch page, which sells a smattering of literally-good-as-new models for around 15 percent off the list price.

Your thoughts? Would you buy a Series 1 if Apple cut the price to, say, $199? Have you been biding your time in hopes of a decent Series 2 deal? Shall we meet back here a year from now to discuss a Watch 3 price cut?

Apple Sept. 12 iPhone event live coverage: Follow CNET’s liveblog in real-time.

iPhone X, iPhone 8: Everything we know about Apple’s new iPhones.

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