Is an ultra-affordable new Apple Watch version coming tomorrow? Maybe… or maybe not

Yes, ladies and gents, we’re officially on the home stretch now as far as Apple’s next big product launch event is concerned, and surprisingly (or not), we still don’t have all the key facts on the iPhone 14 family and the company’s upcoming smartwatches etched in stone by multiple credible sources.

That being said, there might actually be one more thing on the schedule that’s arguably less exciting for power users than an extreme sports-centric edition of the hugely popular Apple Watch while showing definite potential (in theory) for serious mass appeal.

A cheaper device than the Apple Watch SE?!

As doubtful as it might sound to a lot of folks familiar with Apple’s M.O. (and history), two people “involved with the project” apparently told The New York Times (on the condition of anonymity) to expect a child-friendly smartwatch with, let’s say, an appropriate price tag to debut on the Steve Jobs Theater stage tomorrow.

Although it’s generally quite hard to dispute the credibility of The Times’ inside sources, that’s… pretty much what Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman is doing today on Twitter. The most authoritative Apple leaker out there doesn’t “believe” such an “ultra cheap kids-focused Watch” exists, speculating instead that the previously rumored second-gen SE could cost less than its $279 and up predecessor.
Of course, with the ancient $199 Apple Watch Series 3 widely expected to go the way of the dinosaur at last this week, you may well have to pay more than you do right now for the most affordable member of the industry-leading lineup starting next week.
While “unlikely”, Gurman is willing to accept the survival of the OG Apple Watch SE beyond tomorrow as “another possibility”, in which case the SE 2 would probably start at 280 bucks and its 2020 forerunner would be in for a price cut… of some sort.

The reason that’s so unlikely is the Apple Watch SE 2 could look an awful lot like the first generation (at least on the outside), confusing prospective buyers into ordering the older and cheaper variant.

How low could an Apple Watch Kids go?

Unfortunately, The New York Times doesn’t have any sort of approximate, estimated, or speculated answer to that question to share with its readers, leaving us guessing that we might (hopefully) be dealing with a sub-$200 starting price.

To be able to charge, say, $149 or even $199 for any kind of intelligent timepiece in 2022, Apple would definitely have to cut some serious hardware corners, presumably making this thing smaller and significantly less powerful than the Series 8 and SE 2.
Children also don’t need the full suite of health and wellness features currently offered by the top-selling Apple Watch Series 7, so things like ECG and blood oxygen monitoring technology would almost surely go away for the company’s first-ever kid-centric wearable device.
What may well stay in place are standalone GPS tracking and even cellular capabilities, which parents would undoubtedly appreciate as invaluable supervision and voice communication tools untethered to a mobile phone.

Obviously, all this guesswork and conjecture should be treated with extreme caution for now given that no one else besides The Times’ two anonymous sources believes an “Apple Watch Kids” is indeed coming in a little over 24 hours (at the time of publication).


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