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The Apple Watch Series 3 won’t be getting watchOS 9

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(Pocket-lint) – It’s finally happened – Apple is calling time on the Apple Watch Series 3, which has stood for ages as its most wallet-friendly smartwatch option.

The watch will not be getting the next big update to watchOS, with that software reserved for the Series 4 or later, effectively repositioning the Apple Watch SE as the new budget option for the lineup.

The WatchOS 9 unveiling at WWDC made no mention of the change in its presentation segment, but the small print from Apple’s release on the subject dishes the dirt – “watchOS 9 will be available this fall as a free software update for Apple Watch Series 4 or later paired with iPhone 8 or later and iPhone SE (second generation) or later, running iOS 16.”

This will likely disappoint a wide range of the watch’s users – it’s been around for so long that the install-base is doubtless fairly massive at this stage. That said, the last couple of watchOS updates have been fairly painful to install onto the Series 3 due to its slower, less powerful hardware.

The same is true of loading apps onto the watch, and this all points toward the possibility, or indeed likelihood, of Apple refreshing the lower end of its watch lineup later this year, possibly by upgrading the specs of the Apple Watch SE.

Still, for those on a newer version of Apple’s smartwatch, you can find out about the many changes coming to watchOS in our piece covering all the details, right here.

Writing by Max Freeman-Mills.

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