There is talk Apple might release a budget version of its smartwatch on Wednesday, cheaper than SE. The device could, quite possibly, be targeted at kids.
This is according to an undisclosed source (full article is behind a paywall) cited in a New York Times article. Apparently, the company wants to enter the lucrative market for young smartwatch customers.
Here’s the relevant section from the publication.
“Apple plans to compete more aggressively soon for young smart watch customers,” the article reads.
“At an event on Wednesday, it is set to release a new version of the Apple Watch that is cheaper than the Apple Watch SE, the two people said.” The model will be introduced alongside other new versions of the watch, including a high-end wearable for serious athletes that will rival fitness trackers made by its competitor Garmin, they said.”
This is the first rumor of this kind that we’ve heard. Having said that, the company has been looking to gain an entry in the kids smartwatch space for a while now. This should surprise no-one.
A couple of years ago, a reference to a new Kids Mode was spotted in the iOS 14 code. It offers the same Activity Rings as for adults, the difference arising from the measuring metrics.
According to the CDC, the amount of physical activity children need depends on their age. Kids ages 3 through 5 years need to be active throughout the day. Ages 6 to 17 need to be active for an hour every day.
To remind, the Apple Watch operating system already has Parental Controls. Perhaps this and the Kids Mode were a prelude to an Apple-made smartwatch for children that might be released in just a few days time.
This is a growing market
The market for kids fitness trackers and smartwatches is a growing one. However, it is currently dominated by not so well established brands. Fitbit and Garmin do have fitness trackers for young ones. But they do not have smartwatches. A big-name brand could swoop in and easily dominate this market segment.
It is no wonder Apple may be eyeing this opportunity. There’s definitely big demand for parents who want to be able to contact their little ones, but who do not want to opt for a smartphone and everything that goes along with that. An inexpensive smartwatch would do the trick. It could even be just the SE, but at a cheaper price point.
Essential reading: Top fitness trackers and health gadgets
Not too long to go now. Apple is holding the launch event on Wednesday, September 7th. The company has confirmed it.
We are expecting the Apple Watch Series 8 to arrive, alongside possibly the Watch SE 2 model and a high-end Watch Pro variant with a larger display. After that, what will the Series 9 watch questions begin. The rumor mill will start spinning once again. It is never ending.
watchOS 9 was announced in June. Apple has said the software will be available on Series 4 and above later this fall. The SE2 and the kids watch may be the reason Apple Watch Series 3 has been dropped from the list of supported devices.
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