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Apple Watch Series 3, dead in all but name, now actually dead

Enlarge / Apple Watch Series 3 at Apple’s announcement event, with its distinctive/divisive red-dotted crown. (credit: Ars Technica)

Like a cat trying to hide its pain, Apple’s Series 3 Watch quietly disappeared Wednesday afternoon, following the company’s newest Apple Watch announcements, including an ultra-premium rugged Apple Watch Ultra. There wasn’t room in Apple’s lineup for the S3, nor was there likely room on the S3 for WatchOS 9. Series 3 would have been 5 years old on September 22.

The Series 3 stuck around in Apple’s lineup for a strangely long period, outlasting every other Series release except 7 (which it really might have tied, depending on how you time these things). It was the “discount” Apple Watch, even if it was often only $30-$50 less than the Apple Watch SE at times and often far more expensive than third-party refurbished Apple Watches. In July, Ars Technica’s Corey Gaskin wrote in an Apple Watch buyers’ guide that the Series 3 was “more like a little toy at this point,” and was only—maybe—worth it for putting on kids who don’t notice their phone ringing.

As with most lives, the Series 3’s had a different, brighter look at the start. It was the first Apple Watch with an (activated) altimeter for stair-climb and elevation tracking, spoken responses from Siri, and most importantly, LTE connectivity, allowing you to use it without having a phone nearby for Bluetooth tethering. This was seen as a boon to runners, cyclists, and anybody seeking to loosen the umbilical connection they felt to their phone. It could be, Ars wrote at the time, the Watch’s watershed moment.

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