One of the greatest mysteries of our time has finally been solved. When the Apple Watch Series 5 was released, the world was shocked to discover that Apple had decided to discontinue its 4th-generation smartwatch, even though it had just been released in September 2018 and was only available until January 2019. Sure, you could still purchase the Series 4 watch in Apple stores, but why would they discontinue such a popular product? One key difference between Series 4 and 5 might help explain what happened. Though, one theory, as pointed out by 9to5Mac, is that it was just an opportunity to clear inventory of the older model and make room for the new one.
Reasons Why Apple Discontinued the 4th Generation Watch
There are a few reasons why Apple discontinued the Series 4 watch shortly after releasing it and began making only Series 3 and 5 watches:
- The Series 3 watch was popular among customers; few wanted a more expensive new model with better health tracking.
- Sales were slow for Series 4, especially compared to previous models.
- Many other companies released newer smartwatches that were cheaper and still had good battery life.
- The Series 4 watch was heavy, and consumers weren’t willing to pay more for a heavier watch with less battery life.
- Consumers did not want an LTE-enabled watch due to a lack of service providers and high prices.
- Many bugs prevented customers from using their watch as intended, so they felt like they wasted their money on an unreliable product.
A Comparison Between Apple Watch Series 3, 4, and 5
The company released its newest, most technologically advanced, and most expensive model in 2019, so Apple will continue to push new features on its current product to generate more revenue until it can justify an upgrade for existing customers.
However, if you don’t want to spend as much or don’t need as many features as the latest watch offers, then sticking with your Series 3 may not be a bad idea; it should still get updates for a year or two before being phased out and replaced by something new.
Discussed below are the significant differences in the three watch series:
The first noticeable difference between these three versions is that the new model is larger and has a much more expansive touchscreen display. The text on each app is much bigger and thus more readable than on previous models, making it easier to use while your phone isn’t handy or isn’t in your hand.
The watch also comes with an ECG reader so you can take your electrocardiogram, which is available at a local hospital- something that was previously not offered by any other smartwatch company.
Other minor differences are slight changes in speaker size, camera quality, Bluetooth range, ambient light sensor design, etc.
The Difference in Battery Life
One of the notable differences between the Apple Watch Series 3 and the newer Apple Watches is their battery life. The new series was designed with more battery life to accommodate for a few things, including but not limited to sending notifications and performing other tasks without your iPhone nearby.
Whereas with series 3, you can get about 18 hours out of a single charge under regular use, when you are wearing a newer watch like series 4 or even series 5, you can wear it longer with up to two days worth of usage!
The Difference in Prices
Apple Watch Series 4 costs $399 and can reach up to $699 depending on storage and size, while the Series 3 starts at $279 and can go up to $379 depending on size and band choice. Suppose you want an Apple Watch with cellular capability and are willing to pay for a higher model; you will save almost two hundred dollars off the purchase price by simply buying a third-generation model instead of the fourth-generation one.
If saving money was not a concern, then there is little reason why someone would choose the lower-priced option.
The price of the Apple Watch 5 has gone down considerably since its release. You can now buy the watch starting at $259, which is much more affordable than the price of Series 4 when it first came out.
It seems as though, after a while, Apple realized that they needed to compete with other brands and lowered their prices accordingly.
Difference in Functions
The Series 4 and Series 3 have the same amount of fitness tracking capabilities, but there are a few differences in design that make them more suitable for different people. One main difference is that the newer series has an electrocardiogram, or ECG for short, whereas the older series does not.
The ECG measures a person’s heart rhythms to diagnose potential abnormalities and give feedback about their heart rate to improve their safety when working out or experiencing stress.
Another difference between the two watches is the water resistance. The Series 4 is water resistant up to 50 meters, while the Series 3 can only withstand 30 meters of water pressure before it starts malfunctioning.
What about Series 5? As soon as you look at the series 5 watch’s specs, you’ll see why they discontinued production on the Series 4. The new model has advanced heart rate monitoring with additional sensors to detect tachycardia (a fast heartbeat) and arrhythmia (an irregular heartbeat). It also provides fall detection when paired with an IOS device.
All these features were missing from the previous models because they were too expensive to implement into such small devices.
Choosing the Best Apple Watch Between the 3 Models
Now that you know which one might be the best for you, it’s time to weigh your options and decide which watch to buy. Here are some key factors that may help you decide between these three models:
- Battery life – With a maximum battery life of 18 hours, Series 3 is expected to have the longest lasting battery life in comparison to both Series 4 and 5 watches. A total charge should last about two days if only using the watch for 30 minutes per day.
- Price – While pricing can vary based on various locations and countries, Series 3 is often found at a lower price than other models.
- Features- As with all smartwatches, each model has different characteristics. For example, Series 3 does not have cellular service or GPS capabilities like the newer versions but has a water-resistant design and Siri Integration. In contrast, Series 4 offers automatic workout and fall detection technology. Lastly, Series 5 offers wireless charging capability in addition to many more features from both previous models.
The choice hinges on preference, but keep this information in mind when making your final decision.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Go Diving with Apple Watch Series 5?
The short response is yes, you can swim with your Apple Watch Series 5 as long as it is appropriately set up and watertight with a diving case on.
Did the Discontinuation of Apple Watch 4 Affect Customers Who’d Already Bought It?
Some people who bought an Apple Watch when it first came out may be hesitant to purchase a new one, wondering if it’ll get discontinued like the last one and be left out in the cold again.
Most feel they could have waited a bit longer and saved themselves some money while still getting their current watch upgraded by another manufacturer.
The newer, more expensive watches are better equipped to keep up with our constantly changing lifestyles and habits. The next-generation smartwatch introduced a host of new features either unavailable in earlier models or offered only as upgrades on those models (such as ECG readings and new activity modes).
With that said, it was not wrong for Apple to discontinue production of the Series 4 after releasing a newer model like the Series 5. They merely provided a mid-cycle upgrade so people who wanted one would have an option available.