Apple drops price for Watch Series 3 after launch of Watch 4

The older version of Apple's smartwatch now starts at $279.

Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS).
César Salza/CNET

Apple is dropping the price of its Watch Series 3.

The smartwatch now starts at $279 for the GPS model, the company announced at its product event in Cupertino, California, on Wednesday. Customers can get the smartwatch at the new price after the event. It previously started at $329 on Apple's site.

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Apple also launched the Watch Series 4, which features a 30 percent larger screen, fall detection and EKG support. The Series 4 also has new speakers and a processor chip that boasts much faster speeds for the watch. It'll start at $399 and cost $499 for the LTE model. Preorders are due to start Sept. 14, and the watches should be available Sept. 21. 

Apple has discontinued the Watch Series 1.

In the three years since the original Apple Watch debuted, in 2015, it's become the top wearable on the market. Apple doesn't reveal sales figures for the device, but market researcher IDC estimates that nearly half of the 43.5 million smartwatches shipped this year will come from Apple. Google's Wear OS trails behind at 12 percent. And Android Wear, which is still used by some watchmakers, should total 18 percent of shipments. By 2022, Android Wear and Wear OS combined are expected to catch up to Apple. 

WatchOS 5, unveiled in June at WWDC, brings a number of fitness improvements to the Apple Watch, an instant watch-to-watch walkie-talkie mode, support for podcasts and an ability to play audio from third-party apps on the go.

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