Series 3 will suffer greater than normal resale decline next year

ReardenMetal

macrumors regular
Original poster
May 1, 2015
236
98
Los Angeles
As an AW3 LTE owner who is thinking of upgrading to AW4 LTE, it occurred to me that when the Series 5 is released my AW3 LTE will suffer a sharper resale decline than other watches have done during previous release cycles.

Why? Well, I suspect next cycle we’ll see more AW4s that have full ECG functionality crowding out the AW3 at a significantly more attractive price. Apple’s pace of innovation on the watch appears to be hitting a steeper part of the innovation curve.

This leads me to believe it’s actually smarter to upgrade this year. What do you think? (And yes, I know the ECG functionality may not benefit everyone or could be overblown.)

P.S. Even with istocknow and random trips to the Apple Store, I couldn’t even upgrade if I wanted to. In Los Angeles, there is a severe shortage of Apple Watches, including the one I want.
 

staggerlee41

macrumors 6502a
Sep 25, 2017
889
784
Pittsburgh, PA
I'd have to assume the answer is YES you would get more for it this year, but that's just an educated guess. With Apple's trade in, they're offering me $115 for my Series 2 Aluminum.
 
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gigaguy

macrumors 65816
Apr 19, 2010
1,351
116
USA
I think processor speed, updateability (and LTE for some) are very important aspects of the Series 3. Series 0,1, and 2 are behind or lacking in these areas. EKG is desirable for some but you pay a lot more to get it.
The big deal on the 4 is the larger screen.
 

Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
33,230
34,240
It’s obvious that Series 3 will suffer a decline, but you have to look at the Apple Watch as a _whole_, it does not do well with resale value whatsoever. If Apple continues to release new Apple Watch models on an annual basis, every model will slowly decline.
 
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Akrapovic

macrumors 6502a
Aug 29, 2018
713
1,059
Scotland
It’s obvious that Series 3 will suffer a decline, but you have to look at the Apple Watch as a _whole_, it does not do well with resale value whatsoever. If Apple continues to release new Apple Watch models on an annual basis, every model will slowly decline.
This was my first thought too. Unlike iPhones, the Watches tend not to resell for a good value, no matter which it is. Don't concern yourself with the resale value of the Watch - you'll always be disappointed.
 

OllyW

Moderator
Staff member
Oct 11, 2005
17,086
6,454
The Black Country, England
I just picked up a mint condition 11 month old SS S3 for less than half the original retail price so I’d imagine you will be lucky to get around 25-30% in 12 months time. It’s probably worth selling a month or so before the new models go on sale as the used market is flooded around the release date and it becomes a buyers market.
 
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ReardenMetal

macrumors regular
Original poster
May 1, 2015
236
98
Los Angeles
I just picked up a mint condition 11 month old SS S3 for less than half the original retail price so I’d imagine you will be lucky to get around 25-30% in 12 months time. It’s probably worth selling a month or so before the new models go on sale as the used market is flooded around the release date and it becomes a buyers market.
Question for you. Is that series 3 you just picked up your only watch now or are you collecting Apple Watches? The watch as I see it could become more collectible as innovating the watch slows and the market becomes more saturated. There’s something to be said about lagging only one generation behind and saving lots of cash in the process. Then again...there’s always the allure of the new.
 

OllyW

Moderator
Staff member
Oct 11, 2005
17,086
6,454
The Black Country, England
Question for you. Is that series 3 you just picked up your only watch now or are you collecting Apple Watches? The watch as I see it could become more collectible as innovating the watch slows and the market becomes more saturated. There’s something to be said about lagging only one generation behind and saving lots of cash in the process. Then again...there’s always the allure of the new.
I wouldn't say I collect Apple Watches but I now have a nice Series 3 SS and a 1st gen SS to go with my other mechanical watches.

I've bought both of my Apple Watches second hand and one generation behind the current release and I'm very happy to let someone else eat the 1st years depreciation. I only like the stainless steel watches and wouldn't be comfortable paying over £750 for a gadget that's going to lose 75% of it's value in a couple of years time so I'm expecting my next Apple Watch purchase to be a used Series 5 SS in two years time. :)
 
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deeddawg

macrumors G3
Jun 14, 2010
8,959
2,768
US
As an AW3 LTE owner who is thinking of upgrading to AW4 LTE, it occurred to me that when the Series 5 is released my AW3 LTE will suffer a sharper resale decline than other watches have done during previous release cycles.
Perhaps, but the reality remains: It'll cost you less to skip the S4 and buy the S5 next year, even with reduced S3 resale, than it'll cost you to buy the S4 this year and buy the S5 next year.
 

ReardenMetal

macrumors regular
Original poster
May 1, 2015
236
98
Los Angeles
I wouldn't say I collect Apple Watches but I now have a nice Series 3 SS and a 1st gen SS to go with my other mechanical watches.

I've bought both of my Apple Watches second hand and one generation behind the current release and I'm very happy to let someone else eat the 1st years depreciation. I only like the stainless steel watches and wouldn't be comfortable paying over £750 for a gadget that's going to lose 75% of it's value in a couple of years time so I'm expecting my next Apple Watch purchase to be a used Series 5 SS in two years time. :)
Thank you. You may have just convinced me to save some dough, chill for a little while and wait for the killer deals ahead. Meanwhile, I’ll enjoy my Series 3 some more. Hell, I can’t even build the infograph analog watch face I want with those core complications missing.
 
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