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Apple Watch SE 2 didn't show up at the Apple event, and probably won't this year

Apple Watch 7
(Image credit: Apple)

If you were hoping to see the Apple Watch SE 2 at Apple's iPhone 13 event, we're sorry to disappoint you but the successor to the Watch SE was a no-show. In fact, we wouldn't expect to see it this year at all.

The show was certainly a busy one with the new iPad (2021), iPad Mini 6, Apple Watch 7 and iPhone 13 series all showing up, so we can't quite get annoyed that Apple missed a product out - there was also no indication we'd actually see the new mid-range smartwatch, so all in all this news isn't terribly surprising.

During the show, Apple revised its smartwatch line-up - now, the Apple Watch 3 is its budget offering, with the Watch SE its mid-range model and the new Watch 7 its premium wearable. The graphic above, which was shared by Apple, compounds the lack of a Watch SE 2.


Analysis: so... when?

Rumors before the iPhone 13 event suggested that only the four phones in that family would debut at the event, as well as possibly the Apple Watch 7. The rumor continued that a later event in October would bring new iPads and any other devices we expected to see, like the AirPods 3.

The presence of the two new iPads at the Apple event all but confirms there won't be a subsequent event. The company just doesn't have enough tech to show off to justify a whole new live stream.

So when? It's possible the company will announce them without much fanfare via a press release, and Apple has definitely done that before. But with Black Friday and the festive season coming up, most people are likely to be tightening their purse strings for everything that isn't on offer, making it a poor time to release a new product.

Instead, it's unlikely we'll see one until 2022 at the earliest. We might see one at the beginning of the year, and Apple has unveiled its SE products in this window before, but the original Watch SE came alongside the top-end Apple Watch, so maybe it'll come alongside the Series 8 in September 2022.

In short, don't hold your breath for a new Apple Watch SE 2 coming any time soon. If you're looking for a new wearable but didn't want it to get outdated immediately, you may as well buy one. 

Tom Bedford

Staff Writer, Phones

Tom's role in the TechRadar team is as a staff writer specializing in phones and tablets, but he also takes on other tech like electric scooters, smartwatches, fitness trackers and more.