Hot on the heels of announcing that the iPhone 8 goes on sale in South Africa on 20 October, the iStore has revealed that the Apple Watch Series 3 will go on sale the same day. Got a current Apple Watch and want to upgrade it? You can can get up to R1,000 cash back by trading it in or upgrading through Discovery’s Vitality Active Rewards programme. And, if you go for an iPhone 8 upgrade, too, you’ll be eligible for a free extra Apple ‘Modern Buckle’ or ‘Leather Loop’ band for the Watch, which are valued at between R3,300 and R5,400.
There’s still no indication of pricing on the iPhone 8, and no word on when the iPhone X will also hit our shores (and stores). And we know, dear reader, that’s the info a lot of you are waiting for. We do, however, have pricing on the Apple Watch Series 3. The 38mm versions of the Aluminium body and Nike+ edition will cost R5,500, while the 42mm versions will cost R6,000. We don’t yet know what the other body options will cost, or what special variants like the Hermés edition will cost, though. When we know you will.
So, what’s there to look forward to in the third generation of Apple’s Watch? Much of what there is to look forward to is less to do with the updated hardware and more to do with watchOS 4. Apple Music subscribers will be able to sync music to the Watch, which should make it even more useful as a fitness device, and heart rate info has been given greater prominence. Apple’s digital assistant Siri, meanwhile, will be able to talk back and offer Google Now-like suggestions regarding upcoming appointments and other contextually sensitive things… assuming you use Apple’s own apps for things like email, calendar and smart home kit, that is.
Internationally, Apple’s launched two versions of the Series 3, one with cellular connectivity, and one without. Sadly, we won’t be getting the cellular version of the Watch in South Africa on 20 October, but hopefully it’ll follow soon enough. Why are we particularly excited about the cellular option? For starters, it’s been freed from the iPhone. In other words, you’ll be able to leave your phone in your desk drawer, the gym locker, or at home for that matter and still field calls and messages. How is this cellular voodoo possible without making the Watch substantially bigger or killing its battery life? The SIM is built-in and Apple has turned the display itself into the cellular antenna.
For now, though, it looks likely there’ll be queues at Apple stores come 20 October. And they may well be longer than we’ve ever seen in South Africa. Now we wait with baited breath to see if the iPhone X is added to the roster… and what it’ll cost.