How long does an Apple Watch last? This is a question that anyone considering investing in an Apple smartwatch is likely to ask. Apple Watches aren't exactly cheap, so you want to be sure the investment is going to be worthwhile.
Apple has been releasing a new generation of the Apple Watch every year since 2015, usually in September. That means that we're now on the Series 9. And then there's also the cheaper Apple Watch SE and the high-end Apple Watch Ultra, both of which have now seen two iterations. But most people don't buy a watch expecting to need to upgrade in 12 months, and fortunately Apple Watches are built to last longer than that. He were consider just how long in order to answer the question, are apple watches worth buying?
Apple support and updates
The question of how long an Apple Watch lasts encompasses several elements. The physical device itself is built to stand the test of time, but, since it's worn on the wrist, the screen is naturally exposed to the risk of knocks and scrapes. The sapphire glass is strong, but it can still be scratched. A screen protector can held here to keep the watch looking good for longer.
Aside from the screen, the question of how long an Apple Watch lasts isn't so much related to physical wear and tear but to operating system support and battery performance. Looking at the former, Apple Watch runs its own operating system, WatchOS. Apple provides updates for its watches for several years, but the timeframe is not exact.
The first Apple Watch released in 2015 stopped getting updates in 2018. Support for the Series 1 and 2 (released in September 2016) came to an end in 2021. However, the 2018 Apple Watch 4 and all Apple watches since then are still supported today and qualify for an update to WatchOS 10. In this sense, Apple has gradually been increasingly the lifespan of its watches as far as updates go.
And after Apple does end updates for an Apple Watch, that's not the end of its life. The device can still be paired with an iPhone, though there is more chance of security risks. We don't know when Apple Watch 4 will lose support, but I think it's safe to say that you should get at least five years of updates on a new Apple Watch.
Once we've considered updates, the next area where an Apple Watch is most liable to start to show its age is in battery life. Defining exactly how long an Apple Watch will last with decent battery performance is almost impossible considering the number of different variables involved: multiple Watch models and configurations, variations in use from one person to another and even different ambient temperatures can also play a roll.
And, as with almost any form of electronic tech, you come across cases at both extremes of the spectrum. There are people who had to return their Apple Watch under Apple's warranty because it stopped working properly after less than a year, while there are others who are still happily using the original Apple Watch today, more than eight years after its release.
Over on the Apple discussion forum, one user reported in January 2023 that they still use an Apple Watch Series 4 that shows battery health of 92% after four-and-a-half years. The reality is that the relatively small lithium battery used in Apple Watches is susceptible to damage, and this means that the experience of one user can be very different from another. As with damage to the screen, Apple Watch battery damage can be repaired, however the cost of this might be so high that it makes more sense to buy a newer watch.
The chances of good battery health can be extended by ensuring that 'Optimized Charging' in on, by charging to 50 per cent and powering off, by storing the watch in a cool, dry place and by charging to 50 per cent every six months if the watch is not in use. With the standard Apple Watch and Apple Watch SE (i.e., not the Apple Watch Ultra), apple recommends not using it at temperatures of over 35C.
All Apple Watches come with one year of hardware repair coverage through Apple's limited warranty. Apple also offers up to 90 days of complimentary technical support. We have come across cases where Apple has agreed to replace a watch shortly after the warranty period has elapsed in cases where the problem appeared to have been due to a hardware fault.
Are Apple Watches worth buying?
So how long does an Apple Watch last and are Apple Watches worth buying? There will always be exceptions, but on balance, based on the experience of our own reviewers and the comments we've seen from users online, I would say that an Apple Watch provide five to six years of good performance. After that point, there's a chance that Apple may cease to provide updates and battery health could start to diminish quite notably.
In theory, the more expensive Apple Watch Ultra with its more rugged design and ability to ensure more extreme temperatures should last longer, at least its physical components, but since the first generation was only released in 2022, we're not yet able to say for sure how long it lasts in practice.
Whether an Apple Watch is worth buying will depend on personal expectations and how much use you have for its features, which include music, pairing with the iPhone to take calls and send texts and a range of health metrics. Personally, I would say that five to six years is a fair lifespan for a tech product of this kind, comparable with many smartphones.
Will there be Black Friday Apple Watch deals?
That's a good deal because typically the savings on the standard Apple Watch tend to be up to around $80 off, while the Apple Watch SE sometimes has up to $50 off. Occasionally, we see better deals than this on specific colours or configurations.
The most obvious suspects for Black Friday deals will be last year's models – so the Apple Watch Series 8, SE gen 2 and the Apple Watch Ultra 1. But I wouldn't rule out the chance of some decent discounts on this year's Apple Watch Series 9 too.
During Black Friday last year, we saw discounts on the Apple Watch Series 8 at Amazon despite it being released only two months earlier. And during Amazon's Prime Big Deal Days in October we already saw a small discount on this year's Apple Watch Ultra 2. See a selection of the best current prices in your region below.