The new Apple Watch SE could be cheaper thanks to this change


Apple is reportedly developing a new version of the Watch SE with a plastic case.

According to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, Apple is developing a new, low-cost version of the Apple Watch SE with a plastic case.

In the latest Power On newsletter, Mark Gurman commented on the hard plastic material applied to the new ‌Watch SE‌ version instead of the traditional anodized aluminum case, which could be a way for Apple to reduce the cost of the ‌Apple Watch SE‌ line.

Apple's current aluminum Watch SE model

Apple's current aluminum Watch SE model

The report doesn’t provide any further details, but the obvious benefit of making this change is cost-cutting. The current Watch SE‌ model sells for $249, while Samsung ’s Galaxy Watch FE smartwatch sells for $199.

Currently, the Apple Watch SE is made of aluminum, similar to the higher-end Apple Watch versions. When Apple last updated the Apple Watch SE in 2022, it redesigned the back to use a new “nylon composite” material instead of ceramic.

Apple famously released the plastic iPhone 5C in 2013, a reworked version of the ‌iPhone‌ 5 with a polycarbonate shell that came in a variety of vibrant color options. The device was somewhat controversial, with critics saying the plastic casing was a step down from the luxurious metal finishes of previous models, and some consumers felt the price was still too high for what it offered.

By using a plastic case for the Apple Watch SE, Apple is able to bring a more affordable product to consumers. Using plastic not only reduces manufacturing costs, but also opens up the possibility of a wide range of color customization, similar to what Apple did with the iPhone 5C.

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