With Prime Day 2021 less than a week away, it's time for deal-hunters to make a game plan. Once June 21 rolls around, Lightning deals will come and go in a flash, leaving little time to decide which discounts to snatch up or skip.
Last year's Apple Watch Prime Day deals generally underwhelmed us, with the most significant discounts coming to older watches like the Series 3. But that happened partly because Prime Day 2020 was delayed to October, so many companies saved their best deals for Black Friday a month later. The Apple Watch 6 had also just come out, making big discounts unlikely.
This year, Prime Day 2021 won't be overshadowed, and Apple will want to clear out stock before the new Apple Watch 7 arrives. But will this actually translate into amazing deals? And is it better to buy one now or wait until September for a brand-new model?
For anyone considering buying one of the best Apple Watches during Prime Day, we're optimistic that we'll see some impressive discounts. But you may also want to skip Prime Day or try one of the Apple Watch deals available now.
Reasons to wait until Amazon Prime Day
We expect some great discounts, obviously
It's almost a guarantee that Amazon will discount the Apple Watch. We know this in part because other retailers have already started selling different models at 20 percent off or more to beat Amazon to the punch (more on that later). So you're fairly certain to save a good chunk of money.
You don't like the Apple Watch 7's alleged specs or new look
According to recent leaks, the Watch 7 will have flat edges instead of the typical rounded design, but will otherwise be a minor upgrade on the 6 and SE in terms of new features. It'll also cost full price once it arrives. So it makes sense to buy a cheap, slightly downgraded Apple Watch now.
You may also spot Apple Watch accessory deals
Apple Watch accessories add an extra cost to an already pricey smartwatch. You may be more likely to buy one if you know you can find the best Apple Watch bands, cases, chargers, stands and other tools at a discount too.
Reasons to buy an Apple Watch now
Other retailers have respectable discounts already
As of publication, Walmart is selling the Series 5 for $239 off, while Best Buy has the Series 6 on sale for $70 off. Depending on which watch you want, you may want to snatch up a deal now. Prime Day will have some Apple Watches on sale, but not necessarily the model you want.
You don't want to deal with limited-time deals
Prime Day isn't for everyone. If you can hang out at your computer all day waiting for the right deals to pop up, then you'll catch them before Amazon runs out of stock. If you know you'll be busy, it's better to get a decent price now than miss out and pay full price later.
Reasons to wait even longer
You want the Apple Watch 7
Yes, Apple's new watch may not be a 'game changer' in terms of new features. But we do know it'll have a faster chipset, thinner bezels, an extra year of watchOS support, and likely other improvements like better battery life. Assuming price isn't an object, it makes sense to wait for better longevity and style.
You want to try a different OS or find a cheaper watch
Plenty of non-Apple smartwatches work with iOS, and can be much cheaper or a better fit for your lifestyle. Fitbit or Garmin watches could be a better fit for athletes, for instance. Or frugal shoppers could invest in a cheap smartwatch or fitness tracker instead, as these may also be discounted during Prime Day for even less.
What Apple Watch deals could we see?
As we said before, Prime Day 2020 wasn't a typical deals event for Amazon, what with the Black Friday Apple Watch deals following closely behind. But to give you an idea of what this year's deals could bring, we've recreated below the Prime Day Apple Watch deals we saw last year.
There weren't many, with discounts limited to the Series 3 and Series 6. We're hopeful that TechRadar's top pick, the SE, will also make an appearance this time – and that the price slashes will be more significant.
Prime Day 2020 US deals
Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS, 38mm):
$199 $169 at Amazon
Amazon had the Apple Watch Series 3 on sale for a record-low price of $169. The health-focused smartwatch features GPS technology and heart rate monitoring and was available in a black or white sport band.
Apple Watch Series 6 (40mm, GPS):
$399 $384.99 at Amazon
The all-new Apple Watch Series 6 got a rare $15 price cut during Amazon Prime Day. The all-new smartwatch features a new S6 processor, blood oxygen monitoring, an ECG app, and elevation tracking.
Prime Day 2020 UK deals
Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS, 38mm):
£279 £195.81 at Amazon
You could save 30% on an Apple Watch 3 in last year's Prime Day Apple Watch deals. If you were looking for a cheap Apple Watch for fitness tracking and music streaming then this was a great, affordable option for most users. Featuring slightly older components than the Apple Watch 4 and 5, it's still really fast, water-resistant, and super stylish, all for a much lower price.