Apple Watch 6 could be revealed today as Apple Watch 5 goes out of stock

Apple Watch 6
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The Apple Watch 6 will supposedly be announced today, and shortages of the older model seem to confirm that Apple smartwatch news is incoming.

As spotted by 9to5Mac, the Apple Watch 5 is becoming increasingly difficult to purchase. It's almost as if Apple is deliberately not replacing stock in order to leave the shelves clear for something new...

This started in a way a few weeks ago, when less common Apple Watch 5 options like metal bands and ceramic or titanium cases started running out. But now even the basic model, aluminium case with white fluoroelastomer band, is hard to come by.

Apparently these shortages are affecting the United States, China, and Japan according to 9to5Mac's checks of local Apple sites. Availability in Europe is still normal, however.

Since consumer tech companies only have a finite amount of space in their warehouses to keep their products, it's common to see a clearout of older gadgets before a new upgraded device is launched. That's why this seemingly innocuous "out of stock" notification has everyone quite excited.

All of this adds fuel to the fire that Apple is going to announce the Apple Watch 6 today via a low-key press release. While this rumor comes from the often reliable leaker Jon Prosser, it does seem out of character for Apple, which has released its latest Apple Watch and iPhone models simultaneously each year since the Apple Watch Series 2 back in 2016.

This year's Apple Watch upgrade is a particularly interesting one, after the Apple Watch 5 made only marginal improvements to the Apple Watch 4. New upgrades should include SpO2 monitoring, improved sleep tracking and perhaps a new mental health tracking function. Meanwhile, the main control method for the Apple Watch 6 is also rumored to be changing from a Digital Crown to an optical sensor.

We may also be seeing a second new Apple Watch model introduced in the near future. Rumors of an Apple Watch SE, an entry-level smartwatch with a faster processor than the Apple Watch 3, have also been bubbling up recently.

Richard Priday
Assistant Phones Editor

Richard is based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.