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Many Apple Watch Series 5 models unavailable ahead of expected Series 6 release

Apple appears to be paring down Apple Watch Series 5 supply through its online store ahead of an expected successor release this fall.

A large number of Apple Watch Series 5 configurations are currently listed as unavailable for delivery from Apple's online storefront, suggesting the company is preparing to unveil a new model in the coming days or weeks. Store pickup — where it is available during coronavirus lockdowns — is likewise extremely limited.

From entry-level 40mm and 44mm aluminum versions with Sport Band to popular Space Black stainless steel variants, Series 5 stock is running low in the U.S. and major markets including China, Japan and the UK. Many low- and mid-tier case and band combinations are listed as "currently unavailable" for shipping through Apple's website, though more expensive pairings like stainless steel models with Milanese Loop bands are for now in stock. Other versions show delivery dates pushed back to the end of September.

Apple's storefronts in Germany, Mexico and Brazil appear to be fairly well stocked, with a variety of case and band combinations available for immediate shipping.

Leaker Jon Prosser first spotted the supply level change on Monday.

The stockout arrives ahead of Apple's typical fall hardware release cycle, which usually brings word of new iPhone and Apple Watch offerings. For 2020, the tech giant is said to be readying an "Apple Watch Series 6" with an improved wireless communications stack and blood oxygen monitoring, among other enhancements. A cheaper option with plastic housing is also rumored to replace the Series 3 this fall.

Leaker Jon Prosser in August claimed Apple would announce Apple Watch Series 6 via press release during the week of Sept. 7. More recently, however, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman on Sunday said he anticipates Apple to announce its annual iPhone event this week, not new hardware.