When Apple announced the Series 5 last year, it discontinued the Series 4, the previous"best Apple Watch you could buy. In an instant, the Series 4 disappeared from Apple's website and you couldn't buy it. It was gone.
The reason that Apple did this is pretty easy to understand. The Series 4 was too similar to Series 5. Instead of having both, it made more sense for Apple to have the Series 5 and the two-year-old Series 3, the latter of which it could sell for $200 and rebrand as "the best entry-level smartwatch" you could buy. And that's exactly what Apple did.
Still, the Series 4 remains one of the best smartwatches of 2020. And people who have one love it. And it's a great deal if you can find one — it's almost as good as the Series 5 and now sells for much less. And despite not being available on Apple's website, there are still ways of buying Apple's elusive smartwatch.
There are some obvious tradeoffs. The Series 4 doesn't have the always-on display. It doesn't have advanced wellness features, like fall detection. It doesn't have a built-in compass. And it doesn't come in the Series 5's high-end finishes, like ceramic and titanium. But if that's not an issue, it's a great buy.
First, check Apple's "certified refurbished" website.
One of the first and best places to start your search is to good to the "certified refurbished" section of Apple's website where, you probably guessed, it sells refurbished models of its older products. The good thing is that all the certified refurbished products that Apple sells come with a one-year warranty, and you can get them for about 15-percent off what they'd normally go for new. Unfortunately, when it comes to the Series 4, Apple has fairly limited offerings. (At the time of writing, it's only selling a 44mm GPS/cellular version in stainless steel — so not the more affordable model.) But be sure to check back in because Apple frequently adds new models to this page.
Next stop, Amazon.
Like Apple, Amazon's offerings of the Series 4 are often pretty limited, and you'll be hard-pressed to find a model that's brand new. However, if you're in the market for a more affordable version of the Series 4, such as a GPS-only model, Amazon is more-times-than-not a better hunting ground.
Check other third-party sellers.
There are a bunch of other trusted third-party sellers who might have the Series 4 in stock. A few of the most likely and reputable include Best Buy, Adorama and B&H. The selection of these models is often pretty limited, but you might actually have a good chance to find a brand-new model.
If all else fails, eBay.
eBay is a little bit of the Wild West as you never really know what you're going to get. Oftentimes, you'll find a larger variety of open-boxed, pre-owned or certified refurbished models of the Series 4. Just be careful and try to order from somebody with a high product rating and make sure that the product comes with a warranty.