Microsoft launched the second-generation Band in October 2015 with a curved display and other improvements to make it more comfortable on the wrist, but it appears that the company is already gearing up to introduce a new model less than 12 months since the previous one.

Rumor has it that Redmond could take the wraps off the Microsoft Band 3 as soon as July 2016, and a report from Rod Trend on WinSuperSite brings some evidence that this might indeed be the plan.

The second-generation Microsoft Band is now being listed as discontinued at some retailers, including Best Buy, and it appears that the software giant only says that supplies are limited. In other words, retailers are left with the current stocks, so they need to clear out the inventory with no other units to be brought back in stocks.

Users who want to buy the Microsoft Band 2 are now directed to Microsoft’s online store, as the company is also trying to sell the remaining units before what could be the unveiling of the third generation.

Still no confirmation of a potential July launch

Certainly, the fact that Microsoft is now struggling to clear out inventories is no proof that a new model is on its way, but it clearly leaves room for speculation as to why the company is trying so hard to get rid of the Band 2.

One possible scenario concerns the recent problems that users have experienced with the Band 2. As we’ve told you, many reported rips and tears of the Band 2 during heavy use, and it appears that Microsoft has internally acknowledged the problem and even redesigned the device with a more durable material.

People with knowledge of the matter have said that the new Band’s extra-strength rubber is already shipping, so there are chances that Microsoft is trying to clear up stocks before bringing the redesigned model in stores.

As for the Band 3, little is known about it right now, but we’d love a new design that would make it more of a smartwatch and less of a band. The Band is a super advanced device, but it’s still pretty difficult to wear it for one full day, and this is where Microsoft needs to focus for the next model.

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