Apple is set to release its next Apple Watch Series 9 set of smartwatches, but the company is reportedly offering little to no reason for any current users to upgrade from the Series 8. Current reports suggest the best thing to do if you’re excited about the next evolution in wearables is to wait a year for the big “Series X” drop.
The Series 9 is expected to debut alongside the iPhone 15 sometime next month. We’re anticipating a few dramatic changes for the company’s signature smartphone, but according to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, the Apple Watch should only see the slightest of upgrades, including a slightly faster processor and some new colors. Gurman, reporting based on unnamed company contacts, called it “the most minor upgrade” since the first Apple Watch saw the light of day in 2014.
Compare that to 2024, and apparently, things will get just a little bit spicier. The “X” models could include a new microLED display that is presumably superior to current OLED watch screens. The 2024 watch might also include blood pressure monitoring tech. Apple reportedly tried to add blood pressure monitoring into the 2021 watch, but the company’s technology reportedly hit snags so it was delayed until next year. The first major company to give us blood pressure monitoring was Samsung with its 2019 Active watch, but it was hindered by a notoriously buggy launch and required initial calibration.
The Series X will include a thinner watch case and new magnetically attached watch bands. Previous watch bands were attached with a locking mechanism, but Apple wants to use some of that extended space to increase battery space, according to Gurman. Samsung’s latest, largest-screened Galaxy Watch 6 and Watch 6 Classic include a new “quick release” strap design that makes use of the company’s more traditional watch shape. Current Apple watches have cutouts for the watch bands to snap into, and removing those cutouts could grant the company precious millimeters of room to add new components.
The new upcoming smartwatch will reportedly maintain the same size and shape as previous versions, including the 45 mm Ultra. The Apple Watch Series 7 slightly increased the screen size, but even that watch was a noted bare upgrade from previous versions. Last year’s big news was all the bells and whistles included in the $799 Apple Watch Ultra. These included an “Action” button for calling up designated apps or features, longer battery life, and all-around more premium specs.
The regular Apple Watch Series 8 included two new temperature sensors for monitoring both ambient and body heat. Otherwise, the Cupertino company advertised new software updates like ovulation cycle estimation and crash detection.
Additionally, Gurman has been the main man tracking the progress of Apple’s upcoming M3 processor. He already hinted that the base M3 chip will be packing eight CPU cores and 10 GPU cores, but now he claims 13- and 15-inch MacBook Airs should get access to a regular M3 Chip alongside new MacBook Pros. The 14- and 16-inch Pro lines as well as the Mac Studio could arrive with a more powerful M3 Max chip, while the Mac Studio and Mac Pro could contain an M3 Ultra.
So Apple is, once again, stalling progress on its Apple Watch, but its own proprietary silicon might help boost flagging laptop sales in a larger market slowdown. Perhaps Apple might finally put the Apple Watch on a two-year upgrade cycle like the company’s iPad line, but at least for now, we’ll need to deal with another year’s boring release.
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