Until today, it was widely expected that the Apple Watch Series 7 would make its debut at the same time as the iPhone 13 lineup. Now, as Apple’s long-rumored September event approaches, it appears that the Series 7 might be delayed due to production issues.
According to Nikkei Asia, the root of the problem is the Series 7's “complicated designs.” Supposedly, small-scale production began last week but the results were unsatisfactory because the design is “significantly different” from previous versions and there were issues assembling electronic modules, components, and displays. The delay was also corroborated by a Bloomberg report, which cited an anonymous source close to the matter.
Rumors about the Series 7 have been thin compared to previous years, but one thing that’s been consistent is that the Apple Watch is getting a redesign. So far, we’ve seen some renders of a flat-edged watch that looks like a mini iPhone. Another recent rumor is that the size of screens are increasing, from 40mm and 44mm to 41mm and 45mm.
But Nikkei claims it’s not necessarily the exterior design causing issues—though the bigger screens ultimately do play a part. The report also says that new features, such as blood pressure monitoring, have required Apple to reconfigure the watch’s internal design. (Blood pressure monitoring is also a fairly new rumor, as it had long been speculated Apple was working on blood glucose monitoring instead.) Or put simply, it needs to cram more components into a watch that’s not that much bigger than its predecessor. This is what’s reportedly causing production issues, a problem that’s only been exacerbated by the pandemic. Specifically, Nikkei says the inability for Apple to work with its suppliers in person to verify specifications means the company is only coming across design challenges once test production starts.
It’s almost certain that we’ll have multiple Apple events again this fall. But up until now, it was thought there might only be two events. While the iPad Mini, Apple Watch Series 7, and AirPods 3 were thought to launch alongside the iPhone 13 lineup in September, the new M1X MacBooks and Mac Mini are expected to debut later in November. But now it looks like the Apple Watch could potentially launch at a separate event, much like it did for the Series 6 and Apple Watch SE last year. It’s also possible that Apple could announce the Series 7 in September, but won’t ship until much later.
Honestly, this is nearly impossible to predict because that’ll depend on when the Series 7 enters mass production. And we can’t know when Series 7 enters mass production until its test production results are satisfactory. Basically, it all boils down to how fast Apple can fix these production snags. The rest of us will just have to wait until September to see how it all pans out.