There’s a buzz about the Apple Watch X, which will run under watchOS 10 and is expected to launch in 2024 at the earliest. The device will commemorate the tenth anniversary of the iPhone’s original unveiling by Steve Jobs.
In the latest edition of his “Power On” newsletter, Gurman dubs the overhauled device “Apple Watch X,” drawing parallels to the 2017’s iPhone X that celebrated ten years of the iPhone. Given that the original Apple Watch was unveiled in 2014 and launched in 2015, Gurman is uncertain if the Apple Watch X will be released in 2024 or 2025.
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But what will be different is that we will see a Series 9 watch. That edition, along with Ultra 2, will most likely launch on September 12th. To remind, back in 2017, Apple skipped the iPhone 9 and instead released the iPhone X – or iPhone 10. The original iPhone was released in 2007.
Apple Watch X: More than an iterative upgrade
It seems that Watch X will not only have a unique name, but also new capabilities and design elements to set it apart from previous models. That’s to be expected if this naming convention holds.
Apple is reportedly working on a slimmer casing for the Apple Watch X and is exploring new methods for bands to connect to the device. The band connection mechanism has remained consistent since the Apple Watch’s inception. However, sources involved in the development of new Apple Watch models informed Gurman that the current band system occupies significant space, which could be better used for larger batteries or other internal components.
Consequently, Apple is contemplating a magnetic band attachment system. Having said that, it remains uncertain if this feature will be incorporated into the Apple Watch X. Obstacles would need to be overcome.
For example, the band coming loose during vigorous activities and potential interference with the watch’s compass functionality. However, knowing Apple’s penchant for innovation, they might just surprise us with a mechanism that marries security with space efficiency.
And let’s not forget that there’s the band ecosystem to consider. Over the past decade, Apple has nurtured a thriving ecosystem of bands, thanks to a consistent attachment design. A change in this mechanism could disrupt this ecosystem. This could potentially alienate users who have invested in a diverse collection of bands.
Other possible features
The Apple Watch X might also mark Apple’s debut of the microLED display technology, offering superior color and clarity compared to the existing OLED screens. Additionally, it could be the first Apple Watch to introduce blood pressure monitoring.
Other headline grabbing features to mark the occasion are also possible. A blood glucose sensor would be a major selling point for diabetics. It is a feature that has long been speculated. There have also been hints that a blood alcohol sensor is in the works. Both of these could be added to the watch’s already impressive list of health monitoring capabilities.
Of course, battery life has always been a point of contention among Apple Watch users. With every new iteration, there’s hope for an extended battery life. The dream, of course, is a watch that can last up to a week on a single charge. Is this likely? Probably not.
Apple Watch Series 9: A minor refresh
Looking closer into the immediate future, Gurman indicates that the upcoming Apple Watch Series 9 will be a “minor refresh,” akin to the incremental updates the device has seen in recent years. While these new devices are anticipated to boast faster processors and fresh color options, they will largely mirror the current models. Gurman even goes as far as to label it “arguably the most minor upgrade in the product’s history.”
Given this trend, Apple is reportedly contemplating moving the Apple Watch away from an annual upgrade cycle, opting instead for more significant updates at less frequent intervals. Gurman draws a comparison to the iPad, which initially followed an annual upgrade cycle but has now transitioned to updates approximately every 18 months.
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