Updated: Jun 8
According to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, the new S9 chip could power the upcoming Apple Watch Series 9, which is expected to launch later this year. He claims that this chip would have a bigger performance boost than the S8 chip that runs on the Apple Watch Series 8 and the Apple Watch Ultra models from last year. Gurman said, “I think it’ll be a new processor, not just a re-brand of the previous generation.” He also mentioned that the S9 could be based on the A15 Bionic SoC that was used to power the iPhone 13 series. Apple said last year that the S8 chip runs 20% faster than the S7. Gurman is saying that the S9 will have an even larger percentage increase in performance over the S8
Previously, Gurman also noted that Apple isn’t making too many changes to the hardware designs for the Series 9 Apple Watch, because the big changes are coming to the watchOS 10, it will bring widgets back to the Apple Watch. Users will be able to access a stack of widgets that show information about the weather, sports scores, stock prices and more. The widgets can be layered on top of all watch faces available for the Series 9 watches.
So externally no updates this year but a new rumor suggests that Apple has big plans for the Apple Watch in 2024. According to a report by Omdia, a technology research firm, Apple will introduce major updates to all three of its Apple Watch models in 2024.
First of all, the standard Apple Watch series will likely follow the example of the iPhone and debut as the “Apple Watch X” in its 10th iteration. For reference, the tenth-generation iPhone was also marketed as the iPhone X - a strategy that proved to be very successful.
In addition to the new name, the Apple Watch X will reportedly come in two sizes, each bigger than the respective 41mm and 45mm versions of last year. The smaller model should have a 1.89” display, while the bigger - a 2.04” one. It should be noted that because of the curved design the usable screen area will actually be less.
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Secondly, the Apple Watch SE 3 will likely adopt the slimmer bezels of the current Apple Watch 8. This will also allow for a slightly bigger display as well.
Lastly, and most interestingly, the Apple Watch Ultra will get a bigger 2.13” microLED panel in 2024. MicroLED technology has several advantages that make it a good fit for a sport-focused wearable like the Ultra. This includes increased power efficiency and durability. It makes sense to be excited for MicroLED since the expensive Apple Watch Ultra’s excellent battery life and resistance to the weather are key selling points. Moreover, earlier rumors suggested that the new microLED display on the watch will also be slightly bigger. A larger screen could further differentiate the Ultra and increase its appeal to athletes and outdoor adventurers, who seem to be the wearable’s main target market.
Ross Young, a well-known expert in the display industry, predicts that the Apple Watch Ultra’s switch to microLED won’t happen until 2025. Damn!
Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman reports that Apple has achieved ‘major milestones’ in the development of a blood glucose monitoring technology that could eventually be integrated into the Apple Watch. Using a process called optical absorption spectroscopy, a precise measurement of glucose levels is possible even without a blood sample. Currently, the prototype device is ‘about the size of an iPhone’ according to Gurman, so more work will be needed before the technology becomes usable in wearables. So that’s not coming real soon but Apple is determined to ‘eventually bring glucose monitoring to the market’.