The upcoming Apple Watch Series 9 is expected to be the smallest upgrade in the history of the Apple Watch. Apart from a new S9 chip based on the A15 Bionic and some fresh color options, there won’t be many significant changes for the Apple Watch Series 9.
Such a minimal update doesn’t come as a surprise. Last year, the temperature sensing feature was introduced in the Apple Watch Series 8, while the Series 7 featured a larger screen, blood oxygen monitoring, which was the main highlight of the Watch Series 6, was also not entirely groundbreaking at the time.
According to Mark Gurman, an insider at Bloomberg, Apple executives are considering adjusting the update cycle of the Apple Watch to approximately 18 months, similar to the iPad. However, this change could potentially impact attracting new Apple Watch users.
Major Changes Coming for the Apple Watch X in 2024 or 2025
Mark Gurman leaked that Apple is preparing to launch an Apple Watch X in 2024 or 2025 to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the product. The Apple Watch X will bring the most significant update yet, with more than just a thinner body and new band styles.
Previously rumored features such as non-invasive blood glucose monitoring and a microLED display are expected to make an appearance in the Apple Watch X. This special 10th anniversary edition Apple Watch aims to shake up the formula.
Revolutionary Health Sensors Rumored for Apple Watch X
Apple has made breakthrough progress on blood glucose monitoring, achieving non-invasive monitoring and preliminary miniaturization of the sensor. This implies glucose tracking could finally be incorporated into the Apple Watch X, delivering a highly sought-after health feature.
Thinner and Lighter Body with All-New Band Design
Apple designers are working on a thinner and lighter body for the milestone Apple Watch X, while also exploring a new way of wearing the bands.
Insiders involved in the Apple Watch X development revealed that the current design has the bands sliding in from the side of the body, allowing compatibility across different models. However, this takes up space that could be used for a larger battery and components.
Magnetic Straps Likely for Apple Watch X
Therefore, the Apple Watch X might adopt a completely new magnetic strap connection system, although details remain undisclosed. Apple has accumulated numerous patents related to magnetic connections, including for smartwatch straps.
In 2015, Apple filed a patent for a magnetic Apple Watch strap with functions similar to a Milanese loop. Various magnetic connection structures were developed based on this patent. Some use magnets to clamp, while others place two side-by-side like the Magic Keyboard and Trackpad. The Apple Watch X’s magnetic bands will likely not be backwards compatible.
Ultra microLED Display Technology in Development
To make the Apple Watch X body thinner, Apple has been researching an ultra touchscreen with microLED technology. This reduces display layers and eliminates unnecessary circuits to shrink the module size. The advanced screens could also end up in future iPhone.
Series 9 Shaping Up as a Boring Stopgap
With the more transformational Apple Watch X not launching until 2024 or 2025, the upcoming Apple Watch Series 9 is essentially just buying time as a boring iterative update. Unless Apple has some major surprises planned, Series 9 will keep the status quo before the Apple Watch X redefines the product line during its 10th anniversary.