Major changes may be coming to the Apple Watch.
Apple will almost definitely be releasing a new Apple Watch this fall, the fifth in its line of best-selling smartwatches.
And while we don’t know anything for sure about the upcoming watch, reliable sources have provided their best guesses about what’s to come – namely, a new design, better battery life, and improved health tracking.
Apple is already crushing the competition, both in the smartwatch category and the watch category as a whole. A recent estimate suggested that Apple outsold the entire Swiss watch industry combined – Rolex, Omega, and even Swatch – in the final quarter of 2017.
Those sales are expected to increase in 2018. KGI predicts that Apple will sell between 22 million and 24 million Apple Watches this year, which is roughly a 30% increase year-over-year. If the rumours surrounding the upcoming watch are to be believed, it’s easy to see why analysts expect such a surge in sales.
Here’s everything we expect from the Apple Watch Series 4:
The Apple Watch Series 4 will come out in September along with new iPhones.
If Apple’s past launches are any indication, the company will unveil the Apple Watch software – WatchOS 5 – at its developer’s conference in June as it has in past years.
Apple Watch Series 4 will likely be unveiled in September at the iPhone launch event, just like Apple has in past years. With the exception of the first-ever Apple Watch from April 2015, the Apple Watch Series 1, Apple Watch Series 2, and Apple Watch Series 3 were all introduced in September.
KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has a long track record of accurately predicting Apple product news, said Apple would release the Apple Watch Series 4 in the third quarter of 2018.
The Apple Watch Series 4’s overall design will change.
According to 9to5Mac, Kuo predicts the new Apple Watch will have a “more trendy form factor design.”
Whether that means a total design overhaul or subtle updates, it seems as though changes are finally being made to the Apple Watch’s design. The watch hasn’t seen a major design change since its launch, so an update is long overdue.
Apple filed patents last year that hint they’re at least considering a round watch face. That said, it’s more likely Apple will stick with its signature rectangular design.
Users can expect a bigger screen on the Apple Watch Series 4.
The Apple Watch Series 4 will have a screen that’s 15% larger than its predecessors, according to Kuo.
There’s no word on whether the size of the screen will affect the size of the watch itself. Apple may take a similar route as the iPhone X by increasing the screen size while shrinking the bezels, or borders around the display, which allows for a bigger screen on a smaller device.
Right now, the Apple Watch comes in two sizes: 38 mm and 42 mm.
Battery life will be improved on the Apple Watch Series 4.
The Apple Watch Series 4 will have better battery life than it’s predecessors, according to Kuo.
While he didn’t specify how much better, Apple says the Apple Watch Series 3 gets 18 hours of battery life.
Compared to watches like the Fitbit Versa and Garmin Vivoactive – which get four days and seven days, respectively – Apple Watch has a lot of room for improvement when it comes to battery life.
The Apple Watch Series 4 will have new health-tracking sensors.
According to Kuo, the Apple Watch Series 4 will have upgraded health-tracking sensors.
As of now, it’s not clear exactly what type of sensors will be included, but Apple has hinted in the past that it would like to add more health-monitoring features to the Apple Watch.
Last September, the company announced it partnered with Stanford University for a program called the Apple Heart study, which would monitor Apple Watch users for irregularities in their heart rates that could be symptoms of a heart condition.
And last December, Bloomberg reported that Apple was working on new technology for the Apple Watch that would let the device monitor a wearer’s heart similar to a clinical-grade electrocardiogram.
There have also been reports that Apple is working on a noninvasive glucose monitor for the watch, but that technology is likely years away, according to a report from The New York Times.
Adding highly advanced sensors to the watch would likely require FDA approval. Apple CEO Tim Cook has specifically said in the past that he doesn’t want “to put the watch through the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) process.”