You’d be forgiven for thinking today’s September 14 “California Streaming” Apple event is all about the iPhone 13, but don’t forget we’re also expecting the Apple Watch Series 7 to launch alongside the new smartphones as well as the AirPods 3. You’ll be able to watch the livestream starting at 10 a.m. PT/1 p.m. ET on any Apple-TV compatible devices or YouTube. It’s potentially going to be a big deal this year, too, as rumors suggest it’s going to get a major redesign, marking the first time the Apple Watch’s overall look has changed, packing in new sensors, and perhaps some other tweaks.
Let’s talk about the new design, and all of the other juicy rumors that surround the incredibly popular smartwatch.
The Apple Watch Series 4 introduced a larger screen and thinner bezels on a larger body, but the design remained very close to the original Apple Watch. For the Apple Watch Series 7, it’s being rumored that the case will have flat sides and a shape reminiscent of the iPhone 12 and iPad Pro. This change may also be joined by a screen measuring either 1.8 or 1.9-inches, with a resolution of 396 x 484 and even thinner bezels. New watch faces that show off the new screen are also likely.
Renders of the Series 7 watch, some created by Front Page Tech and others by 91Mobiles, are all based on leaked information and show it in detail. Don’t forget, it’s speculative at the moment and may not be representative of the final look.
We can see that the digital crown and side button will probably stay in their same positions on the case, but a leak from Fast Company suggests the button may not be a physical button this time and instead be touch-sensitive, complete with haptic feedback. Apple may also use a new lamination technique to raise the screen closer to the glass, giving it a more watch-like appearance, but the case itself may be marginally thicker than before. It’s claimed this won’t be noticeable when you’re wearing the smartwatch, though.
It’s possible the size of the case may increase from 40mm and 44mm to 41mm and 45mm, respectively, which may impact the compatibility of existing Apple Watch straps with the new version. Apple started to introduce more colors into the Watch range with the Series 6, but it may increase these options even further for the Series 7, with a mint green, lavender, and red version shown in renders next to the expected black and silver versions.
Will the Series 7 use the Apple S6 processor, or will it have a new S7 chip? One rumor from Digitimes suggests it will sport the S7, and the chip may use a “double-sided” design to reduce the space it takes up inside the case. Whether Apple will update the Ultra Wideband U1 chip, used for its AirTag accessories among other location-related features, to a U2 is unknown.
If the S7 chip takes up less room, it’s possible Apple may fill the space with more battery. This rumor indicates a capacity increase to 350mAh or 400mAh, and another rumor — from a Twitter account run by a noted product leaker — says the Series 7 will have the “first real battery life improvement” compared to previous models.
Two new sensors have been linked with Apple’s smartwatch, one to measure body temperature and the other for blood sugar. However, rumors have backed away from either being part of the Apple Watch Series 7. The body temperature sensor may arrive on the Series 8 in 2022, despite being featured on watches like the Mobvoi TicWatch GTH, while the sensor for blood sugar, which would monitor glucose levels, may be even further away.
Without any drastic new hardware changes like these, the Series 7’s sensor array may only be refined. WatchOS 8, the software that will come preinstalled on the new smartwatch, has better sleep tracking than before, including a respiratory rate reading, which may require changes to the sensors to operate effectively.
It’s almost certain the Apple Watch Series 7 will be announced on September 14 at Apple’s fall event, but when will you be able to buy one and how much will it cost? There are conflicting reports about the Series 7 experiencing problems with manufacturing that may result in its release being delayed.
The new screen technology is to blame, according to Bloomberg, and it may be that certain models may have a later release date than others, and that others may be harder to find for a while. However, another report quoting Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says the production issues have been solved and the Series 7 will be in production and ready for a late September release.
So far, there has been no indication about the price. It’s entirely possible it will remain the same, meaning it will start at $399, but it’s also possible the production issues or component shortages that have affected the electronics industry in general may drive it up.
The Apple Watch SE launched with the Apple Watch Series 6, so does this mean we should look out for an Apple Watch SE 2? There have been no specific rumors about an SE 2 yet, but that doesn’t mean it won’t make a return at some time. At the moment, it looks likely the Watch SE will continue in the range, possibly replacing the Apple Watch Series 3, which was the cheapest model available during 2020.
A so-called “Apple Watch Explorer” model with a tough exterior has also been rumored, and is said to be for outdoor enthusiasts or hardcore runners. A rumor originating from Bloomberg says the situation has changed and we should now look out for it in 2022.
That’s all we know about the Apple Watch Series 7 for now, but with the September 14 launch event just hours away, it won’t be long before we get the real scoop.