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Apple Watch Series 8 might lack an upgrade we were all hoping for

Apple Watch Series 7
Apple Watch Series 7 (Image credit: Stephen Warwick / iMore)

What you need to know

  • Apple's upcoming Apple Watch Series 8 is rumored to use the same chip as the outgoing Apple Watch Series 7.
  • The Apple Watch Series 7 used a chip based on the previous Apple Watch Series 6.
  • Next year's Apple Watch is expected to get a new chip, according to reports.

Apple's upcoming Apple Watch Series 8 won't get a big chip revision, according to a new report by Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. That means that the watch will continue to use a slightly modified version of the chip that debuted in Apple Watch Series 6.

Writing as part of the weekly Power On newsletter, Gurman says that the rumored Apple Watch Series 8 won't get a big new processor, but will instead use the same one that already powers Apple Watch Series 7. That wearable's S7 chip already borrowed heavily from Apple Watch Series 6's S6, something that caused a furore a year ago.

Thankfully, Gurman says that next year's models will get a more notable upgrade in the silicon department.

For those hoping for a faster chip in this year's Apple Watch, I'm told the S8 chip will have the same specifications as the S7, which was also the same as the S6. Next year's models, however, are slated to get an an all-new processor.

Realistically, the lack of a big Apple Watch silicon upgrade this year isn't a huge problem, not least because the Apple Watch Series 7 was already sufficiently performant while offering battery life that gets people through a day at least. However, with more sleep tracking set to be part of this year's watchOS 9 update, more people will need their watch to last for longer between charges.

While the lack of a new chip will be disappointing to some, there's some good news in the form of an Apple Watch Series 8-exclusive feature. An advanced low-power mode was expected to be announced as part of the watchOS 9 unveiling at WWDC22 earlier this month, but that didn't happen. Gurman now believes that will be a feature held back for the new hardware.

If all goes according to previous years we can expect Apple to share more Apple Watch hardware details towards the end of the year, although the ongoing chip shortages and worldwide inflation issues could see things change somewhat during the remainder of 2022.

For now, Apple Watch Series 7 remains the best Apple Watch you can buy.

Oliver Haslam
Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.