The current Apple Watch Series 7 is the best wearable that Apple has ever made, but there is always room for improvement. Improvement is what we're expecting from Apple Watch Series 8, although those hoping for a radical redesign might be disappointed depending on which rumors you believe. We're expecting Apple to announce its next smartwatch towards the end od 2022 — here's everything we think we know right now.
It's a pretty safe bet that we should expect Apple to announce a new watch that carries the same naming convention we're familiar with — Apple Watch Series 8. There may be additional Apple Watches announced at the same time, but an Apple Watch Series 8 is almost guaranteed to hit the market alongside whatever else Apple has cooking.
The Apple Watch Series 8 design is a tricky one because it could go one of two ways. While there's a very good chance that the new wearable won't look all that dissimilar to Apple Watch Series 7, last year's offering was rumored to get a new design with flat sides but that didn't come to fruition. We've heard murmurings that Apple will drop that new look this year.
While a base Apple Watch Series 8 is looking like a certainty at this point, we can expect a refreshed Apple Watch SE while talk of an Apple Watch Explorer — a rugged version of the latest Apple Watch — continues to bubble along. That watch would likely be designed for environments where the traditional construction is liable to be broken. Think Casio G-Shock, and you're likely on the money.
Based on Apple's last couple of releases it seems likely that 41mm and 45mm are likely, although display analyst Ross Young has posited things could ratchet up a notch — the 41mm and 45mm options could be joined by an unknown third size.
Chip and Connectivity
We aren't expecting the chip powering Apple Watch Series 8 to blow anyone away, but a speed bump is likely. Apple didn't make a big performance leap with Apple Watch Series 7 compared to Apple Watch Series 6 — expect more of a bump this time around.
We can safely expect Apple to offer its next watch in both GPS and Cellular options, as has been the case in previous years.
Apple is again expected to focus on health this time around. Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has pointed to a new temperature sensor being added in 2022, while reports have also suggested that car crash detection could come to a future Apple Watch and iPhone — potentially Apple Watch Series 8 and iPhone 14.
We heard almost a year ago that Apple wanted to add sleep apnea tracking and detection to a future Apple Watch, although rumors of such an addition to Apple Watch Series 8 have been lacking.
Apple is again said to be working on a satellite communication feature fur future products, potentially Apple Watch Series 8. Such a feature would allow wearers to send short emergency texts when out of cell tower reach.
Bloomberg's Mark Gurman in April:
Since reporting that the iPhone is gaining the feature, I've heard that the Apple Watch is also destined to get that functionality—either this year or in 2023. Whether it's on the iPhone or Apple Watch, the technology would provide an alternative to the Garmin inReach Explorer and SPOT, handheld satellite communicators with similar features.
Pricing is a tricky one for various reasons, especially with the current economic situation the United States — and the world — finds itself in. Prices are volatile, and we might get an indication of what to expect when Apple announces its iPhone 14 pricing ahead of Apple Watch Series 8. If the company sticks with Apple Watch Series 7 pricing, expect the 41mm Apple Watch Series 8 to start at $399 for the 41mm and $429 for the 45mm and increase from there, depending on bands and case options.
We don't know for sure, but we can make an educated guess based on past years. Last year saw Apple announce Apple Watch Series 7 on September 14 before making it available to buy on October 15. Expect a similar timeframe in 2022. Whenever it lands, this will be the best Apple Watch ever made, that's for sure.