Apple Watch Series 9 may only be a minor upgrade, according to a leak

Apple Watch series 8 on a grey surface
(Image credit: Future / iMore)

The Apple Watch Series 9 expected in September may only be a minor upgrade on the Apple Watch Series 8 that came before it, if a new leak from a Weibo user called “Instant Digital” is to be believed.

If this latest rumor is true, the Apple Watch Series 9 will be “basically unchanged” compared to the last Apple Watch. However, the upgrade will update the cores within the watch’s S-series chip. What that will mean is there could be a significant performance improvement, but in every other major way, you’d be getting the same device as the Apple Watch Series 8.

This leak is disappointing, as we had high hopes for the Apple Watch Series 9, including non-invasive blood glucose monitoring and a more durable design. However, it’s not entirely unexpected.

New features to the Apple Watch line-up have been few and far between in recent iterations. For example, the Apple Watch Series 8 only added minor improvements over the Series 7, like improved sensors and body temperature measuring.

Let the upgraded chips fall 

This latest leak adds to rumors from Bloomberg's Mark Gurman who revealed that "the big change" coming to Apple Watch this year "will be a processor upgrade” above all else.

Although the prospect of a minor upgrade is disappointing, a refresh to the Apple Watch’s processor isn’t something to be sniffed at.

According to further Bloomberg reports, the S9 chip that could be inside the Apple Watch 9 is likely to be based on the A15 Bionic chip and could bring “a fairly sizable performance bump”. This means it’ll improve the efficiency and performance of the device – think better app launch speeds, speedier refreshing, and better battery life.

The new Apple Watch Series 9 is expected to land in September alongside the new Apple iPhone 15 and Apple iPhone 15 Pro. And although we’re now prepared for only a minor upgrade, at least we’re likely to be getting the option of a pink Apple Watch model too.

Becca Caddy

Becca Caddy is a contributor to iMore, as well as a freelance journalist and author. She’s been writing about consumer tech and popular science for more than a decade, covering all kinds of topics, including why robots have eyes and whether we’ll experience the overview effect one day. She’s particularly interested in VR/AR, wearables, digital health, space tech and chatting to experts and academics about the future. She’s contributed to TechRadar, T3, Wired, New Scientist, The Guardian, Inverse and many more. Her first book, Screen Time, came out in January 2021 with Bonnier Books. She loves science-fiction, brutalist architecture, and spending too much time floating through space in virtual reality. Last time she checked, she still holds a Guinness World Record alongside iMore Editor in Chief Gerald Lynch for playing the largest game of Tetris ever made, too.