The Apple Watch Series 9 might finally get an upgrade in this key area

Apple Watch series 8
(Image credit: Future / iMore)

The Apple Watch Series 9 could have an upgrade that no other Apple Watch has been able to boast for years — an upgraded chip.

While the Apple Watch Series 8 and Apple Watch Series 7 effectively used a rebadged S6 chip from the Apple Watch Series 6, it's thought that this year's model will have something new to offer — likely bringing performance upgrades as a result.

If the rumor is accurate it might suggest that Apple has more in store for the Apple Watch Series 9 than just a simple refresh.

A worthy upgrade?

This rumor comes via Bloomberg's Mark Gurman who was writing in a Discord channel made available to subscribers of his Power On newsletter. According to him the Apple Watch Series 9 will get an upgraded chip that will be based on the A15 used in the iPhone 13 and iPhone 14 — only the best iPhones got an A16 Bionic in 2022.

It isn't immediately clear why Apple might have chosen 2023 to upgrade the chip used in the Apple Watch, but the company only normally improves its silicon when it has a need for extra performance. With that in mind, it's possible that the Apple Watch Series 9 could sport new features or capabilities that will make use of whatever extra oomph the S9 chip has to give.

We'll have to wait a while to find out, unfortunately. The Apple Watch Series 9 isn't expected to be announced until around September time, likely alongside the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro models. We can also likely expect the Apple Watch SE to be refreshed at the same time, while it still isn't clear whether Apple intends to update the Apple Watch Ultra on a 12-month cycle or if that will have to wait for now. If it does, we can likely expect that to also use the S9 chip as well.

In the meantime, a major upgrade is coming to Apple Watch at WWDC 2023, where Apple is expected to make a big change to watchOS 10's user interface. 

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.