Apple Watch Series 9: Everything you need to know
Can Apple Watch Series 9 deliver where Apple Watch Series 8 failed?
We were hoping that Apple Watch Series 9 would be a big upgrade, in order to compensate for the fairly disappointing jump of the Apple Watch Series 8 compared to the very exciting new Apple Watch Ultra. However, the most recent report from top insider Mark Gurman says that this year is set to be "light" in terms of Apple Watch hardware.
We have heard almost nothing about the next Apple Watch. Still, given Apple’s previous release arc, it is shaping up to be a very slight iterative improvement that won’t justify upgrading from the previous model.
We’d expect a new Apple Watch to debut in September alongside the iPhone 15, as it has done since 2017. Here’s a round-up of rumors, rumblings, and what we want to see.
Apple Watch Series 9: Release date rumors and expected launch
As noted, every Apple Watch Series update has debuted at the September iPhone event since the Apple Watch Series 3 in 2017. There are no rumors either to this effect or to the contrary regarding the Apple Watch Series 9 release date, which I would also expect to fall in early September again this year.
Given the Apple Watch is first-and-foremost an iPhone accessory, it makes sense that Apple would debut its next wearable alongside its new iPhone when all of the eyes of the world are on Apple.
As with the iPhone, the Apple Watch usually debuts on a Tuesday, is made available for pre-order that Friday, and then released in stores and online a week later. We’d expect the iPhone 15 event to fall on either September 5 or September 12.
Apple Watch Series 9 Price expectations
Apple has remained ultra-consistent with its Apple Watch Series pricing for five straight years, with every “flagship” costing $399 as a starting price point. When it comes to Apple Watch, adding bands, a larger display, and cellular capability could see the price mounting up fast, but we would expect the Apple Watch Series 9 to sit firmly in the $399 price bracket. As the starting point for the 41mm option with GPS, at least.
The Apple Watch design hasn’t changed much since the Apple Watch Series 7, which brought those sweeping edges and a larger display. It was a subtle yet significant change that made the Apple Watch easier to use and view, and I’ve loved it since. The only other major Apple Watch design change since is, of course, the Apple Watch Ultra. I’d expect Apple to reserve that form factor for its rugged premium model, however. One of the only leaks we’ve heard is that Apple will retain the 1.71/1.92-inch displays from the Apple Watch Series 8 in the Series 9, according to analyst David Hsieh, who does not have a track record of Apple leaks. Hsieh claims the Apple Watch Series X will adopt a larger screen coming in 2024.
Mark Gurman claims Apple Watch's impending processor upgrade "won’t affect the look of the watches," suggesting minimal design changes can be expected.
New features to Apple Watch have been few and far between in recent iterations. However, the biggest talking point in the Apple Watch rumor mill is definitely the prospect of non-invasive blood glucose monitoring that could allow users with diabetes to monitor their blood sugar and glucose levels without the need for a pinprick. However, Apple has been working on this for 12 years, and unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like this will be ready in time for Apple Watch Series 9.
One feature we’ve yet to see come to Apple Watch is Touch ID. Entering a numeric password is a bit of a pain on such a small display, and Apple has filed a patent for Touch ID housed in the Watch’s side button. Rumors have previously also suggested that Apple could put Touch ID in the Apple Watch’s Digital Crown or even under the display!
Apple Watch Series 9: Processor
Bloomberg's Mark Gurman says that "the big change" coming to Apple Watch this year "will be a processor upgrade," the first in three years. That will hopefully mean better, snappier browsing and performance, as well as possibly better connectivity, and workout tracking.
Apple Watch Series 9: What we’d like to see
Big Series 9 asks from the iMore team include the introduction of diabetes tracking as mentioned above. We’d also love to see Touch ID in the Digital Crown, or the side button for that matter, to improve security overall.
One thing I’d love to see is some slightly tougher, scratch-resistant glass, as just six months into my Apple Watch Series 8 journey my screen is absolutely rife with scratches. We’d also like to see more third-party faces, and even more improvements to Apple Watch bands, perhaps with options for blood pressure sensing and more.
With September and the iPhone 15 on the horizon, we don’t have long to wait and find out exactly what Apple has in store for us this year.
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Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.
Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9