Apple Watch Ultra 2 & Series 9 tipped for the biggest performance boost in years

Apple Watch black and red
(Image credit: Apple)

Buyers of one of the 2023 Apple Watches can expect to enjoy improved performance thanks to the biggest chip upgrade in years, according to a new report.

The Apple Watch Series 9, and Apple Watch Ultra 2 are all expected to be announced in September and now it appears they’ll all be faster than previous models.

Apple hasn’t meaningfully upgraded the chips used in Apple Watches since 2020, but it’s now said that the S9 chip will offer “a fairly sizable performance bump” for those that pick up Apple’s newest and best Apple Watches

Much-needed performance upgrades

This news comes via Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, writing in the weekly Power On newsletter over the weekend. Gurman notes that Apple’s new S9 chip will offer bigger performance upgrades than we’ve seen from any other Apple Watch chip since the S6 — a chip that powered the Apple Watch Series 6. It was also slightly modified for use in future Apple Watches and then relabeled. The S8 currently ships in the 2022 wearables including the Apple Watch Series 8 and Apple Watch Ultra.

With an upgraded chip buyers of the latest Apple Watches can expect speedier performance across the board, including opening apps and refreshing data. Apple’s watchOS 10 update will change how the Apple Watch is used, making widgets more accessible. It’s possible the performance upgrades are to ensure that they update as quickly as possible when called upon.

The new Apple Watches are all expected to be announced during an event in September, likely alongside the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro lineups. New iPads and possibly even new Macs could also arrive before the end of 2023.

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.