The Apple Watch was a huge success for the company, tying the wearables sector in the first attempt. As 2023 begins, we look forward to seeing what Apple will do with its next generation of digital timepieces. So, here are all the news, rumors we know so far about the Apple Watch Series 9 as well as what we expect for the new device.
Apple Watch Series 9: Release date
Apple has a release schedule for its Watches that, if you’ll pardon the pun, runs like clockwork. For years now, its latest iterations have made their debut in the second or third week of September, usually alongside the new iPhones, with sales dates about a year and a half later. :
- Apple Watch Series 8: September 7, 2022
- Apple Watch Series 7: September 14, 2021
- Apple Watch Series 6: September 15, 2020
- Apple Watch Series 5: September 10, 2019
- Apple Watch Series 4: September 12, 2018
- Apple Watch Series 3: September 12, 2017
It seems unlikely that Apple will change the cadence this year, so we expect the Apple Watch Series 9 to launch in September 2023probably on September 6 or 12.
Apple Watch Series 9: Price
Once again, Apple is remarkably consistent with its pricing strategy for the Apple Watch for US buyers. However, 2022 sees European countries getting the most price increases. As such, the UK sees the baseline model increase by £50:
- Apple Watch Series 8 – $399/£419
- Apple Watch Series 7 – $399/£369
- Apple Watch Series 6 – $399/£379
- Apple Watch Series 5 – $399/£399
- Apple Watch Series 4 – $399/£399
With a price increase in Europe already in place, we expect the Series 9 to have the same price as the Apple Watch Series 8 it replaces. So, it should be around $399/£419.
Apple Watch Series 9: Design and specs
With the next generation of the Apple Watch not far away at the time of writing, information about what new features Apple might introduce remains scarce. There are some possibilities though, as well as some features that the Macworld team would like to see Apple introduce.
Last year Apple introduced the all new Apple Watch Ultra with a bewildering array of features and components. The latest member of the Apple Watch family features a more rugged design, flat sides, and a slightly larger display (49mm vs 45mm on the Apple Watch Series 8). While the aesthetics of the Apple Watch are iconic, a flat design has been rumored for the Apple Watch since the Series 7, and we wouldn’t be surprised to see the Series 9 adopt a similar look to the Ultra.
Dominik Tomaszewski / Foundry
Perhaps the most likely feature the new Watch could borrow from the Ultra is the Action button. This is the second physical button, located on the opposite side of the Digital Crown. On the Ultra you can set it to trigger specific tasks like a stopwatch, exercise, or flashlight, functionality that’s an excellent upgrade to the existing design of the Apple Watch.
However, recent rumors suggest that the Apple Watch Series 9 will be a minor upgrade this year, with a minor chip upgrade.
If you look at the tech specs for each new Apple Watch, you’ll see a new chip listed. The Series 8 has the S8 chip, the Series 7 has the S7, and the Series 6 has the S6. The only thing that is strange is that they are all the same chip with different names. While the S6 provides a 20 percent performance boost over the Series 5, the S7 and S8 are rebranded versions of the same processor according to the teardowns and Apple’s apparent commission of any kind of performance improvement. But we’re hoping the S9 will change that, with improved performance and perhaps a Neural Engine built into the chip.
Like the iPhone 14 Pro, the Apple Watch Ultra has upgraded its GPS to include the L5 band in addition to the standard L1 for faster and more accurate location tracking. Even if you’re not hiking on steep terrain, the extra band comes in handy in busy urban areas where the standard Watch might struggle. Apple has a habit of introducing new features in high-end models and then trickling them down to lower models, and we think it’s going to be pretty good here.
There have been many rumors about Apple potentially using MicroLED displays in various devices over the past few years, but the strongest point to the Apple Watch as the first device to make the switch. After all, the Apple Watch was the first device with an OLED screen—years before the iPhone—so it’s likely that Apple will also debut its MicroLED screen on the Apple Watch. The advantages make it worthwhile, as MicroLED is thinner, brighter, higher-res, and more efficient than OLED. The latest rumor says the first microLED watches won’t arrive until 2024, but we’re hoping for an early look.
To date, Apple Watches are one of the few remaining Apple devices that haven’t been updated to 5G—even the high-end Apple Watch Ultra has 4G LTE. With the Apple Watch approaching complete independence, having the fastest connection available seems like a good idea. We’re sure there will no doubt be some problems to overcome, but Apple is likely to be good at that.
Apple has been working for many years on a non-invasive way to monitor glucose levels that does not require additional equipment. A recent report says that a secret team within Apple has reached several “major milestones” in the project, and the feature is now considered to be in the “proof of concept” stage. However, it is unlikely that it will appear on the watch this year and may be for several years.
Other possible sensors for inclusion could be an electrodermal activity (EDA) sensor for measuring stress levels and a bioimpedance sensor for measuring body cvomposition.
Obviously, we will continue to update this article as more information becomes available, so be sure to check back often. In the meantime, if you can’t wait until September, here’s our roundup of the best Apple Watch deals currently around.
Also read: Every new Apple product is coming in 2023 and When is the next Apple Event?