Could Next Year’s Apple Watch Series 8 Come in Three Sizes? | Think Small

Apple Watch Series 7 Concept iDrop News 2 Credit: iDrop News / Wilson Nicklaus
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Since its inception in 2014, the Apple Watch has always been available in only two sizes, but it looks that could be poised to change with next year’s Series 8 model.

While Apple basically led the way by abandoning the rather nonsensical separation of watches into “his” and “hers” categories, offering the original Apple Watch in “38mm” and “42mm” sizes with not even a hint of gender behind them. It was a bold and laudable move, and one that led other manufacturers like Rolex, Cartier, and TAG Heuer to follow suit. Even though many traditional retail stores have yet to get on board with the notion, it’s still at least a step in the right direction.

Now, it looks like Apple could be preparing to break more new ground by offering a third size for the Apple Watch next year.

The suggestion comes from display analyst Ross Young, who has previously shared some prescient views on the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 lineups.

While Young doesn’t go into a lot of detail, he hints that the Series 8 might feature an even bigger display next year, and then follows that up by saying that we shouldn’t be surprised if a third size appears in the lineup.

The implication here is that Apple could introduce a model that goes beyond the current 45mm Series 7. However, it’s equally possible that Apple might plan to once again increase the display sizes slightly overall and perhaps introduce an even smaller version to compensate for the fact that the “smallest” Apple Watch is starting to be too big for some folks.

After all, the first four generations of Apple Watch were available in 38mm and 42mm sizes, and you can still buy an Apple Watch Series 3 in these sizes if you really want to (but you really shouldn’t).

In 2018, Apple bumped up its sizes with the Apple Watch Series 4 to 40mm and 44mm. While that wasn’t a dramatic increase in physical size, it’s clear that Apple is trending toward larger screens with this year’s Series 7, which added another millimetre across the board, bringing us to 41mm and 45mm versions.

To be clear, unlike the iPhone, Apple Watch sizes do not refer to screen size, but rather the overall height of the entire Apple Watch casing.

The screen on the Apple Watch Series 4 actually grew by quite a bit more than a mere 2 millimetres — it actually gained approximately 4mm in each direction, thanks to the reduced bezel sizes. Apple doesn’t publish the actual screen dimensions in its Apple Watch specifications, only the display surface area and pixel dimensions, but this gives us enough to work out the actual height and width of the screens with some quick math.

Apple Watch Screen Widths and Heights

Series 1/2/342.5mm36.4mm30.4mm24.3mm
Series 4/5/6/SE44mm38mm34.5mm28.3mm

While Apple has yet to publish the official technical specifications for the Apple Watch Series 7, it’s likely the screen grew more than the casing did in the newest model as well.

Apple Watch Series 8 Design

Although rumours predicted that the Apple Watch would see a big redesign this year, those turned out to be incorrect. However, there’s still a very good chance that the leaks simply jumped the gun, and it will be next year’s Series 8 that sees significant design changes.

This would put Apple on a four-year cycle for major changes to the Apple Watch, following 2018’s introduction of the larger screens on the Series 4. This year’s Series 7 doesn’t move the needle on screen size nearly as much as the Series 4 did, so there’s still room for Apple to make the screen even larger.

It’s an especially likely scenario if there’s any truth at all to the rumoured flat-edged design. Squaring off the edges of the Apple Watch face would offer more room for a larger screen, but it would also risk making the watch feel bulkier — even if it didn’t grow in size otherwise.

Think Small

We don’t think there’s a lot of call for a larger Apple Watch, but we have heard numerous reports from folks who feel that the 40mm versions are already too large for their smaller wrists.

It’s also interesting to note that the smallest Apple Watch Series 7, now at 41mm, is only 1mm smaller than the original 42mm Apple Watch models.

In other words, many users who want to upgrade to the latest Apple Watch are being forced into a size that they would have passed on with the first four generations of the wearable.

In this case, a return to a smaller Apple Watch would make a lot of sense and would give Apple more room to continue pushing screen sizes up without the risk of alienating an important part of its customer base.

That said, there’s also another possibility, and that comes from the dark horse in the race: the Apple Watch SE. While Apple skipped the entry-level model for this year, there’s a good chance we’re going to see a new one next year — and some have even speculated that will be the one to get the new flat-edged design. In this case, it’s easy to see how Apple could choose to set the second-generation Apple Watch SE apart by offering it in a different size class as well.

[The information provided in this article has NOT been confirmed by Apple and may be speculation. Provided details may not be factual. Take all rumors, tech or otherwise, with a grain of salt.]

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