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With Apple expected to announce the next-generation Apple Watch Series 7 in less than three months, reports on what we may — and may not — see on the newest model are starting to come into focus.
While we’ve heard rumours of Apple’s work on several new health sensors, it doesn’t seem that any of those are on the table for this year. Instead, we’re expecting a significant redesign for the casing, along with some nice display improvements and at least one new colour option.
However, now a new supply chain report is suggesting this year’s most significant upgrade to Apple’s wearable may be a bigger battery.
The rumoured new design, which is said to mirror that of the iPhone 12 and iPad Pro, could also offer a bit more internal space. Either way, however, the focus for this year looks like it may be on increasing battery life rather than worrying about new sensors or other similar enhancements.
It’s a move that makes a lot of sense, since the addition of sleep tracking features in watchOS 7 last year brought with it a demand for longer battery life. Although recent Apple Watch models can get most users through an average day, using it to track your sleep means finding another time to recharge it.
While it doesn’t seem likely Apple will be able to make any massive strides in battery life, even pushing it to a full 24 or 36 hours of use between charges could take some pressure off round-the-clock Apple Watch users.
It’s also possible that Apple may simply be looking to increase the battery to power other new features, such as an improved Ultra Wideband sensor or a better and brighter screen.
No New Health Sensors?
Reports of Apple working on new health sensors are frequent, and they tend to get our hopes up that they’ll come to each year’s new Apple Watch. However, it’s also easy to forget that health monitoring features are far more complicated than they sound, and these things take time.
For example, even after several years of research and development, Apple is still working on a way to get accurate blood pressure measurements. There were rumours that it almost came to last year’s Series 6, but the problem isn’t just adding a blood pressure sensor to the Apple Watch — it’s about adding an accurate blood pressure sensor.
Similarly, millions of diabetics are eagerly awaiting blood glucose monitoring. It’s another feature that we know Apple is working on, but it’s also a technology that’s eluded medical researchers for decades. Hence, we weren’t all that surprised when Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman revealed that we aren’t likely to see this one appear for “several more years.”
In fact, it appears that the only new health metric that was even being considered for the Apple Watch Series 7 was a body temperature sensor, but Gurman also added that’s not likely to make it into this year’s model.
There’s also no rule that says that Apple has to add new health sensors every year, of course. The Apple Watch Series 5 gained a compass, but little else. Apple may be settling into a two-year product cycle similar to the years of “S” model iPhones, with new health sensors only coming to the even-numbered models.
In addition to the new design that leakers Jon Prosser and Sam Kohl shared last month, the duo also hinted that it would be coming in at least one new colour — a green finish that would match the same-coloured Apple’s AirPods Max and iPad Air 4.
Of course, if Apple was indeed going in that direction, it seemed unlikely even then that it would produce only a green model, especially if it’s matching the colour to its other products. In that case, we’d expect to at least see some form of blue, pink, or rose gold, depending on which products Apple chooses to align with.
It’s also worth noting, however, that green is the only colour that’s shared by the iPhone 11, iPhone 12, iPad Air 4, and AirPods Max, so if Apple produces the Apple Watch Series 7 in only one new colour, it makes the most sense for it to be green.
Although the AirPods Max and iPad Air 4 both come in Sky Blue, the iPhone 12 is only offered in a darker “Blue” option. Other colours, like Pink, Rose Gold, and Purple, are unique to each product family.
The UDN report seems to use the plural “colours” but it’s unclear if that’s simply an unclear translation or a typo, particularly since it doesn’t mention any specifics beyond green.
When’s the Apple Watch Series 7 Coming?
Apple has always released its new Apple Watch models in September — even last fall when the iPhone 12 was delayed into October — so it’s not a huge revelation that the trend will continue this year. Supply chain sources have told UDN that “Apple’s new generation of Apple Watch Series 7 will be unveiled simultaneously with the new iPhone in September.” This also adds more confirmation that the “iPhone 13” will also show up on time this year.
However, recent reports suggest that we won’t be seeing a new version of last year’s Apple Watch SE, nor the rumoured “Apple Watch Explorer Edition” — we’ll apparently have to wait until 2022 before those make an appearance.