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It’s fair to say that last year’s release of the Apple Watch Series 7 wasn’t really what most people were expecting, but the good news is that it appears Apple is set to make up for that with the upcoming Apple Watch Series 8.
While the rumours leading up to the Series 7 announcement last fall had promised a massive redesign, even folks who were more cautiously optimistic about those changes still found that the new wearable didn’t move the needle ahead as much as they’d hoped.
For instance, while it boasted a slightly larger, brighter, and more durable display, faster charging, and new colours, that was about the sum total of what had changed. There were no new health or fitness sensors, and the new S7 chip was basically the 2020 S6 chip by another name, with no performance increase.
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However, it’s starting to look like Apple may have just been saving up for a bigger release in 2022, with Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman predicting that this could be “the biggest in the history of the Apple Watch” since it was first introduced.
I think this year will be the biggest in the history of the Apple Watch since the original model. I’m looking for three new models this fall: an Apple Watch Series 8, an Apple Watch SE and an Apple Watch geared toward extreme sports.Mark Gurman
Even if this year’s Apple Watch still doesn’t boast the rumoured redesign from last year, Gurman’s sources suggest that there will be “major updates to activity tracking” as well as “faster chips across the board.”
It appears that part of Gurman’s enthusiasm may also be coming from his expectations of an expanded lineup. Except for the first Apple Watch SE that arrived alongside the Series 6 in 2020, Apple has only ever produced a single Apple Watch model each year, in two sizes.
However, if Gurman’s information is correct, this year we could see the second generation of the Apple Watch SE, plus the rumoured “Apple Watch Explorer Edition.”
Beyond these things, however, there may not be too many improvements to the internal technology. Gurman is reiterating his report from last year that we still shouldn’t expect to see any major new health sensors, beyond the possible body temperature feature.
I wouldn’t expect any major new health sensors this year, besides the possible inclusion of the oft-discussed body temperature feature. But look out for major updates to activity tracking and faster chips across the board. Mark Gurman
While there was a slight possibility that the body temperature sensor would appear last year, that was far from a sure thing, and of course, we now know it didn’t make the cut. However, that makes it even more likely we’ll see it appear on this year’s Series 8.
The End of the Road for the Series 3?
According to Gurman, this may also finally be the year that the Apple Watch Series 3 finally rides off into the sunset, and frankly it’s about time.
For whatever reason, Apple has kept the 2017-era Apple Watch Series 3 around long past what should have been its expiration date.
While Apple obviously wants to provide an easy and affordable way for people to get into the Apple Watch family, the Series 3 has become so limited and problem-ridden with later watchOS releases that it’s bordering on a bait-and-switch scam. Buying an Apple Watch Series 3 has been a bad idea since at least watchOS 7, and of course now we’re well into watchOS 8.
We honestly expected the Series 3 to be discontinued last year, but it’s continued to live on. This time around, however, the release of a new Apple Watch SE may allow Apple to relegate the original 2020 SE model into that entry-level category, putting the aging Series 3 to a final rest.
[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.]