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When Apple unveiled the new Apple Watch Series 7 last month, it came with relatively little fanfare and an unusually vague availability date of “Later this fall.” If recent rumours are true, however, the new wearable could be arriving in stores — and customers’ hands — two weeks from now.
As “disappointing” as the Apple Watch announcement was, the truth is that we have only the rumour mill to blame for that. Multiple sources suggested that Apple’s wearable was getting an exciting new design, so when that didn’t materialize, it was a pretty big letdown.
The thing is, Apple never said any such thing. Apple never says anything about its products until it gets on stage to actually unveil them, and what it did unveil was still a nice, solid upgrade to last year’s Apple Watch Series 6, even if it was only an incremental one.
It’s fair to say that we were simply expecting too much, and in retrospect, we should have known better, considering that almost the same thing happened two years ago with the Series 5.
To be clear, the Apple Watch Series 7 really isn’t for people who already own an Apple Watch Series 6, in the same way that most iPhone 12 owners aren’t going to rush out and buy the iPhone 13. Annual upgrades are for gadget fans with deep pockets, not the average consumer. In fact, when it comes to the Apple Watch, there are those who don’t even upgrade every two years.
Even if you’re still wearing an Apple Watch Series 5, the new Series 7 offers some nice improvements, since of course you gain everything from last year’s Series 6, plus a larger, brighter, and more durable screen and faster charging. Users of older Apple Watch models naturally gain even more from the Series 7, and there are countless folks out there still wearing a Series 4 or Series 3.
When Will Apple Watch Series 7 Pre-Orders Start?
So, if you’ve been eyeballing the new Apple Watch Series 7, the good news is that you probably won’t have to wait much longer to get your hands on one, as multiple sources have confirmed that Apple plans to open pre-orders a week from today, on Friday, October 8.
The first details came from leaker Jon Prosser, who cited “multiple sources familiar with the release” as telling that pre-orders could happen “as early as next week,” with the wearable actually slated to ship in mid-October.
While Prosser didn’t commit to a specific date, Apple almost always opens pre-orders for new devices on Fridays, with generally only a week between the pre-order date and the shipping and in-store availability dates. So, it would be pretty safe to bet on October 8 for pre-orders and October 15 for the actual launch.
While Prosser has a mixed track record when it comes to Apple product leaks — he was one of the folks predicting the major Apple Watch redesign that never arrived — he’s generally been pretty accurate with product launch dates, especially short-term ones like this.
It also seems that Apple’s partner Hermès let the cat out of the bag, confirming Prosser’s information with an exact date to its own customers.
Since Hermès will continue selling its luxury versions with the Apple Watch Series 7, it naturally has some idea of when the devices will begin shipping, and when its customer service department was asked when the new Apple Watch would be arriving, they came right out with the date: October 8, 2021.
While it’s impossible to know for sure if this is a legitimate response from Hermès, there appears to be no reason to disbelieve it, particularly since it not only lines up with what Prosser reported, but also pretty much everything else we’ve been hearing.
We know that Apple had run into problems mass-producing the new Apple Watch due to the new display technology, but even though reputable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo reported everything as back on track for mid-September, Apple’s pronouncement that it wasn’t coming until “later this fall” had some concerned.
This also led to conspiracy theories that Apple had switched up the design at the last minute after it realized it couldn’t make the rumoured squared-edge design work, and therefore had to go back to the drawing board and build a whole new Apple Watch. This, the self-proclaimed pundits said, was why Apple hadn’t announced an availability date, as it was starting over from scratch.
These suggestions sounded more like leakers and their fans backpedaling on their erroneous information, however, since that’s just not how Apple works. If Apple even considered a major new design for this year’s Apple Watch — and that’s a really big “if” — it would have abandoned those plans months before mass production, not merely a few days.
It’s safe to say that this year’s Apple Watch was not a “Plan B” for Apple, and even though it seems uninspired compared to what the leakers were predicting, the new display still features some substantial technology upgrades, none of which would have been thrown together at the last minute. Reliable sources like Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman and analyst Ming-Chi Kuo also both pointed specifically to the new display being the reason for the production delays.
If Kuo’s information was correct, the Apple Watch Series 7 actually went into mass production by the third week in September. The problem is that it still takes time to churn out products, and just because mass production is underway doesn’t mean Apple’s suppliers might not run into another show-stopping problem. Apple isn’t going to commit to an availability date until it has enough units actually manufactured and shipped out to begin to satisfy the demand for a new device.
In fact, Apple’s “later this fall” availability echoes what happened earlier this year with almost its entire spring product lineup, including the new 24-inch M1 iMac, the new M1, and mini-LED-equipped iPad Pro models, and even the Apple TV 4K. All of these were announced at an April event, with availability listed as “the second half of May.” The products ended up arriving on May 21, but the announcement gave Apple enough wiggle-room to push them off by at least a week if it had run into problems getting enough units ready to ship.
The Apple Watch Series 7 is almost certainly in the same situation. Apple likely had an early- to mid-October release in mind even when before it held its virtual event last month, but that would have been the best-case scenario, so it was much safer to say “later this fall” until it could be sure that all of its production lines were running smoothly.
[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.]