Apple Watch Series 8: release date, leaks, and rumours
With the Series 7 being nothing more than a minor update, the onus is on the Apple Watch Series 8 to deliver.
A new year brings a slew of new Apple products to keep the rumor mill humming for months, including the next-generation Apple Watch Series 8, on which much is riding.
Don't get us wrong: the current best Apple Watch contender, Series 7, is impressive in its own right, with an improved screen, better build, and faster charging. It is, without a doubt, the best smartwatch money can buy. However, in comparison to the improvements made to the Apple Watch Series 6 line, particularly over its predecessor, the Series 7 appears to be little more than an incremental update. Furthermore, it does not provide enough updates to persuade most Series 6 owners.
So it's only natural to expect a lot more from the rumored Apple Watch Series 8, which is set to debut in September 2022. Some are hoping for glucose, alcohol, and blood pressure sensors, as well as a faster processor than the S7, which is simply a more power-efficient S6 chip to support the larger display without sacrificing battery life. However, hopes for the former appear to be dashed, as Bloomberg Apple expert Mark Gurman predicts otherwise.
So, what should we expect from the Apple Watch Series 8? Well, given the ebb and flow of COVID-19, a body temperature sensor is still a possibility. A more powerful chipset is also recommended. Fans are also hoping for improved workout and sleep tracking, especially if the aforementioned sensors don't make an appearance.
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While none of these is significant enough to excite Series 6 and Series 7 owners, it is still early in the year, so speculations are limited. We guarantee that more exciting Series 8 news and rumours will emerge in the coming months. And we're here to keep track of them all, updating this page to share any that come across our desks with you.
So far, this is everything you need to know about the upcoming Apple Watch Series 8.
APPLE WATCH SERIES 8: EXPECTED RELEASE DATE
With the exception of the Apple Watch Series 7, which is expected to be released on October 15, 2021, due to production and quality issues, Apple has released its smartwatches in September of each year since 2016.
So, unless the Apple Watch Series 8 suffers a similar setback, we should see it officially announced and available for pre-order in mid-September, followed by a week on the shelves.
To temper your expectations, keep in mind that we are still in the midst of a global supply chain shortage and a pandemic, not to mention consumer inflation and surging demand. While none of these appears to have had an impact on the previous models' release, it's still a good idea to keep them in mind.
In any case, all indications (so far) point to a late Q3 to early Q4 release, just in time for the holiday season.
APPLE WATCH SERIES 8: EXPECTED PRICE
It is expected that the Apple Watch Series 8 will cost the same as the Apple Watch Series 6 and 7.
There's no reason to doubt it. After all, the Series 6 kept the same US prices for all of its models like the Series 5 despite the significant updates it provided, and the Series 7 has done the same despite noticeable improvements to its display and battery.
As a result, we anticipate that the Apple Watch Series 8 in aluminium will cost around $399 / £369 / AU$599 for its base smaller display GPS variant and around $499 / £469 / AU$749 (plus the cost of an additional data plan) for its smaller display LTE variant. Things should get more expensive from there, especially when it comes to steel cases.
APPLE WATCH SERIES 8: RUMOURED FEATURES
Because it's still early in the year, rumours about the next-generation Apple Watch are scarce. However, this is likely to change in the coming months as we get closer to the game's expected release date.
That isn't to say there isn't anything to talk about right now. Breadcrumbs have begun to fall as early as October 2021, with Analyst Ross Young speculating that there may be three size options available next year, with the third possibly larger than the current 45mm model. We don't know how most people would react to a larger display, but it could be a boon for some Apple Watch users (especially if Apple follows the Series 7 model of considerably slimming the bezels to keep the case size down).
Meanwhile, on Twitter, @LeaksApplePro has shared CAD files and images of an unofficial render of the next-generation smartwatch, which has only one minor, noticeable difference: an extra speaker grille on the side of the case. This appears to be in line with speculations that the Series 8 will not offer significant upgrades.
There was some speculation that it would include sensors to monitor glucose, alcohol levels, blood pressure, and body temperature. However, Bloomberg's own Apple expert, Mark Gurman, has stated that "blood pressure is at least two to three years away," and that glucose monitoring will not be available "until later in the second half of the decade." He also stated that "chatter about [body temperature sensor] has slowed recently," though given that many Apple Watch competitors have had this feature for years, it's too early to dismiss it.
Meanwhile, a new Apple patent discovered by Patently Apple suggests that Apple may abandon the Digital Crown entirely in favour of new optical sensors (pun intended). If Apple implements this feature on the Series 8, it could be the upgrade the smartwatch requires to make it a worthwhile purchase for Series 6 and Series 7 owners.
While this isn't a feature of the Apple Watch Series 8, it could be joined by two other wearables in December 2021, according to reputable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo: a new Apple Watch SE and a rugged sports model. If this rumoured model turns out to be yet another incremental update, consumers may be relieved to know that they have two other options to consider.
APPLE WATCH SERIES 8: WHAT WE WANT TO SEE
Aside from the rumoured features mentioned above, there are a few other features we'd like to see on the Apple Watch Series 8.
To begin with, a more powerful chipset would be welcome. The Series 7 may have an S7 chip, but it isn't exactly new; it is simply the S6 redesigned to be more power-efficient in order to keep up with the more demanding display without sacrificing battery life. As a result, it has the same 18-hour battery life as the Series 6 while supporting a larger and brighter display. It would be fantastic if Apple actually gave the Series 8 a completely new chipset, one that is not only more powerful but also capable of delivering even longer battery life.
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In terms of battery life, Apple has made strides, but it still isn't enough when compared to the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4's 40-hour battery life, let alone the Fitbit Sense's up to 6-day charge. We'd like to see the Series 8 offer a 24-hour battery life, in addition to the Series 7's fast charging capabilities.
Apple's smartwatches have done an excellent job of tracking workouts and sleep. There are, however, areas for improvement, such as providing more heart rate alerts during workouts and deeper insights into sleeping habits.