Apple plans major overhaul for 'Watch X' to celebrate device's 10-year anniversary, but not this year

August 14, 2023  21:42

In a move to mark the 10th anniversary of its groundbreaking smartwatch, Apple is gearing up for a significant overhaul of its 'Watch X' model. While the upcoming 2023 line of smartwatches promises only incremental updates, the tech giant is quietly working behind the scenes to deliver a revamped version of the device that started it all, Reuters’ Mark Gurman wrote.

Although Apple enthusiasts won't witness the revolutionary changes this year, excitement is building for what's in store for the future. Recent insights gleaned from app logs reveal Apple's strategic plans for a full lineup of future M3 chips, showcasing the company's commitment to innovation. Furthermore, trademark listings confirm the tantalizing possibility of the 'Reality Pro' moniker for an upcoming Apple headset.

Last week's edition of Power On revealed Apple's candid admission of an impending smartphone slowdown, just ahead of the highly anticipated iPhone 15 launch scheduled for September.

Apple Inc. is meticulously crafting a grand-scale transformation for its celebrated smartwatch, although the anticipated metamorphosis won't unfold until later. Set to debut next month, the 2023 models are poised to follow the trend of minor refreshes, maintaining the product's evolution pattern witnessed in recent years.

Behind the scenes at Apple, executives have engaged in deliberations to potentially break away from the conventional annual upgrade cycle. Although discussions are still in their nascent stages, the recent tweaks to the device's features have sparked contemplation of a shift in strategy. In contrast to the iPhone, where each year sees substantial changes, the Apple Watch has embraced more subtle alterations. The past few years brought the introduction of a body-temperature sensor, an expanded display, and enhanced performance capabilities through faster chips and blood-oxygen monitoring.

Undeniably, Apple is striving to offer consumers compelling reasons to embrace each new generation of the smartwatch. While the Apple Watch Ultra spurred high-end upgrades last year, the outlook for 2023 indicates a more subdued year of developments.

Anticipated for a September 12th unveiling, the Apple Watch Series 9 collection will retain the existing dimensions—41 and 45 millimeters—with the Ultra measuring 49 millimeters. The anticipated upgrades lie in swifter processors and a vibrant array of new hues.

However, in terms of groundbreaking features, this iteration arguably marks the slightest advancement in the product's history. Those who invested in the Apple Watch Ultra at $799 last year might find the lure of this version less compelling.

It's noteworthy that Apple's objective isn't solely geared towards yearly upgrades. The company's consistent feature additions aim to entice first-time smartwatch buyers, individuals with older models, and even those using competitor brands like Samsung and Fitbit.

While Apple is expected to retain its annual upgrade cycle for the time being, shifts in release schedules have been witnessed with other products. The iPad, once updated annually, now sees revisions at longer intervals, with flagship models getting a refresh every 18 months or so.

Despite its gradual evolution, the Apple Watch's design has remained largely unaltered since the 2018 launch of the Series 4, with the exception of the Ultra variant.

However, change is on the horizon. Apple is meticulously crafting a 'Watch X' model that promises to be the most extensive overhaul to date. Intended to commemorate a decade of innovation, this milestone model is set to redefine the Apple Watch experience. With a focus on a sleeker watch case and reimagined band attachments, Apple is poised to reshape the landscape of wearable technology.

Breaking away from the current band attachment mechanism, Apple is exploring a magnetic system that could free up space for improved battery capacity and other components. Further innovations include a microLED display that surpasses the color and clarity of existing OLED screens, along with a groundbreaking technology for real-time blood pressure monitoring.

As Apple sets its sights on the future, the 'Watch X' promises to be the embodiment of a decade's worth of innovation, redefining what a smartwatch can achieve.

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