Apple’s main September launch event is just a few weeks away, and while we can expect updated iPhone models, we will also likely see the latest Apple Watch model.
The Apple Watch 2 was originally rumored to make an appearance at Apple’s March 21 event when the iPhone SE was launched, but that didn’t materialize. Therefore rumors about the next generation Apple Watch have been making the rounds for well over a year.
Rumors making the rounds suggest the Apple Watch 2 will receive some updated specs, but will likely lack the FaceTime camera and 4G LTE connection that have been spoken about for months. In addition to a Watch 2, we are also likely to see a slightly updated original Apple Watch model, with the added benefit of a reduced price tag.
Here’s a look at what we can expect from the Apple Watch 2 when it likely launches next month, including faster processor, larger battery, GPS and a barometer. We also look ahead to next year and detail the rumors that are already making the rounds about the 2017 Apple Watch that is due for a major redesign.
The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus is due to launch next month and it is assumed that the next generation Apple Watch will launch at the same time. The dates for the Apple launch will likely take place in the second or third week of September, with renowned technology leaker, Evan Blass predicting the iPhone 7 will go on sale on September, 16.
Two Apple Watch models
According to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, there will be a slightly updated first generation Apple Watch and a new Apple Watch 2.
The original Apple Watch will receive slight updates like a new processor and improved water resistance. It is also rumored that the slightly updated first-generation Apple Watch will also receive a price cut. Apple announced a $50 price cut for the base model back in March, giving the lowest-cost Apple Watch a price tag of $299.
Processor, battery, GPS, barometer
The most recent Apple Watch 2 rumors from Kuo suggest that the newest model will come with a faster processor, higher capacity battery, as well as GPS and a barometer. Like the upgraded original Apple Watch, the Watch 2 will also have improved water resistance from the current IPX7 rating.
Much like the old design
Multiple reports have suggested that the Apple Watch 2 will look very similar to its predecessor, and will stick to the current shape, size, thickness and resolution. For a complete redesign, Apple Watch fans will have to wait until 2017.
The advantage of the design of the Apple Watch 2 staying the same as its predecessor means that all the straps will be compatible with the latest version.
As mentioned above, the slightly updated original Apple Watch is likely to get a price cut. While rumors suggest that Apple Watch 2 will range from $1,000 for the stainless steel model and $10,000 for the 18-karat gold Edition.
2017 Apple Watch
While both the next generation Apple Watch and iPhone is yet to be released, we are already looking forward to what the 2017 models will possibly offer us.
Micro LCD panel
One of the rumors for the 2017 iPhone model is that it will have an OLED display, moving away from its current LCD. The reverse is rumored for the 2017 Apple Watch which will move away from the OLED screen and rather have a Micro LCD panel, according to a report from Digitimes.
4G LTE connection
While rumors have suggested that the Apple Watch 2 will get improved Wi-Fi capabilities, Kuo says we will have to wait until 2017 before Apple will introduce 4G LTE connection allowing you to be un-tethered from your iPhone.
Possible camera for video calling
A rumor that has been making the rounds since June last year, suggests the Apple Watch 2 will include a front-facing camera for FaceTime calls. Even though watchOS 2.0 includes audio integration, it is unlikely that we will see a camera on the Apple Watch 2 next month.
Most likely it will be introduced next year when a redesigned Apple Watch is expected and 4G LTE connection will be included.
Apple Watch sales are predicted to decline this year despite a new version being released, according to Kuo. He predicted in April that sales for 2016 would drop to 7.5 million compared to 10.6 million units in 2015. The drop in sales is more significant considering the 2015 figure was over an eight month period compared to the 12 month period for 2016.
Time will tell whether a slightly improved Apple Watch 2 model will have a positive or negative impact on these predictions.