The Apple Watch Series 7 offers quite the upgrade compared to its predecessor, with smaller bezels allowing for a bigger display, improved always-on display performance, dust resistance and more, but it wasn’t the complete redesign of the Apple Watch that was rumoured heavily prior to launch.
Is it possible that we’ll be seeing the rumoured redesign with the Apple Watch Series 8? Or will the famed body temperature monitor finally make an appearance? We discuss the potential redesign, along with every other Apple Watch Series 8 rumour, right here.
When will the Apple Watch Series 8 be released?
The Apple Watch release schedule is so regimented that you could, ahem, set your watch to it.
Even during the height of the pandemic which saw the release of the iPhone delayed until October, Apple still revealed and released the Apple Watch Series 6 in September 2020, as it had in previous years, and that dedication was just as apparent with the Apple Watch Series 7 launch.
Despite the fact that the Series 7 wasn’t released until mid-October amid rumoured production issues, the wearable was still revealed alongside the iPhone and iPad in September 2021.
Though a specific release date wasn’t mentioned, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman believes that this year “will be the biggest in the history of the Apple Watch” with three models of Apple Watch set to launch this autumn; the Apple Watch Series 8, a new Apple Watch SE and an Apple Watch “geared towards extreme sports”.
The reporter also suggested that Apple will finally stop selling the Apple Watch Series 3 once the Series 8 is available – something we called for at the beginning of February. Apple confirmed at WWDC 2022 that the Series 3 wouldn’t get the watchOS 9 update, so it looks like its days are indeed numbered.
So, with all that in mind, it’s a safe bet that we’ll be seeing the Apple Watch Series 8 sometime in September 2022, but we’ll update this section if we hear anything different.
While it’s far from confirmed at this early stage, we expect the Apple Watch Series 8 to largely cost around the same as the existing Apple Watch Series 7, which starts at £369/$399 for the 41mm variant. Here’s a breakdown of the entry-level pricing:
Apple Watch Series 7 (41mm, Aluminium, GPS) – £369 / $399
Apple Watch Series 7 (45mm, Aluminium, GPS) – £399 / $429
Apple Watch Series 7 (41mm, Aluminium, GPS + Cellular) – £469 / $499
Apple Watch Series 7 (45mm, Aluminium, GPS + Cellular) – £499 / $529
The Apple Watch has remained consistent in its pricing through the years (it even got cheaper in the UK in 2021) and it’s already very much a premium wearable, so messing with the core pricing could be a risk for Apple.
What about the rumoured third, larger model rumoured for release? Going by the £30/$30 gap between the 41mm and 45mm variant, we expect that the larger model could cost somewhere around the £429/$459 mark.
We will, of course, update this section once we learn more, so check back soon for the latest on the Apple Watch Series 8 pricing.
What should I expect from the Apple Watch Series 8?
Three case sizes instead of the regular two
New sensors, including a blood glucose sensor
Though the Apple Watch Series 8 is still some time away from seeing the light of day, there are already rumours that give us a good idea of what to expect.
Redesigned form factor
The Apple Watch has, fundamentally, stayed the same since the release of the first Apple Watch back in 2015. The Apple Watch Series 4 saw a reduction of bezels and more screen real estate, and that was further enhanced with the Series 7, but it has kept the same square form factor.
There were plenty of rumours suggesting that the Apple Watch Series 7 would get a big redesign – the biggest in the history of the Apple Watch – bringing the design closer to that of recent models of iPhone and iPad, with flatter sides and a generally more industrial look.
It was outlined by notable analysts including Ming-Chi Kuo, and Jon Prosser went a step further by revealing a range of mock 3D renders showcasing a significant form factor change based on alleged real-world images of the wearable.
It seemed to be a certainty before launch, but of course, as we now know, it never happened. It’s unusual for multiple notable sources to get something so big so wrong, leading many to believe that Apple could still be working on the redesigned Apple Watch, and that we might finally get to see it showcased on the Series 8.
Interestingly, leaker ShrimpApplePro claims that the upcoming Watch will feature a flat display, which does blend well with previous redesign rumours – so much so that Jon Prosser has refreshed his concept images, almost a year to the day of releasing the first images, to include the rumoured flat display.
Credit: Jon Prosser / Ian Zelbo
It’s worth noting that ShrimpApplePro doesn’t have the same track record as other Apple leakers, and even Jon Prosser suggests that the design could be that of the rumoured rugged Apple Watch also due for release later this year, so it’s not set in stone just yet.
It’s worth pointing out that a redesign isn’t a given. In fact, @LeaksApplePro – a leaker with a decent track record – suggests the opposite, sharing an official render of what’s claimed to be the chassis of the Apple Watch Series 8 with only a single change: a new speaker grille.
While that’ll likely improve the quality and overall volume of the onboard speaker used for calls, Siri, notifications and more, it’s not a huge change compared to the Series 7.
It’s also worth noting that Mark Gurman, who has detailed various aspects of the upcoming Apple Watch, has yet to mention any changes to the overall design. If he has the inside track on internal components, it’d be hard to imagine his sources would miss a design overhaul, so the redesign is far from confirmed at this point.
A new, bigger case size
Apple shrank the bezels of the Apple Watch Series 7, allowing it to increase usable display space without changing the physical dimensions – but what about those of us who simply want a larger version of the Apple Watch than the 45mm currently available? We might have better luck with the Series 8, according to analyst Ross Young.
The analyst took to Twitter to tease the possibility of an Apple Watch with a larger display, but unlike with previous updates, it’ll be an entirely new model to sit alongside the existing 41mm and 45mm variants. It’s not quite an outright prediction, with an unusual noncommittal tone in his tweet, but it’s an intriguing – and exciting – idea.
Ross Young has only made a handful of Apple-related predictions, weighing in on previous iPhone 13 rumours and the MacBook Pro too, but he has an impressive track record without a single incorrect prediction so far.
For now, he’s one of the most accurate analysts in the Apple arena, and it’s worth paying attention to what he has to say, though the usual pinch of salt should be applied.
Though not confirmed, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman suggests that Apple could release an Apple Watch geared towards extreme sports alongside the Series 8 later this year. Could it be possible that this is the third display Ross Young was referring to? Only time will tell.
Blood Glucose sensor
A January 2021 report from ETNews claims that both Apple and Samsung are gearing up to include a blood glucose sensor in upcoming smartwatches, with the aim of being able to alert diabetics when their blood sugar levels are dropping.
When it comes to the Apple wearable, it has been suggested that Apple will include a skin-top monitoring solution that doesn’t require an implant, reportedly instead “focusing on securing reliability and stability prior to commercialization of the technology”. It was initially thought that the tech could make an appearance on the Series 7, but as we now know, that wasn’t the case.
That’s backed up by a report from The Telegraph, which found SEC filings that confirm Apple is currently the biggest customer of Rockley Photonics, a company that specialises in sensors that track blood sugar, blood pressure and even alcohol levels. In fact, Apple has been the company’s biggest source of revenue for the past two years.
That by itself is interesting enough, but when paired with rumoured comments from the Rockley Photonics CEO suggesting the technology would be in consumer products from 2022, it seems increasingly likely that a blood sugar monitor – if not something more advanced – could make an appearance in the next Apple Watch.
That’s also in line with an October 2021 report from DigiTimes, with sources claiming Apple has told suppliers to begin prep for the short-wave infrared sensors used to measure the levels of glucose sugar in the blood.
However, despite all the rumblings from various sources, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman seems to believe that we won’t be seeing any of these sensors anytime soon – despite himself predicting we’d be getting body temperature sensors back in June 2021.
Speaking in a January 2022 Power On newsletter, Gurman backtracked on the potential for body temperature sensing, blood glucose monitoring and blood pressure tracking capabilities, stating “don’t expect any of these soon, though. Body temperature was on this year’s roadmap, but chatter about it has slowed down recently. Blood pressure is at least two to three years away, while I wouldn’t be surprised if glucose monitoring doesn’t land until later in the second half of the decade”.
He shed more light on the sensor issues in an April 2022 edition of his newsletter, suggesting that Apple has been working on blood pressure monitoring for at least four years, but accuracy is proving to be an issue.
That’s backed up by claims from Ming-Chi Kuo, who suggested that Apple cancelled the body temperature measurement for the Series 7 because of algorithm failures – a critical part of any sensor. Kuo claims that a “smartwatch can’t support core temperature measurement in terms of hardware, so it needs an excellent algorithm to work together”, though it’s noted that Samsung is also facing similar issues, with the upcoming Galaxy Watch Series 5 likely also missing out on the tech.
He does tease that it’s possible that the body temperature tech could appear on the Series 8, but only “if the algorithm can meet Apple’s high requirements before mass production”.
Gurman, on the other hand, suggests that it’ll likely land in 2024 or 2025 and that it won’t display actual systolic and diastolic readings used to assess blood pressure. Instead, it’ll send a notification when it senses the user is showing signs of high blood pressure so they can consult a doctor.
Gurman does tease that the Watch Series 8 could feature improvements to atrial fibrillation detection, and the potential for a body temperature sensor is still there, but it’s not confirmed right now.
Improved fitness tracking
In a February 2022 edition of Bloomberg’s Power Up! newsletter, Mark Gurman suggests that the upcoming Apple Watch will feature “major updates to activity tracking” despite the lack of “major new health sensors”.
The catch? We’re not quite sure what these major updates look like, with Gurman – or any other leaker – yet to release any details of the rumoured upgrade.
Given that Apple has detailed new fitness-focused features like HR zones, better running metrics, support for triathlons and more as part of the watchOS 9 reveal at WWDC 2022 in June, it’s possible that the major updates Gurman talks about will come to all models of Apple Watch. But, Apple being Apple, the new model will likely have one or two unique features to tempt users to upgrade.
Satellite connectivity was originally a feature rumoured to appear on the iPhone 13, but as we now know, that didn’t happen. The rumours have begun swirling once again, thanks to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, who suggests that this year’s iPhone 14 might not be the only Apple device to get satellite connectivity.
As well as Apple’s iPhone 14 Pro range, Gurman suggests that satellite connectivity is also coming to the Apple Watch – though he’s unsure if it’ll be included in the 2022 or 2023 model.
The reasoning behind the claim, according to Gurman, comes from a February 2022 deal between satellite company Globalstar Inc and an “unnamed” customer that paid “hundreds of millions of dollars” for 17 new satellites.
While it might seem odd when the Apple Watch already boasts cellular connectivity, the reporter suggests that satellite connectivity on Apple’s wearable would “provide an alternative to the Garmin inReach Explorer and SPOT, handheld satellite communicators with similar features”.