Apple’s biggest fall release is usually the iPhone. Even when the company unveiled the first-ever Apple Watch at its “Wish we could say more” event in September 2014, it still took a backseat to the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, which featured a dramatic new design and the largest screen on the planet. Apple once put in a smartphone.
But this fall may be different. While the iPhone 14 will still be Apple’s biggest seller this holiday season, it’s getting a somewhat minor refresh. Even the iPhone 14 Pro, which gets the lion’s share of major updates, is largely going to be an S-type upgrade over last year’s iPhone 13 Pro.
In short, the iPhone 14 may not be the star of the show. Meanwhile, rumors have been circulating around the Apple Watch Series 8 and it looks like it could be the biggest change ever to Apple’s wearable lineup. Even without a new redesign, the Apple Watch lineup for 2022 could be Apple’s strongest ever.
From new sensors to new sizes, models and features, here are five reasons why the Apple Watch announcement this fall could be even bigger than the iPhone:
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We get a whole new model
Over the past few weeks, we’ve been reading lingering rumors of a new Pro model that will add an all-new model to the Apple Watch line. It seems to be merging several rumors we’ve heard over the past year: a sleek design, bigger screen, rugged case, and new features aimed at “extreme” athletes. While the model will certainly be expensive at the Edition level – reports could cost upwards of $899 – and aimed at an extremely niche audience, it will represent a dramatic new direction for Apple’s wearable.
So far, Apple has separated its Apple Watch lines by bands (Nike, Hermes) or material (Edition), but a new Pro line with a larger screen and new design could mean an expansion of the Apple Watch line with specialized models that target specific carriers. Even if it’s not a big seller, this Apple Watch Pro could mean big things for the future of the line.
A better SE is on the way
When the $279 Apple Watch SE launched in 2020, it was an intriguing option. Sandwiched between the $199 Apple Watch Series 3 and $399 main model, it brought the newer design with fewer features and sensors at an affordable price.
But two years later, it’s getting pretty long in the tooth, especially without an always-on screen. Rumors say that Apple will add one to the SE this year, and it could also pick up an ECG sensor and faster processor. All of this would make it a fantastic value, especially if Apple drops the price to $249 or $229.
Dominik Tomaszewski / Foundry
The Series 3 is finally going away
Why would Apple lower the price of the SE? Because all signs point to Apple finally ditching the Series 3 from its lineup.
The worst value of all of Apple’s entry-level products, the Series 3, is undersized, undersized, and underwhelming. We’d love to see it go away, but one big question remains: Will Apple replace it with something? The Apple Watch SE is a lot more expensive than the Series 3, and Apple has been selling both side by side for two years now. So when the Series 3 is retired, will a new model take its place? A series 4? The old SE? We’ll have to wait.
There are rumors that Apple could add a bigger battery to the new Pro model, but even beyond that, the Apple Watch may finally get a serious boost in battery life. The device already has a Power Reserve mode that disables all functions except for a small digital clock, but a new reportedly low-power mode is expected to provide a much more useful way to conserve power. According to reports, you can now save battery by turning off some features like on the iPhone. That could be a game-changer for the Apple Watch, as users could potentially extend its lifespan by hours.
A new sensor can monitor fever
The Apple Watch Series 7 didn’t get any new sensors, but the Apple Watch Series 8 would. And it can be a big one. Apple is rumored to be adding a temperature sensor to the Apple Watch this year, which can track fertility and warn you of an impending illness. As we still deal with the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, the ability to detect fevers and temperature spikes before registering on a thermometer would be an essential health feature – and a groundbreaking feature for the Apple Watch.