The inaugural Apple Watch made its debut in April 2015, and as we approach the noteworthy 10th anniversary of Apple’s pioneering wearable, a swirl of rumors is crystallizing around a potential significant update slated for either 2024 or 2025.
Drawing parallels with the unveiling of the “iPhone X” in 2017 to commemorate the iPhone’s 10th anniversary, Apple might be contemplating a similar commemorative strategy for the Apple Watch X.
Design-wise, credible insights from Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman indicate that Apple is gearing up for a substantial redesign coinciding with the device’s 10th anniversary. The intent is to render the Apple Watch even slimmer by crafting a more streamlined casing.
In the realm of bands, Apple is exploring novel methods of attachment, per Gurman’s revelations. One prospect is a magnetic fastening system, which could reclaim the space currently occupied by the present band attachment cutouts. Discarding these cutouts would open up room for additional internal components, potentially facilitating the creation of the slimmer form factor.
However, an Apple Watch equipped with this new band attachment system might not retain compatibility with existing bands. Since the launch of the Apple Watch in 2015, Apple has maintained compatibility between new watch models and prior bands.
The inclusion of microLED display technology in the Apple Watch’s future has ignited speculation, with some rumors suggesting a microLED-equipped watch in 2025. This aligns closely with the anticipated launch of the Apple Watch X, potentially marking it as the first device boasting this innovative display technology.
Notably, microLED displays are reportedly being designed for a larger “Apple Watch Ultra,” evidenced by Apple’s exploration of a 2.1-inch diagonal display. The Apple Watch X could potentially incorporate multiple sizes or opt for a larger design with a fresh case aesthetic and slimmer bezels. Notably, one analyst has hinted at 1.89 and 2.04-inch display sizes for the 2024 Apple Watch models.
Distinguishing itself from traditional displays, microLED technology employs minuscule LEDs for individual pixels. This technology exhibits superior energy efficiency compared to LEDs and bears resemblance to OLED’s advantages. Yet, microLED boasts extended longevity and a diminished risk of screen burn-in. Thanks to its pixel-level illumination, microLED displays feature swifter response times, heightened contrast, and vibrant, superior colors. Apple’s considerable investment in microLED technology since 2015 underscores its commitment to innovation.
While details on novel health features for the Apple Watch X remain scant, Apple has been making strides in the health domain. Blood pressure monitoring, a feature in development, could potentially materialize by 2025. Notably, wrist-worn blood pressure monitoring devices, including Samsung’s, already exist, making Apple’s venture into this realm plausible. Foregoing the need for a traditional blood pressure cuff, the Apple Watch might detect blood pressure via wrist-mounted infrared light.
Apple’s ambitions also extend to blood glucose measurement, although this technology’s development timeline extends beyond the Apple Watch X’s expected launch window. The aspiration is to monitor blood glucose non-invasively, utilizing infrared and other sensors. Yet, the precision required for accurate glucose monitoring, a life-critical metric, necessitates overcoming considerable challenges.
Regarding its release, Gurman notes that Apple’s decision to launch the new watch in 2024 or 2025 remains uncertain. The original Apple Watch’s announcement transpired in September 2014, but its market introduction awaited April 2015. Consequently, Apple could adopt either date for the Apple Watch’s anniversary event.
Given that 2023 will witness the advent of the Apple Watch Series 9, it seems more fitting for a Series 10 or “X” iteration to emerge in 2024 rather than 2025. However, the ultimate designation of “X” for the device remains speculative at this juncture.