One of Apple’s most important products over the last few years has been the Apple Watch. Given the success of Apple Watch, the company appears to be keeping with the same schedule as other hardware, with a yearly release schedule.
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Last year’s release of the Series 4 Apple Watch finally brought us a larger display, along with the addition of OLED. With September rapidly approaching, Apple is rumored to launch the new Apple Watch Series 5.
Two new Series 5 models?
Back when Apple launched the Series 2 Apple Watch, the company brought “Edition” models to the market. The cases for these watches were made from ceramic which is much more durable but also costs much more.
This is relevant due to a recent discovery in the watchOS 6 beta, which found references to a 44mm Ceramic model. Along with the ceramic asset, a 44mm Titanium asset was also discovered, suggesting that a new Titanium model is on the way.
It would make sense for Apple to re-launch a Ceramic Watch since the previous iterations were discontinued with the Series 4. The Series 5 could end up coming in multiple tiers, with the Ceramic offered as a premium option, and the Titanium could replace the Stainless Steel variant.
Sticking with OLED
Ever since the Apple Watch Series 0 was released, Apple has been using an OLED display. Last year, the Series 4 saw a larger display implemented, and there have been questions about what’s to come with the Series 5.
A recent report states that Apple will again be sticking with OLED for the latest Apple Watch. This may not seem like a big deal, but other rumors had been circulating suggesting a move to a new MicroLED display.
Those rumors have slowed down, stating instead that Apple will take advantage of this new technology for the 2020 Watch. MicroLED offers a brighter display, while also being more power-efficient than OLED displays. Obviously with batteries so small on the Watch, getting the best battery life possible is extremely important.
What else could come to the Apple Watch?
Better Battery Life
With all this talk about battery life, that brings us to the next features for the Series 5. Rumors suggest that not only will Apple be packing a slightly larger battery, but also an improved processor.
This chipset would be even more efficient than what’s currently used in the Series 4. While it’s a little far-fetched, we would love to see an Apple Watch get 3 or 4-day battery life and the next Watch hopefully moves in that direction.
Optical sensor on the Watch band?
The inferences here are not based on analyst rumors but more of an educated guess based on the different Apple Watch patents that have been approved during this year.
One of the Apple patents that was approved in June 2019 and filed in 2016 centers around unveiling an optical sensor in the Apple band design.
Apple Watch and other wearables currently have limited image capturing abilities. By featuring a camera in the watch’s band design, Apple could improve upon the limited features that are available today.
The optical sensor may capture images or video when the user takes an action such as pinching the camera watch band, giving a verbal command, pressing a button on the distal end portion of the camera watch band, or pressing a button on the case (e.g., on the screen of the display, which may include a graphical input on a touchscreen of the display).
Another design offering could be centered on making the Apple Watch band more personalized. According to a few patents, Apple has been exploring the idea of embedding a light fiber and LED strips right into the Apple Band. This optional Apple Band with multiple LEDs would allow users to personalize the ‘glow’ emitting from their bands.
Even more health features
The biggest feature to the Series 4 was not the larger display but was instead the ECG monitor that was integrated. This was surprisingly cleared by the FDA and is a fantastic feature for those health-conscious users.
With the next Apple Watch, we aren’t expecting anything that groundbreaking, but there are rumors for integrated Sleep Tracking. Apple purchased a sleep-tracking company back in 2017, but have yet to really integrate any of those technologies into its own products.
Currently, users have to rely on third-party sleep tracking applications. But we could end up seeing this integrated across iOS and watchOS this Fall.
When will the Apple Watch Series 5 launch and for how much
As is the case with Apple’s “big ticket” items, we are expecting the Apple Watch Series 5 to launch this Fall. This falls in line with the recent release schedule and makes sense to launch a new Watch alongside the upcoming iPhone 11 lineup of smartphones.
When it comes to pricing, the expectation is that Apple will stick to what’s been working. This means that the base model will start at $399, and then move up for the 44mm and LTE variants. As for the rumored Ceramic model, there really is no telling whether Apple will start at the same $1,299 as the previous iteration, or bring the price down a bit.
There have not yet been any substantial rumors regarding a “budget” Apple Watch. The company seems content to cornering the smartwatch market while letting Fitbit and others fight for the rest of the scraps.
The Apple Watch is sure to turn heads whenever the Series 5 is launched. However, if you already own a Series 4, then you might want to wait until 2020. If you are an owner of a Series 3, this will probably be a big enough upgrade to warrant spending the money on a new version.
Let us know what you think about these rumors and whether you will be picking up the next Apple Watch.
Andrew is a freelance writer based on the East Coast of the US.
He has written for a variety of sites over the years, including iMore, Android Central, Phandroid, and a few others. Now, he spends his days working for an HVAC company, while moonlighting as a freelance writer at night.