More than a year has passed since the Apple Watch was released and attention is turning to the next wearable the tech giant has in store. Analysts reckon more than 12 million watches have been shifted so far, which would make Apple the market leader in the smartwatch sector – despite grumbles from some that the device has been a flop. Apple Watch 2 rumour mill is in full swing. So what will Apple introduce to silence the critics?
MacRumors has previously picked up two reports regarding the Apple Watch 2‘s design, both with very different ideas. Apple analyst Brian White, of Wall Street firm Drexel Hamilton, makes for the most exciting reading. He believes the next wearable could be “20 per cent to 40 per cent thinner”.
The watch will adopt the same upgrade cycle as the iPhone, he says, with “S” models simply featuring hardware updates released in alternate years to the major developments. As such, he believes the Apple Watch 2 will come with very minor design changes, but will boast brand new specs underneath. One of the biggest hardware additions could be the inclusion of a FaceTime camera, a rumour that has been peddled as far back as last June.
Apple Watch 2 also come with faster wi-fi chipset to handle more data transfer and make for more accurate location services. A bigger battery made possible through a thinner display could also be on the cards.
Apple unveiled WatchOS 3 at its 2016 Worldwide Developers Conference on Monday, revealing a handful of new features from the current OS 2 running smartwatch. Rumours suggest the next watch will use a thinner display to make room for a larger battery.
The fourth Apple Watch tier could sit in-between the most expensive version of the Apple Watch Steel, currently priced at £949, and the cheapest version of the flagship Apple Watch Edition, which starts from £8,000.
Bernard Desarnauts, the chief executive of Apple Watch research group Wristly, tells the site that Apple needs to move the game on from the IPX7 rating of its current wearable, which is only good for 30 minutes in depths of up to three feet, and needs to be beach and boat-friendly. As AppleInsider points out, the current watch is “good for washing hands, but not swimming”.
Wareable has a pretty extensive wish list for the watch. As well as a higher waterproof rating, a greater deal of health sensors should also be on Apple’s list of priorities, it argues, alongside a more responsive Siri and more features when unpaired from an iPhone. Apple Watch 2 is expected to arrive this September and there’s evidence out there to suggest that tech giant will present a heavily revised wearable.
The latest information comes by way of Patently Apple, which has uncovered two patents pointing at new ways to interact with the watch via additional buttons, as well as a potentially huge inclusion – an Apple Watch fitted with a camera.
The information is light, but confirms that Apple could be interested in introducing cameras to its smartwatch.
As for the new buttons, the patent diagrams show an Apple Watch with two new controls attached to the left-hand side, but with no new functions listed for them. As TrustedReviews says, they could be physical or touch-sensitive.
Alongside the buttons are new ways to use the Apple Watch‘s digital crown – the patent explains how it will, in the future, be able to detect how fast it is being scrolled and could become a touch-sensitive input too.