Apple Watch Series 9: Early rumors and potential release date

It may still be a while before any potential Apple Watch Series 9 release, but it never hurts to look forward in the world of smartwatches. 

A few months have now passed since the release of the Series 8, which means the rumor mill is kicking into gear and providing some potential insights into new features, design changes, price tweaks and also when we can expect the next Apple smartwatch to actually launch. 

Since it can be hard to keep track of all the latest leaks and industry whispers, we’ve decided to collect and condense all the most pertinent information into one guide. 

Below, you’ll find everything we know so far about the Apple Watch Series 9. Let’s dive in.

Possible release and shipping date

Apple has remained remarkably consistent with Apple Watch releases over the years. Save for the original device, unveiled in April 2015, the smartwatches have all been announced in the same rough window in September. 

Apple typically holds the annual announcement on a Tuesday or Wednesday, and this has historically taken place on the first or second week of the month. 

For the Series 9, then, this gives us some clear dates to zero in on.

We think it’s unlikely we see the smartwatch announced on Tuesday 5 September or Wednesday 6 September, as this would represent the earliest Watch announcement ever, but it is possible.

More likely, we think, is that the Apple Watch Series 9 will be announced on Tuesday 12 September or Wednesday 13 September.

From there, Apple usually offers the device for pre-order immediately, with full availability usually beginning the following Friday. In 2023, that would mean a likely shipping date of Friday 23 September

Potential price

Given the ongoing global economic tumult, predicting prices has become very tricky.

We’ve seen Apple substantially raise prices in the UK, Australia and parts of Europe in other device categories, such as in the 2023 MacBook Pro lineup, while things have been kept the same in the US. 

We also know that the base model of the Apple Watch Series 8 took a fairly significant jump from £369 to £419 last year in the UK, for example.

However, these factors don’t necessarily mean Apple will continue to push the starting price closer to £450 with the Series 9 – we may have already seen the worst of price increases in 2022.

Those in the US don’t seem to have the same worry, as we say. We expect the next smartwatch to stay at the $399 starting point.

Rumored design changes 

We’re yet to see any definitive, trustworthy suggestions that Apple is considering a design change for the Series 9. 

And if we use history as our tool to predict the future, it’s actually more likely Apple sticks with the same design as offered in the Series 7 and Series 8 for the 2023 edition. 

That’s because we typically only see a significant change after three generations. So, the Series 4, Series 5 and Series 6 all offered a slightly more refined case and a larger screen than the Series 3, Series 2 and original Apple Watch, for example. 

We’re likely to see old rumors re-emerge regarding a flattened-off bezel, but we think Apple will be planning more significant internal changes for the next generation, as we suggested in our 23 wearable predictions for the coming year.

There’s also been fairly consistent chatter regarding the Apple Watch adopting a Micro-LED display at some point in the near future.

Considering that three-generation design refresh cycle we’ve just alluded to, we think this is more likely to land in the Series 10 / Series X than in the Series 9. And that’s something that’s backed up in a recent report, noting Micro-LED Apple Watch displays will replace OLED in 2024.

New features we’re expecting to see

Improved battery life? A new headline health feature? We think both are possible on the Series 9, but nothing concrete has been rumored just yet. 

With a new design likely to be the headline change in 2024, we think the Series 9 represents a great opportunity for Apple to revamp the processor and really up the battery efficiency. 

We already know upcoming Wear OS watches packing the new Snapdragon W5+ chip should see solid performance and battery gains, so it’d be surprising if Apple allowed that development to go unrivaled. 

Could the Series 9 finally cast off the shackles of the long-standing 18-hour battery life estimation, then – perhaps even matching what we’ve seen in the Apple Watch Ultra? We certainly hope so. 

If not, there are a couple of directions Apple could take its health tracking through the Series 9.

Blood pressure monitoring is on trend currently, featuring some way through both Samsung smartwatches and the Huawei Watch D, but we’re yet to see it in an Apple Watch. Some kind of step toward non-invasive glucose monitoring is also possible, though still very unlikely.

According to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, who has a very good track record of providing Apple information ahead of release, it’s unlikely that the Series 9 will feature significant changes. However, it’s still early days, and Apple does always find something fairly significant to differentiate each generation.

Should you wait for the Series 9?

The Apple Watch Series 8 is an absolutely superb smartwatch – the one we rate as the best overall option on the market – and will remain one for many years to come, given how solid Apple’s watchOS updates prove to be. 

If we were closer to the potential September launch of the Series 9, we’d be more tempted to advise holding on – for a price cut on the Series 8, at least, if not the full next-gen upgrade.

Given that we’re not even halfway into the Series 8’s lifecycle, however, there’s no reason to avoid it. And, as we’ve detailed above, there’s certainly nothing game-changing strongly rumored to be coming as things stand.

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