The Apple Watch Series 8 looks to be on track for its typical fall release this year and while it will no doubt only be aimed at iPhone owners, it’s unlikely to prevents repeating itself as the most popular smartwatch on the market.
While Apple won’t have much to say about the new hardware until it takes the stage to announce it, there have been considerable leaks and rumors about the Apple Watch Series 8 dating back as far as Apple Watch 7 launched last year.
Here’s a rundown of everything we know so far about the Apple Watch Series 8, including the expected release date, pricing, specs and more.
Apple Watch Series 8: release date
Apple is nothing if not consistent when it comes to announcing the Apple Watch and so we always knew an early September launch was virtual guarantee. This year will be no different with Apple sending out invitations for its “Far out” event on September 7 starting at 10 a.m. EST. Apple Watch Series 8 and iPhone 14 are both set to debut.
The actual ship date has been a little less consistent, but more often than not Apple sticks to the Friday of the week following the announcement, which in this case would be September 16th.
Apple Watch Series 8: Price
Apple is expected to stick to its current price for the Apple Watch with the base model starting at $399. Upgrading to the cellular model should again add $100 whether you get the base Apple Watch or on top of the $30 premium you’ll pay for the larger model. The price of different case materials like stainless steel or titanium will increase the price, likely once again matching the current prices of $699 and $799.
The only wildcard for pricing this year is the rumored Apple Watch Series 8 Pro, a high-end extreme sports “rugged” model with a larger screen that was tipped by Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman in his Power-Up Bulletin and corroborated by others. We’ll discuss some of the potential specs for this model below, but pricing could start at $899 to stay above even the Titanium version, but that’s just speculation.
Apple Watch Series 8: Design
The Apple Watch’s design has seen only minor changes over the years, with last year’s larger screen being one of the biggest updates, but things could be shaken up more this year. . Ahead of the launch of the Apple Watch Series 7, a series of leaks from Jon Prosser in association with @IanZelbo then a series of later leaks from PhoneArena all showed a spectacular new design for the Apple Watch.
These renders, and the leaked schematics they were allegedly based on, revealed an Apple Watch that follows Apple’s current flat-edge design language found on the majority of its lineup. It’s possible these leaks were too early and the schematics were actually for the Apple Watch Series 8. There have been far fewer leaks regarding the Apple Watch 8 design this year, so for now c is all we need to do.
The only exception is the aforementioned larger rugged model. Beyond the Leaks by Mark Gurman, DSCC Ross Young and Jeff Pu of Haitong International Securities have independently claimed that a 2-inch Apple Watch display will arrive this year. This would represent a size increase of around 5% compared to the larger screen of the 7 series.
Gurman says this Pro model will feature “an evolution of the current rectangular shape, not circular,” but also refuted the flat-edge design and said it will use a titanium chassis with a more shatter-resistant screen.
Apple Watch Series 8: Features
While watchOS 9 will bring a number of new features to current Apple Watch owners as well as Series 8 buyers, there are potential new features exclusive to Series 8. The most notable of these is a sensor body temperature sensors, while Gurman thinks the blood pressure sensor and blood glucose sensors that some have suggested might arrive won’t arrive until 2025 and beyond.
We’re also expecting internals updates that may offer performance improvements and possibly longer battery life, but there were no direct leaks to offer any specific.
Although there are a number of excellent portable devices in the market, the reality is that nothing threatens Apple’s dominance, especially for Apple users. So while leaks and rumors so far point to a relatively minor update to the Apple Watch Series 8, that won’t stop it from being another huge hit.
The Apple Watch does a great job as both a smartwatch and a fitness and health tracker with features like the new prescription tracking, further enhancing its usefulness for a wide range of users. The feature I would most like to see improved is battery life. Particularly with Apple promoting it as a health tool that can play a vital role for some users, the need for daily charging seems to be the most obvious Achilles’ heel for the otherwise class-leading smartwatch.
Stay tuned as we’ll update all the latest Apple Watch Series 8 leaks and rumors leading up to launch.