We are exactly 1 week away from Apple's next big event, and all we know for sure is that they will be unveiling the new iPhone. What we don't know is what else will be shown off at the event. iPads? Macs? Maybe, but what I'm most interested in is a new Apple Watch.
From what we can tell, there have been zero hardware leaks for the new model of Apple Watch, which is pretty astounding if Apple is planning on releasing an update this fall. We really don't know what's going to happen, so here are my 10 predictions for what we will be getting in the Apple Watch 2.
1. More CPU power is a gimmie, but I'm taking it. The top issue with the original Apple Watch is performance, and while watchOS 3 does a lot to fix these issues, it's really going to take some new hardware to really iron out all the slow downs. It won't fundamentally change the way the watch works, but it will surely prompt numerous tech writers to proclaim "this is the speed the Apple Watch should have had from the start!"
2. Instant launch for all apps could very possibly be something they push. With watchOS 3, apps that you put in your Dock or watch face will launch instantly on the original Apple Watch, but all other apps are as slow as ever to load. Apple will use that extra power to allow all apps to launch in basically no time at all.
3. All your old watch bands will work with the new model. Apple is selling a metric shi…well, let's just say they're selling a lot of watch bands, and it would be silly to break compatibility after so little time. The connector is pretty slim, so they could cut the thickness of the watch in half and still make it work just fine.
4. 5-10% thinner body is likely in the cards too. The Apple Watch is not a large watch, especially compared to the other smart watches on the market, but of course a little less volume would be appreciated. Besides, if any company is going to make their device thinner from one model to the next it's Apple.
5. The body will look basically the same as the original Apple Watch. Apple has a solid design right out of the gate, and I don't see any reason for them to do something dramatically different. We may get thinner, but from a distance you won't be able to tell them apart.
6. 24-36 hour advertised battery life. The Apple Watch has always gotten better battery life than advertised. My original Watch easily makes it through a day, and can sometimes make it from 8AM Monday all the way to 8PM Tuesday without a charge. Apple doesn't advertise those times, but I think the combination of a larger battery with a more efficient system on a chip will mean Apple advertising 1+ day of battery life, and most people will actually get 2 full days.
7. R.I.P. Edition line. The Edition line of Apple Watch was always a little weird, and I don't think it took off in the markets that Apple hoped it would. I see celebrities and well-to-do individuals wearing the Apple Watch more and more, but I always see them with the stainless steel version, which costs less than 1/10th of the price.
8. Apple Watch and Apple Watch Sport get renamed. The Sport model is clearly the mainstream model, with the "standard" Apple Watch catering to the high end of the market. The Sport model will be renamed simply "Apple Watch," and the current standard model will be changed to "Apple Watch ____." That's a bit of a cop out, but I don't really have any good ideas. "Apple Watch Pro" doesn't sound right, nor does "Apple Watch Steel." Whatever they decide to do, I think the naming structure will be different than we have today1.
9. GPS will be built into the watch. This has been heavily rumored, so it's not that big of a leap, but I fully expect this to be the most notable hardware addition. As someone who runs with their Apple Watch, but also owns a giant iPhone 6s Plus, I would love the ability to go for my runs without my iPhone in my pocket as well.
10. Cellular will be an option. This is my hail mary prediction, as all rumors point to this not being there, but I am holding out hope that there will be a way to get some sort of data connection in one of the models. The data connection could be totally limited to Messages and phone calls, but that would be enough. If you're going to tell people to leave their phones at home, it would be nice to give them an option to communicate in case of an emergency.
- As a footnote, I think Apple will got back to having 3 models next year by introducing a less expensive option in the $199-249 range. ↩