The Apple Watch has largely stayed the same, physically, since its inception. Instead of changing the look, Apple worked on beefing up its processor and getting watchOS more health focused. But it looks like it could be turning to design for the Series 4.
The ever-reliable KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo reports that the Cupertino company is planning to debut a redesigned Apple Watch with the Series 4 later this year. The new model will have a display that’s 15% larger than the current Apple Watch. However, it’s not clear if this will be done by reducing the bezels or moving away from the 38mm and 42mm sizing scheme Apple has relied upon thus far.
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The Series 4 will also feature larger battery capacity, claims Kuo, though he does not mention if the Apple Watch’s chassis will get larger or smaller. It seems unlikely the Apple Watch would get smaller and get an increased battery capacity, unless Apple brings over the terraced battery design it uses in MacBooks.
Finally, Kuo reports that the Series 4 will include upgraded health sensors. In December, we learned that Apple is working on a Watch with a built-in electrocardiogram heart rate monitor, which would be activated by squeezing the Watch’s frame.
However, an electrocardiogram sensor would require FDA approval, a process that isn’t easy, even as Apple has moved to fortify its relationship with the agency thanks to its atrial fibrillation study and a new fast lane for product development. Non-invasive glucose monitoring would likely come later rather than sooner, but quite possibly never.
Apple has seen great success with the Apple Watch this past year, and a redesign could only bolster that. While the Apple Watch has thus far proved fashionable enough, it could do with a slimmed down look and less bezel. It’s unclear if a redesigned Apple Watch would affect whether existing bands would still be compatible with the new design.
Longer batter life and upgraded health sensors would also be a boon, especially if they could be used to make sleep tracking an easier option with the Watch.
The Apple Watch Series 4 will likely debut alongside new iPhones later this year. Should a new redesign be on the way, it’s likely we see some leaks out of China later this summer.
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