In the September event, Apple will mostly announce the Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra Series 2. Last year’s Series 8 was mainly a minor update, with more workout options, Crash Detection, ovulation estimates, an app for medications, sleep stages tracking, and some more software improvements. The design was pretty much the same.
The Apple Watch Series 9 will reportedly have several performance improvements over the Watch 8. While the Watch 8 uses the S8 chip, its performance resembles the nearly three-year-old S6 chip on the Apple Watch Series 6.
Apple’s most expensive Apple Watch Ultra and the cheapest SE2 use the same S8 Silicon, and the efficiency of that chip was one major complaint with the current lineup of watches.
While the S8 Silicon still offers best-in-class performance for a smartwatch, apps sometimes still take longer to open than they should on expensive 799$ watches. The efficiency is not excellent, except for the Ultra, which benefits from better physical components. While the S6, S7, and S8 chips use TSMC’s ancient 7nm processing.
iPhones are currently on cutting-edge 4nm TSMC chips. However, it’s hard to speculate which fabrication the new Watch 9 and Ultra 2 will use. There’s a good chance of 3nm fabrication for meaningful efficiency improvements. The last time Apple advertised a performance upgrade was with the Watch 6. It was supposed to open apps 20% faster than the previous model.
All chips from the S6 to the S8 share the same dual-core CPU and 32GB of internal storage. Refinements are welcome with the new watches. It’s worth noting that sharing a CPU does not mean the entire chip is the same since there were probably some changes to the sensors and trackers to improve the performance. The S9 Silicon could finally make the Series 9 get two days of battery and open some apps faster.
Rumors also claim that Apple will not launch a Watch SE 3 this year. The SE 2 will remain on shelves for another year, and we might see its successor in 2024. It makes sense since the first Watch SE came out in 2020, and Apple follows a two-year release schedule for these.
The Apple Watch Ultra 2 will benefit from the apparent performance and efficiency improvements. Reports say it’ll be lighter, too. According to a post on X from ShrimpApplePro, the entire lineup looks the same from the outside. There are no notable design changes externally.
There’s more compact watch packaging and a new pink color option. Last year, Apple supposedly wanted to launch a Black Titanium color option with the Watch Ultra but didn’t due to supply chain constraints or design imperfections.
According to a Power On Newsletter from a while ago, this would theoretically come out in 2023. The current titanium edition will also be sold alongside this new option.
For the Aluminium Series 9, the colors we’ll mostly see are Midnight, Starlight, Product (RED), Silver, and the new Pink. For the Steel model, it’s Gold, Graphite, and Silver. The same 41 and 45-mm case options will continue. Some metallic parts will be replaced by 3D printing.
However, we’re unsure if this will have any noticeable implications on the product design. The leak also says an iPad Mini will debut at the event, but there aren’t any details.