Apple Watch 7: Release date, new features, price news ahead of Apple’s next event – CNET

Apple Watch 7 render -red-green-blue

Renders of the rumored Apple Watch 7.

Jon Prosser

This story is part of Apple Event, our full coverage of the latest news from Apple.

Apple’s Sept. 14 event might include the reveal of the next Apple Watch alongside the debut of a possible iPhone 13. The watch, which will likely be named the Apple Watch Series 7 if Apple follows its usual pattern, is rumored to have a larger flat-edge design, an improved battery life and new health features. Although the new smartwatch was previously reported to be delayed due to manufacturing difficulties, industry analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said in a recent investor note that the issues have been resolved and the smartwatch will begin mass production in mid-September. 

The smartwatch would come with Apple’s WatchOS 8 software, announced at WWDC this past June. If rumors pan out, the new Watch could be a worthwhile upgrade from the Apple Watch Series 6, which the company unveiled at a virtual event in Sept. 2020. Apple also released a more affordable midrange smartwatch last year, the Apple Watch SE, which could itself be getting a successor in 2022.

Read more: Apple Watch SE vs. Series 6 vs. Series 3: How to choose?

Here’s everything we’ve heard so far about the Apple Watch 7, including rumors, leaks, speculation and hopes. We’ll update this story as we hear more. And if you’re thirsty for more Apple rumors, check out our iPhone 13 rumor roundup, everything to know about the iPhone 13 release date, how the iPhone 13 might compare to the iPhone 12 and what the iPhone 13’s camera specs might be. Plus, is it worth it to buy an iPhone 12 right now? What about an iPhone 11 or an iPhone SE?

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Release date: We may see the Apple Watch 7 on Sept. 14

The Apple Watch 7 could make an appearance alongside the iPhone 13 at the tech giant’s next event on Sept. 14. Kuo predicted last year that a redesigned Apple Watch could appear in the second half of 2021, so we are fairly sure that a next-gen Apple Watch is coming. Hopefully, it will make its debut next Tuesday. 

Rumors by French blog Consomac and later reported on by 9to5Mac suggest that Apple has already registered its new smartwatch with the Eurasian Economic Commission under the model numbers A2473, A2474, A2475, A2476, A2477 and A2478.

Although Apple’s next event is set for Tuesday, an August report by Nikkei Asia suggests that Apple’s new smartwatch could be delayed due to manufacturing difficulties. Small-scale production of the Apple Watch 7 reportedly began last month, but confronted multiple difficulties fitting all the new components of the watch’s complex design together. This prevented it from being moved to full-scale manufacturing, according to the report. 

These production issues have since been resolved and mass production will begin in mid-September, according to a recent investor note by Kuo, reported on by MacRumors. The upcoming Apple Watch faced more production processes than previous models due to the Apple Watch 7’s “dramatic” design change, according to Kuo.

Regardless of previous production issues, the Apple Watch 7 could still be unveiled alongside the iPhone 13. Gurman suggests that Apple will move forward with the smartwatch’s announcement although it will be available in limited quantities at launch. 

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In a September edition of his Power On newsletter, Gurman outlines three possible outcomes for the Apple Watch 7: the watch’s announcement is delayed until production difficulties are being fixed; the watch launches on time in limited quantities; or the watch is announced on time but goes on sale at a later date. Gurman believes that the Apple Watch 7 will be announced at the tech giant’s event, but there will be “a mix of models shipping late or in small quantities.” 

Regardless of rumors, Apple has a pretty consistent history of unveiling its new smartwatch models annually in mid-September. Even in 2020, when the pandemic made product announcement events go virtual and caused disruptions in the supply chain, (delaying the unveiling of Apple’s iPhone 12 line for a month), the Apple Watch Series 6 and Apple Watch SE both made their appearance on Sept. 15, 2020, at an online event. They were released three days later on Sept. 18. 

Read more: The microchip shortage is one of the unforeseen outcomes of the pandemic

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The biggest buzz around the Apple Watch Series 7 is whether or not it will include a blood glucose monitor.

Jon Prosser

Cost: Apple Watch 7’s price will probably be similar to the Series 6

Apple’s previous three Watch models launched with a $399 price tag, going up for the larger size and for cellular connectivity. (The Apple Watch SE deviated from the $399 price tradition, launching at $279. But the SE model is Apple’s “affordable” smartwatch, meaning it sacrificed some bells and whistles for cost savings.) 

While we haven’t heard any credible rumors about the cost of the Apple Watch 7, we would expect Apple to stick with its usual structure and launch its next-gen model at around the same $399 price. Of course, it’s always possible that Apple raises the price in 2021, but because we don’t see any major hardware upgrades or new features on the horizon that would warrant a bump in price, this seems unlikely.

Design and colors: A green, flat-edged Apple Watch 7 would be pretty

Leaker Jon Prosser (whose rumor track record is fairly spotty) in May released Apple Watch 7 renders that allege a “major redesign” of the wearable. Kuo also predicted a “significant form factor design change” for the 2021 Apple Watch almost a year ago. 

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The Apple Watch 7 could come in a new sage green color.

Jon Prosser

Prosser’s renders, which he claims are based on a combination of real images and CAD files leaked to him by “sources,” reveal thinner bezels and flat edges on the Apple Watch 7. Apple also flattened the edges of the iPhone 12 lineup last fall, giving its flagship phone a modern profile that CNET’s Patrick Holland called a “slabular beauty.”

Speculation from 91mobiles in August aligned with Prosser’s renders. According to the report, the new Apple Watch will ditch the rounded edges and opt for a box-like, flat-edged design. The new look would match Apple’s recent aesthetic choices for the iPad Pro and iPhone 12

A Bloomberg report in June also predicted thinner bezels for the Apple Watch 7, as well as a “new lamination technique that brings the display closer to the front cover.”

The new Apple Watch could also be a little larger than its predecessor. The Apple Watch Series 7 could come in 41mm and 45mm case sizes, according to a leaker on Chinese social media platform Weibo, reported on by MacRumors. The rumor was later supported by Gurman. Since the Apple Watch Series 4 in 2017, the case sizes for the tech giant’s smartwatch have come in 40mm and 44mm options. 

Due to the increased size, the Apple Watch 7 may not be compatible with current Apple Watch bands. Leaker Max Weinbach, citing unnamed Apple store employees, says that the tech giant’s stores are not getting anymore shipments of 40mm and 44mm bands. Weinbach adds that he expects the upcoming Apple Watch to use different bands that won’t fit older smartwatch models.

Rumored colors for the Apple Watch 7 include a new sage green color, which Prosser compares to the green option for the AirPods Max, Apple’s over-ear headphones. The Series 6 comes in silver, gray, gold, blue and red (aluminum); silver, graphite and gold (steel); and titanium and black (titanium) colors. Prosser’s renders of the Apple Watch 7 include red, blue, black and silver, in addition to sage green, though we don’t know yet whether these are the actual colors Apple will release.

In terms of material, Apple could get rid of the titanium Edition model for the Series 7. In his PowerOn newsletter, Gurman says wouldn’t be surprised if the pricier titanium version, which starts at $799 for the Apple Watch 6, was dropped. Apple has previously offered both ceramic and real gold models.

Read more: AirPods Pro vs. AirPods Max: Should you buy earbuds or headphones?

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Battery life: Apple Watch 7’s charge could last more than a single day

One of the biggest and most persistent complaints about the Apple Watch, especially as it compares to rival smartwatches and fitness trackers like Fitbit, is its poor battery life. CNET’s Scott Stein says the Apple Watch has been “dead last” in battery life among its competitive set, which is a problem if you want to use its sleep-tracking feature (new in WatchOS 7), because the battery needs to charge daily. 

Apple Watch 7 could be a game-changer for Apple if its battery life were to improve dramatically. The past three models have all offered about an 18-hour battery life, with the Series 6 housing a 265.9-mAh battery. We haven’t heard any rumors about the Series 7’s battery specs in particular, but we have heard that it could boast a smaller, double-sided S7 chip, which would free up space for — what else? — a bigger battery. 

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The next Apple Watch could feature a big redesign, including flattened edges like the iPhone 12.

Jon Prosser

Health features: Will Apple Watch 7 really get a blood glucose monitor?

Blood glucose monitoring would be an amazing addition to the Apple Watch, but don’t hold your breath because rumors are mixed. Interest in the new sensor was stoked by Apple itself in a survey to Apple Watch users to gauge interest in new features — one of which was blood sugar tracking. But a subsequent Bloomberg report all but killed those dreams. While the new sensor will likely be included in a future iteration of Apple’s smartwatch, it is unlikely to arrive in the Series 7 and maybe not in Apple’s 2022 Watch model either.

Samsung announced a new noninvasive blood glucose monitoring technology last year and though it didn’t specify where or when we might see this technology implemented in the near future. Apple has a history of letting rivals release buzzy new features first, so an Apple Watch blood glucose sensor in 2022 or even 2023 wouldn’t be a huge surprise, but a blow nevertheless to iOS users with diabetes.

Other rumors from Nikkei Asia suggest the Apple Watch 7 could feature blood pressure measurement. Addressing manufacturing issues due to the watch’s complex design, Nikkei’s report says that one of the difficulties comes from the watch’s blood pressure measurement system, which requires manufacturers to fit more components into the watch’s body. Gurman, however, said that there is “no chance” the Apple Watch 7 would house the new health feature. 

That’s all we know so far about the Apple Watch Series 7, but we’ll update this story as new rumors come to light. In the meantime, here’s everything we know about the iPhone 13, all the best new features coming in WatchOS 8, how to decide between the Apple Watch Series 6, Series 3 and SE, settings to change on any new Apple Watch and the best Apple Watch apps.

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