One of the finest smartwatches in the land, Apple Watch, was finally available for purchase in April last year (2015). Now fans are curious about the next Apple Watch instalment – the Apple Watch 2. It’s already August, and Apple hasn’t spoken a word. Despite this, the rumour mill has been pimping news and leaks ever since the first Apple Watch came out. In this post, we have rounded up all those rumours, and speculation regarding prices, features and release date of Apple Watch 2. Have a look.
Update 09/07/16: On the eve of the launch of Apple Watch 2 along with iPhone 7, fresh news has emerged that suggests that Watch 2 will be more like a sporting wearable. The device will cater to those like to go swimming, climbing and exploring independent of an iPhone. The device is expected to come with a faster 16nm processor from TSMC, inbuilt GPS, a barometer that will measure atmosphere pressure, higher capacity battery, and superior waterproof. We are also hearing that the design won’t be getting a new overhaul. KGI Securities analyst, Ming-chi Kuo believes that the smartwatch will have “the same general design” as the original Apple Watch.
Update 09/05/16: It’s official now, something is happening on September 7. Most likely it’s going to the launch of iPhone 7 or/and Apple Watch 2. Rumours have been gaining winds for the last couple of years. And now Cnet reports that Apple indeed is hosting an event on the first Wednesday in September. The event is scheduled at 10 a.m. PT at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco. Apple’s wearable is highly anticipated since it has already been two years since the first generation was announced. Looks like the company is following the patterns of years past. It’s worth noting that industry experts believe that aside from the Apple Watch 2 and iPhone 7, the company will also present new MacBook Pros during the media event.
Update 08/31/16: An image of a 334 mAh battery of the Apple Watch 2 has just emerged online. MacRumors first reported about the image that they found on the Chinese microblogging site Weibo. Previously, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo informed that an Apple Watch 2 with a higher capacity battery would launch later this year. So this may be the one Kuo was talking about. The currently Apple Watch battery supports up to 18 hours of mixed usage and up to 72 hours in Power Reserve mode on a single charge. A better battery could be a great selling point for the upcoming Apple smartphone. Of course, there’s no proof of the authenticity of the image so the information should be taken with a grain of salt.
Update: There’s a new rumour suggest that Apple Watch 2 may support Qi charging, a wireless charging standard that’s becoming increasingly popular, with companies like Samsung. While wireless charging pads are not very popular, McDonalds has said they are installing 600 Qi hotspots in 50 restaurants for the public to use, to make it popular.
Smart Strap and thinner design are on the table. Smart straps provide not just great battery backup but also comes with built-in LEDs. Watch blog Hodinkee complained that “the Apple Watch doesn’t fit under my shirt cuff without serious effort, if at all.” It looks like Apple might be listening to the needs of their consumers if rumours are to be believed.
Apple Watch 2 Rumours:
Despite whatever is being believed about the Apple Watch 2, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities reported back in April that the model i.e. the exterior isn’t changing, only the interior. Apart from these, there are a couple of other rumours that are sure to get you excited.
Apple may be introducing multi-function band along the second-generation Wear. They recently applied for a patent for a device called “Magnetic Wristband” that looks like a strap. The details read that it’s a magnetic wristband for the Apple Watch that offers additional functionality. It further reveals the band features a set of magnets embedded into it that’ll allow the two sides to join. What it’ll do is that when worn, the magnets would hold the Apple Watch in place, something like Apple’s Milanese Loop.
This is pretty cool. The company called Reserve Strap claims that they have developed a strap with a battery which can hold a charge for up to a week. In fact, people are already using it with their Apple Watch. However recently, the company noted that Apple External Accessory Protocol in Apple’s watchOS 2.0.1 update had stopped the strap in doing what it does. Reserve Strap has advised wearers who have pre-ordered the strap to avoid upgrading the Android Wear. Reserve Strap is third-party battery strap up. It’d be very convenient if Apple were to manufacture strap like these to keep up the battery demands by wearers.
Apple Watch 2 Probable Features & Specs:
ARM Cortex A32 Processor
Built specifically for wearables, the processor is s must for Apple Watch 2. It’s not a stretch to say the ARM Cortex A32 can potentially solve many of the Apple Watch problems we are facing right now. Some of the things Cortex A32 will improve include better battery life, lower power usage with faster performance. “The Cortex-A32 delivers 25% more efficiency (performance per mW) than the Cortex-A7 in the same process node. Cortex-A32 delivers this efficiency through a combination of both performance improvements and power reduction,” says ARM.
32-bit Watch chip
ARM A32 uses the new ARMv8-A architecture but in a 32-bit only environment. Since its specifically built for wearables like Apple Watch. In regards, ARM said: “(It) is suitable to use in a range of embedded markets that require higher performance than a microcontroller, or have the need for a rich OS such as Linux, Android or Windows.”
A Recent rumour has suggested that Apple is trying to come up with better ways to manage its internal space. This means something can be done about the battery too. The battery being the biggest selling point for gadgets these days, Apple Watch 2 should come with tremendous battery life. Even if it comes with ‘all day battery’, users will have to charge the device every evening, which is practically impossible for many. Compared to rivals like the Pebble Time Steel, the Apple Watch battery life is disappointing. Of course, the Pebble Time Steel uses a less power hungry display, but even a five battery back would do. According to the latest rumour, Apple is working with Samsung and LG to produce thinner OLED displays for the second generation Watch that’ll accommodate a larger battery.
Front-Facing Camera for Selfies & FaceTime
For the last couple of months, we’ve heard from numerous sources that Watch 2 will have a front-facing camera. According to 9to5Mac, Apple is planning to add a FaceTime video camera in the front, which might be the primary reason for having a camera installed in the upcoming watch. The camera will likely be integrated into the top bezel of the device. Apple meanwhile has applied for a patent of a selfie camera (as you can see in the diagram), but there’s no saying if it’ll support FaceTime.
The description of the patent reads: “In other embodiments, camera 229 can be disposed on the front surface of face member 104, e.g., to capture images of the user. Zero, one, or more cameras can be provided, depending on the implementation.”
New Health Sensors
Apple has been ramping up medical tech workforce. In an interview, Tim Cook hinted that in near-future Apple will be concentrating on the medically approved device. Although he said, it wouldn’t be the Apple Watch, it might be a way of throwing us off the scent of the upcoming Apple Watch 2.
Less Reliance on iPhone
Canalys, industry analyst firms have stated that within the next couple of years a total 7.5 million smart watches to feature cellular connectivity. The upcoming Watch 2 might have the cellular connectivity feature included. To make the next generation Watch a hit, rumour has it that Apple is planning to make it less reliable on iPhone. We can’t help but imagine what difference will this make to the Apple Watch experience!
Apple Watch 2 Release Date:
Apple’s wearable is behind only Fitbit, which has sold more than 20 million devices. We expect Apple Watch to come out sometime in 2016. We are speculating, sometimes by the end of this year, Apple will launch the awaited Apple Watch 2. According to many, there’s a possibility that the company might launch the wearable along with the launch of iPhone 7 in September this year. But I think that’s unlikely since Apple wouldn’t want the fans to be divided in their focus on Apple products. One product at a time will be more profitable.
Apple Watch 2 Price:
The new Apple Watch 2 will be a slightly improved version, so the price is likely to go up. The price point won’t be too high since we know Apple tries to keep the cost of its new gadgets close to the last version so as to boost sales amongst people keen to get their hands on the latest at a similar price.