Apple is preparing for its first major redesign in several generations of the mainline Apple Watch, but we won’t be seeing it this year, according to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman in his Power On newsletter this morning. Instead, Apple is working on a thinner “Apple Watch X” with magnetic watch band attachment points, a blood pressure sensor, and a microLED screen either in late 2024 or even 2025, Gurman says.
The old mechanical attachments of all Apple Watches so far have been great for allowing customers to reuse their old bands for years, but Gurman says they eat up space the company could use to shrink the wearable and beef up the battery and internal components. See the Apple Watch Ultra, which Apple gave a bigger battery at the expense of compactness.
Rumors have swirled around a brighter, more colorful microLED screen for the Apple Watch for months, but the screen technology is new and incredibly expensive. Apple has had its work cut out for it when it comes to getting a shrunken-down, affordable version of the tech into its smallest-screen device. Apple has also reportedly been planning a blood pressure sensor for the Apple Watch for years, and that may come just in time for the 10-year anniversary of the wearable as well.
As for this year, Gurman reiterates past claims that the Apple Watch Series 9 will get a faster processor for the first time since the Series 6 debut but will keep the same screen sizes it used last year, including for the 49mm Apple Watch Ultra. If that’s true, it could be an even more minor update for the “Series” watches than last year’s.