Tim Cook may have only recently unleashed the Apple Watch Series 7 (2021) into the wild, but progress never takes a day off, so rumours of what will appear in the next iteration are already circulating.
In this article we gather up all the news and informed views on what you should expect when the Apple Watch Series 8 (2022) arrives.
When will the Apple Watch Series 8 be released?
Apple seems to be settling on September as the launch window for its Watches. You can see this from the last few iterations:
- Apple Watch Series 4: 21 September 2018
- Apple Watch Series 5: 20 September 2019
- Apple Watch Series 6: 18 September 2020
- Apple Watch SE: 18 September 2020
- Apple Watch Series 7: 15 October 2021
One blot on the landscape is that the new Apple Watch Series 7 actually came out in October, bucking the pattern of the past few years. Whether this is a marker for future releases is uncertain, but we do suspect that the semi-conductor shortages and COVID-related distribution disruptions in 2021 could have played a part in this delay.
Whatever the case, you should certainly expect the Series 8 to make its debut in the autumn of 2022.
How much will the Apple Watch Series 8 cost?
Again, Apple has been quite consistent with the pricing on the Watch range, so with that in mind we'd expect the Apple Watch Series 8 to cost £369/US$399/AU$599 for the 41mm version and £399/US$429/AU$649 for the larger 45mm model.
Those are the prices of the Apple Watch Series 7 (2021), and very similar to what they were with the previous two generations too, so it looks reasonably sure that Apple will stick at those sweet spots for its new models. There are also rumours of a new, larger model (which we discuss below), so that would add another price tag into the equation, although we have no details yet about what that might be.
The only new version to come in cheaper is the Apple Watch SE (2020) which currently costs £249/US$249/AU$429 for the 40mm and £279/US$279/AU$479 if you prefer a 44mm display. You can still buy the Apple Watch Series 3, which is a very reasonable £179/US$199/AU$299 for the 38mm and £209/US$229/AU$349 for the 42mm, although it is getting a little long in the tooth now.
If you want to get a bargain, then you'd do well to bookmark our best Apple Watch deals guide, as it's updated regularly with all the latest discounts on the whole range.
Will the design change with Apple Watch Series 8?
Early rumours from analyst Ross Young suggest that Apple could be about to introduce an additional size option with the Series 8. He tweeted that alongside the regular 41mm and 45mm models, "Don't be surprised if there are 3 sizes next year."
Don't be surprised if there are 3 sizes next year...— Ross Young (@DSCCRoss) October 12, 2021
With the Series 7 increasing the display size on offer, within the same frame, it would suggest that a larger model would need a bigger chassis to accommodate a more spacious panel. Could this make room for additional features and sensors? This would make sense in terms of new capabilities, but would it also usher in a Pro version of the Watch? Intriguing.
Maybe this could be achieved by leaving behind the classic frame of the Watch that has been around pretty much since the beginning and moving to a flatter, squarer design, as suggested by tech leaker Jon Prosser and concept artist Ian Zelbo.
Prosser claims that the origin of this new look was from when "sources sent me a mixture of images as well as CAD files for this new design". He then handed these over to Ian Zelbo to work his magic, resulting in a rather fetching potential facelift for the Watch line.
This fits in with previous rumours from noted industry analyst Ming Chi-Kuo and Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman who both stated that new Apple Watch designs were on their way. Most predicted the update in the Series 7 release, but it could be that they were all seeing details pertaining to the Series 8 instead.
What new features will appear in Apple Watch Series 8?
Obviously, with the Apple Watch Series 8 still far off in the distance, there's little in the way of confirmed new features that we know will appear in the next generation. But with so many previous rumoured upgrades ones not making it into the Series 7, there are some that could finally appear when Apple revamps the catalogue.
Improved battery life
Compared to some other smartwatches, the Apple Watch can be a little wanting in the battery-life stakes.
There were rumours that this would be addressed in the Series 7, but there wasn't really much to get excited about. Of course, if Apple is redesigning the chassis (as mentioned above) then there could be room for a more capacious battery.
Move to a Mini-LED display?
Another way to boost longevity in the battery is to move from the current OLED display to the much-rumoured Mini-LED and Micro-LED alternatives. To be fair, this has been reported for new iPads and MacBook Pros for a little while, but hardly any have yet to receive the new technology. The 12.9in iPad Pro did get a Mini-LED panel, which shows that Apple is beginning the transition, and we expect the new MacBook Pros to also feature Mini-LED panels.
Moving forward, it's possible that the smallest displays in the Apple line-up could be one of the first to adopt the new Mini-LED panels or even be the beneficiaries of Micro-LED displays when the technology can be perfected. It could be too soon in terms of cost and production, but this would be a significant new feature if it did come to fruition.
New blood sugar sensor
It wouldn't be an Apple Watch rumour roundup without some kind of health-related new feature. Apple has decidedly placed the Watch at the centre of its healthy-lifestyle world and if current rumours are to be believed then we may finally see the arrival of a blood sugar sensor. Apple has already submitted patents for measuring blood glucose including ones with non-invasive tetrahertz (THz) electromagnetic radiation, which would no doubt be a real blessing for diabetics who currently need to use needles multiple times a day.
If you can't wait for the arrival of the Apple Watch Series 8 (2022) then be sure to take a look at our Apple Watch buying guide to ensure you pick up the model that's best for you.