In this article, I’m looking at the new Apple Watch 3: when it will be released, what features will have and how much will it set you back. The smartwatch market isn’t exactly on fire, but Apple is still a leader in the space and a new effort to make the Apple Watch more health focused will surely pay off in terms of being more than just another phone screen to become obsessed with. In the frenzy of rumors and information about the new Apple iPhone 8, other Apple updates, such as the Apple Watch and the AppleTV get very little coverage. Even today, the mobile industry still seems cautious about the prospects of building smart watches. But despite concerns, Apple has pressed forward with its Apple Watch series of wearables to great financial success. The Apple Watch 3 is set to break a few records. We also wrote about the new AppleTV 5th Gen release date if you’re interested.
What’s the Apple Watch 3 release date?
All we can say for sure is that you’ve got a long time to save, as we don’t really expect this to be a yearly-refreshed device from Apple, as it would create too many variants with not a lot to actually put in as an upgrade. I’m looking forward to upgrading my Apple Watch from series 2 to series 3.
Here are previous Apple Watch reveal and release dates:
- Apple Watch: Revealed September 9, 2014, – Released April 24, 2015
- Apple Watch Series 2: Revealed September 7, 2016, – Released September 16, 2016
As you can see above, Apple Watch updates come out with less regularity. The Apple Watch Series 2 models arrived in fall 2016, a year and a half after the original model’s spring 2015 debut. If that pattern is set to continue, it would be spring 2018 as the most likely release date for a Series 3 model.Apple has set a trend for announcing Apple Watch models at its usual September iPhone launch events, although the apparent two-year cycle could mean we won’t see a new Apple wearable until 2018. So to answer this question: Apple Watch 3 will be announced at the 12th September Apple Event and shipped next year just in time for spring.
What features will the Apple Watch 3 have?
It is not clear if Apple will release a new generation of the Apple Watch or instead upgrade the Apple Watch 2. Apple only released the Watch 2 last year, leaving almost a two-year gap between the original Apple Watch and the next generation. The Apple Watch currently has GPS, waterproofing, and an internal dual-core processor.
Here some new features we might see coming to the Apple Watch 3:
- Sleep Tracking – In early May 2017, Apple acquired Beddit, a company that makes a sleep-tracking app and device. While Apple hasn’t revealed its plans for Beddit, speculation suggests the Apple Watch Series 3 could include advanced sleep tracking capabilities. The bigger issue is battery life. Apple really needs to extend the Apple Watch 3 battery to three days to make it ideal for wearing a Watch while sleeping.
- Respiration Rate Tracking – A patent application, seen by Patently Apple, says that the sensors could be “strapped to a user’s wrist,” which sounds an awful lot like it’s describing the Apple Watch. This is possible but we don’t have any information saying it will be implemented in the Apple Watch 3.
- Cellular connectivity – It’s rumored that the Apple Watch 3 will have an untethered mode, allowing you to connect to a network directly from the watch itself. While it probably won’t be able to handle data-heavy requests other tasks could be handled without the assistance of an iPhone. This would be possible by integrating a Sim card into the Apple Watch 3. The Apple Watch would be able to stream music, send messages, download apps, and connect to the internet without the need for an iPhone.
- Built-in camera – The current Apple Watch can be used as a camera viewfinder so that you can take a remote photograph with your iPhone, but it can’t actually take photos itself or make video calls. Apple has patents for a wearable device that features a front-facing camera. It was rumored to appear in the Series 2, but the feature wasn’t announced. It’s likely we could see this feature being included in the next iteration.
Patently Apple, discovered an Apple patent that appears to support the inclusion of a selfie camera – a front-facing stills camera – in an Apple Watch in the future. See the picture below:
- Micro-LED Screen – Current Apple Watch models use increasingly popular OLED screens, on account of their energy efficiency and great dynamic range. Micro-LED panels are brighter and even less power-hungry, but they cost a bit more too. Apple may decide the switch is worth it to improve battery life, but it’s still too early to say. In any case, we’re expecting the Apple Watch Series 3 display to retain the 1.65-inch form factor and 390 x 312 resolution, if only to make life easier for developers. Bumping resolution could require app modifications, and even if the aspect ratio was retained, the visual benefits may not be worth the cost to power-efficiency. That would solve one key issue: improving the battery life of these devices.
- Battery Life Improvements – Current speculation has focused on somewhat more mundane updates from the next Apple Watch, including a report that Apple is working to improve the device’s battery life, perhaps in advance of adding cellular connectivity and another that it might update the watch’s OLED display technology. This improvement becomes especially important should Apple add that LTE modem as rumored, since cellular connectivity will put a hit on battery life.
How much will the Apple Watch Series 3 cost?
There has been no word on price for the Watch yet, but it would not be a stretch to expect a 4G Apple Watch to be more expensive than the current model. Prices for the current Apple Watch Series 2 start at £369 for a 38mm case and rise to £399 for a 42mm case. There are more expensive versions that include personalized straps, bands, and materials. There is also a possibility that Apple will start to offer an even more expensive model with cellular/mobile capabilities. We can see Apple introducing this technology at the top of the line, with a price to match. See below for more information about an Apple Watch with cellular capabilities.