The Apple Watch 7, or Apple's next smartwatch, will reportedly feature a faster processor, thinner bezels and better ultra-wideband functionality. According to Bloomberg (opens in new tab), this year's Apple Watch refresh will focus on design and performance improvements.
Instead, previously rumored upgrades like a built-in blood glucose reader and a rugged Apple Watch variant will reportedly be reserved for future models. Apple is also working on a skin-temperature sensor on a follow-up to last year's Apple Watch SE for 2022, Bloomberg's sources said.
If accurate, Bloomberg's report indicates we'll be seeing an incremental Apple Watch upgrade this year. It seems more likely in 2022 Apple will introduce more extensive renovations and new health monitoring tools.
While we're fairly confident faster processing will come from the S7 chipset, we're less certain about the all-edged design changes. Bloomberg said the company is testing a "new lamination technique" that raises the watch's display closer to the top cover. Bloomberg's report also said Apple Watch 7 could be "slightly thicker," but it shouldn't be noticeable.
Leaker Jon Prosser recently shared renders of the Apple Watch 7 with a flat-edged design and experimental color options. Prosser, who has a reliable track record with rendering forthcoming Apple devices, said the Series 7's display "will likely stay the same," countering the information from Bloomberg's sources. The leaker said the images he allegedly saw could be of the Apple Watch 8 or other future version, though.
As for connectivity improvements, the Apple Watch 7's will reportedly borrow updated ultra-wideband technology from the Apple AirTag key finder. The Apple Watch 6 brought a U1 chip to the smartwatch for the first time, but the company has upped efforts in location finding and other proximity tools.
During WWDC 2021 earlier this month Apple revealed the watchOS 8 software update, which alongside a new Mindfulness app and messaging options includes support for more digital keys. Users will be able add keys for their home, office, and hotel to their Wallet and unlock the keys by tapping their Apple Watch.
Beyond the watchOS 8 features Apple has shared, we're not yet sure about the changes Apple's new hardware will bring. Even Bloomberg's sources said the plans for future Apple Watch releases is subject is change, so we could still see a new health sensor or other grander feature added this year.
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