Apple Watch 9 release date nears as listing pops up

Apple Watch Series 8 shown on wrist
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Barring the first generation (April 2015) and the Series 7 (October 2021), every Apple Watch has launched in September. And it appears that Apple will be repeating the pattern this year, with a new watchOS entry popping up in the Bluetooth product database just a few weeks before we expect the Apple Watch 9 and Ultra 2 to launch alongside the iPhone 15.

The listing, first spotted by MacRumors, is extremely light on detail, only providing the product name, “WatchOS Profile Subsystem 2023.” All that the entry’s appearance really tells us is that the upcoming Apple Watches will use Bluetooth, which isn’t exactly breaking news given that’s how all smartwatches function.

But it does all but confirm that new Apple Watches will appear alongside the iPhone 15 series when it's likely to launch at next month’s Apple event. A date of September 12 has been mooted by leakers, though official invites are yet to go out. 

The annual release of Apple Watches isn’t necessarily going to be a given forever. In a recent issue of his Power On newsletter, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman reported Apple executives have considered stepping away from the Watch’s “slow-but-steady annual upgrade cycle.” 

The idea is that less frequent updates could lead to more meaningful upgrades, rather than the incremental changes Apple has historically introduced from year to year. Though Gurman notes that the “deliberations haven’t gotten far” yet.

While Apple is reportedly planning big changes for next year’s tenth-anniversary Apple Watch X, this year’s wearables are likely to offer more of the same incremental changes. 

The watch’s speed will reportedly be improved thanks to a “fairly sizeable performance bump” offered by the S9 processor based on the iPhone 13’s A15 chip. That could also offer improved battery life — especially for the Ultra model, which already allows for multi-day usage — but otherwise, we’re not expecting any more standout features. Unless you consider the possible introduction of a pink color to be a big deal.

However, the new wearables will ship with watchOS 10, which should make up for the lack of new features — especially if some benefit from the extra processing grunt. These are the biggest new watchOS 10 features you can expect, assuming your Apple Watch can run it. 

Alan Martin

Freelance contributor Alan has been writing about tech for over a decade, covering phones, drones and everything in between. Previously Deputy Editor of tech site Alphr, his words are found all over the web and in the occasional magazine too. When not weighing up the pros and cons of the latest smartwatch, you'll probably find him tackling his ever-growing games backlog. Or, more likely, playing Spelunky for the millionth time.