Apple Watch Series 9 rumored release date, price and biggest upgrades

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

The countdown is on to the Apple Watch Series 9. With Apple's next-gen smartwatch expected to arrive this fall, we're tracking down rumors and speculating about the improvements we’ll see over the Apple Watch Series 8.

Apple has released a new Apple Watch every year since the original, so unless the company breaks tradition, the Apple Watch Series 9 will be announced in the late summer or early fall of 2023. Chances are, the Series 9 will launch alongside the iPhone 15.

While we’ve seen plenty iPhone 15 rumors, we haven’t heard much news about the upcoming Apple Watch. That said, we’re guessing the Apple Watch Series 9 will get upgrades for health tracking, communication and safety. It could also sport a different design, or exclusive features thanks to watchOS 10, which we'll see at WWDC 2023 on June 5.

Currently, there aren’t signs pointing to additional Apple Watch models, such as another Apple Watch SE or follow-up to the premium Apple Watch Ultra. But that could change as we learn more about the Apple Watch 9. In the meantime, here is everything we know about the upcoming Apple Watch.

Apple Watch Series 9 news (Updated May 15)

Apple Watch Series 9 possible release date

If there’s one thing about the Apple Watch Series 9 we’re the most certain of, it’s that the release date is scheduled for sometime in late summer or early fall of this year. If Apple sticks to the status quo, September is the month to expect new devices.

Before then, we expect Apple will hold WWDC, it's annual developer conference. While we won't see the Apple Watch Series 9 at the event, which usually takes place in June, we should get our first look at watchOS 10. Depending on the new software features announced for watchOS 10, we could get some hints about what's in the works for the Series 9 smartwatch.

The question remains whether the Apple Watch Series 9 will launch alongside other smartwatches. We've already heard some rumors about the Apple Watch Ultra 2, though it's currently believed to be coming in 2024.

Apple Watch Series 9 price speculation

Until we hear a rumor suggesting otherwise, we're under the impression that the Apple Watch Series 9 will be the same price as the Apple Watch Series 8. The current-gen Apple Watch has a starting price of $399 for the 41-millimeter, GPS-only model. The price is $499 for the GPS + cellular version. The 45-millimeter size, meanwhile, will starts at $429 and goes up to $529 for cellular support. 

There are two additional Apple Watch models available now, including the $799 Apple Watch Ultra and Apple Watch SE (2022), which starts at $249. If Apple doesn't announce any other smartwatches besides the Series 9, we expect the Ultra and SE will remain in the lineup for at least another year. 

Apple Watch Series 9 design rumors

There aren't any Apple Watch Series 9 design rumors yet, though we're not necessarily convinced the design is due to change in any major way. The Apple Watch Series 4, Series 5 and Series 6 all have virtually the same design. So, if Apple is following a similar routine, the Apple Watch Series 9 should look like the past two Apple Watch models.

The Apple Watch Series 7 introduced a larger and brighter display with thinner bezels, but there's nothing noticeable design-wise that differentiates the Apple Watch Series 8 vs. Apple Watch Series 7 besides color options. That said, it's possible the Apple Watch Series 9 will come in exclusive colors. Who knows? It could even come in another size option besides the current 41mm and 45mm options.

Apple Watch 8 vs. Apple Watch Ultra

(Image credit: Future)

We believe it's less likely the Apple Watch will get the long-rumored flat-edged redesign now that the Apple Watch Ultra exists. The Apple Watch Ultra has a flat, 49mm display — comparing the Apple Watch Series 8 vs. Apple Watch Ultra, the Ultra is a far more substantial watch.

Apple Watch Series 9 spec and battery life rumors

Similarly, we don't know much clue about the Apple Watch Series 9's specs or battery life expectations, but we can make some educated guesses. For one, it could be powered by a new S9 SiP that promises performance upgrades or new communication abilities. It would be great if it borrow the Emergency SOS via satellite feature from the iPhone 14, for example.

It could also get a new sensor inside, either related to health or movement. The Apple Watch Series 8 skin temperature is the most recent sensor innovation, but there's certainly demand for things like blood glucose or blood pressure monitoring.

Apple Watch Series 8 shown on wrist

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

As far as battery life is concerned, we know better than to hope for an Apple Watch that lasts as long as a Fitbit or Garmin watch. While the new Apple Watch low power mode does help with stamina, 18 hours is still the baseline estimate.

Should you wait for Apple Watch Series 9?

The short answer is no, you shouldn't wait for the Apple Watch Series 9. Right now, it makes sense to get the Apple Watch Series 8, the Apple Watch SE (2022) or even the Apple Watch Ultra, if you want the most premium Apple Watch experience possible. Whichever you choose, there's little sense in waiting several months for the next Apple Watch to come out. 

That said, you should bookmark this page for the latest updates on the Apple Watch Series 9. As we get closer to its eventual launch, we could hear tips and rumors about upgrades that matter to you.

Kate Kozuch

Kate Kozuch is an editor at Tom’s Guide covering smartwatches, TVs and everything smart-home related. Kate also appears on Fox News to talk tech trends and runs the Tom's Guide TikTok account, which you should be following. When she’s not filming tech videos, you can find her on an exercise bike, mastering the NYT Crossword or channeling her inner celebrity chef.