Apple Watch Series 4 Rumors: What to Expect From Apple’s Next Smartwatch

Apple has improved the Apple Watch with faster processors and features such as GPS and cellular connectivity, but the device’s design hasn’t been updated since it debuted in 2015.

The Apple Watch has looked the same for three years. Will Apple Watch Series 4 get a fresh design?

The Apple Watch has looked the same for three years. Will Apple Watch Series 4 get a fresh design?

That’s about to change. According to noted Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities, the Apple Watch Series 4 will sport a new look with a display that’s 15 percent larger and has a “more trendy form factor design,” 9to5Mac reported. Kuo anticipates that the smaller Apple Watch will ship with a 1.57-inch screen, up from 1.31 inches, and the larger model will sport a 1.78-inch screen, up from 1.54 inches.

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According to Bloomberg, the larger display size won't change the size of the watch cases, which means Apple's existing lineup of bands will continue to fit in the Series 4 models. Apple currently offers two Apple Watch sizes, a smaller 38mm and a larger 42mm model. Both watches have sizable bezels, which leaves room for larger displays without increasing the overall size of the watches. Kuo also expects the battery capacity to increase. Kuo has a solid track record when it comes to accurately calling Apple product announcements. In the last year alone, he predicted the iPhone X and HomePod.

Cellular Only?

Apple could double down on the cellular connectivity it introduced in the Series 3 by launching an LTE-only Series 4. According to a regulatory filing with the Eurasian Economic Commission, Apple has permits for six new Apple Watches, which is two fewer than in the Series 3 lineup. The EEC is a reliable source of Apple product leaks, so it's possible that Apple is going all in with LTE and dropping GPS-only models from the Series 4 roster. That would make the GPS Series 3 the entry-level Apple Watch. But another theory is that Apple will stop making a ceramic version of its flagship watch, which would make sense — the ceramic watch comes with a steep price tag ($1,299) that makes it a tough sell for most buyers.

On Sept. 10, the all-LTE Series 4 Watch rumor started to look even-more likely as Kuo confirmed in in a new note that explained that the new Apple Watch models will all feature ceramic backs. This would suggest Apple would drop the composite glass models, the only watches in the Series 3 lineup that don't pack LTE connectivity.

More Advanced Health-Tracking

Apple may also add additional sensors for health-tracking, complementing the optical heart rate sensor built into the watch since launch. According to a CNBC report, Apple is staffing up on experts in sensors: architects and engineers who can develop processors that can measure more information from the body and software that can make sense of that data. It's unclear what health issues Apple would tackle, but the company is rumored to be working on non-invasive glucose-tracking for diabetics.

Enhanced heart-monitoring capabilities will come from added EKG (electrocardiogram) monitoring, according to Kuo.

Apple has applied for a patent on a smartwatch band with built-in sensors, specifically ones that can measure motion when the wearer is gripping a “sports instrument” such as a dumbbell or golf club. That would make the watch a better fitness tracker.

According to Patently Apple, which obtained and published the patents, Apple is also considering adding Face ID to the Apple Watch. The device would first need a front-facing camera, which Apple may include in the Series 4. But just because Apple has patented a feature doesn’t mean it will actually come to fruition.

We’re still about a month away from seeing the next-generation Apple Watch. Apple is expected to take the wraps off the Series 4 at its iPhone event in September.

Caitlin is a Senior editor for Gizmodo. She has also worked on Tom's Guide, Macworld, PCWorld and the Las Vegas Review-Journal. When she's not testing out the latest devices, you can find her running around the streets of Los Angeles, putting in morning miles or searching for the best tacos.