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Apple Watch X rumors: What we know so far and what we want to see
Update, February 29, 2024 (11:34 AM ET): We have updated our Apple Watch X hub with additional information about the likelihood of Apple using a microLED display.
Apple’s smartwatch line has enjoyed popularity for nearly a decade, and the company is ready to celebrate its success. Rumors may be sparse, but it’s clear an Apple Watch X is on its way. Find out everything we know about the upcoming special edition device.
Will there be an Apple Watch X?
It looks very certain that an anniversary edition Apple Watch X is headed to shelves. According to company expert Mark Gurman, Apple plans to launch the commemorative device in 2024, on the tenth anniversary of the line’s launch. It will likely be the next device to land, following up 2023’s Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2.
What is the most likely Apple Watch X release date?
- Apple Watch announced: 2014
- Original (Series 0): April 2015
- Series 1 and 2: September 2016
- Series 3: September 2017
- Series 4: September 2018
- Series 5: September 2019
- Series 6 and SE: September 2020
- Series 7: October 2021
- Series 8, Ultra, and SE 2022: September 2022
- Series 9 and Ultra 2: September 2023
The Apple Watch line follows one of the most consistent launch schedules in the wearables market. Since the device’s inception, at least one new Apple Watch has landed yearly. On a few occasions, the new model also arrived with an SE, or an Ultra, or in the case of 2022, alongside an SE and an Apple Watch Ultra.
According to rumors, Apple plans to mark its tenth anniversary with the Apple Watch X, but that doesn’t necessarily nail down a release date. The Apple Watch concept was announced in 2014 but launched in 2015, so technically, the anniversary could fall in either 2024 or 2025. It will likely serve as the Series 10 and land in the fall of next year.
What specs and features could the Apple Watch X have?
The evolution of the Apple Watch line has been a story of incremental changes. While there have been some memorable developments like the addition of GPS or a temperature sensor, the basic design has not varied greatly. Each year sees a rounded, rectangular watch case with interchangeable bands and a proprietary charger. Sure, the Series 7 brought a larger display, but it hardly features the major design overhaul we expected before its launch.
Leaks suggest that the X model will usher in the most significant design changes in years. First, according to Gurman, Apple may be tinkering with new ways for Apple Watch bands to attach. Rather than the current slide and lock mechanism, Apple may introduce a magnetic system that minimizes the band’s impact on the case. This would allow the company to offer a thinner design and save more space for internal needs, such as a potentially larger battery.
Connectors of next generation of Watch has completely redesigned…
Literally if you have old bands now, just sell it🤷♀️It’s 100% accurate— Kosutami (@KosutamiSan) December 20, 2023
In December 2023, trusted leaker Kosutami confirmed that a new band design is headed to the next generation, though they did not confirm whether that device will be the Apple Watch X. While Kosutami recommends selling old bands now, it’s likely Apple will make adapters available so that users can still equip old bands.
Meanwhile, Gurman also predicts a thinner watch case in general and Apple could also be working on a microLED display. Some early rumors suggested these displays would make their way to the next Ultra model, but it’s also possible they debut on the Apple Watch X instead. MicroLED displays outperform OLED in color as well as clarity, offering deeper contrast and more consistent viewing from all angles.
Rumors suggest the Apple Watch X may feature the largest design change in years, including a thinner case and a new band mechanism.
Yet, statement from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo contradicts Gurman’s leak, suggesting that Apple will play it safe. According to Kuo, “2024 Apple Watch will unlikely have (sic) significant innovative experiences.” He also claims there won’t be a microLED or blood glucose monitoring in the 2024 smartwatch. Apple may end up saving these features for the next watch to follow 2024’s device.
Putting the microLED rumors in even dicier territory, analyst Guillaume Chansin from DSCC claims Apple canceled its microLED project with one of its suppliers — AMS OSRAM. While this doesn’t fully put the kibosh on the Apple Watch X getting microLED, it’s looking a lot less likely. Chansin adds that microLED was planned for the 10-year anniversary of the Apple Watch, but progress on it was slow and the firm realized a delay would be necessary if they continued down that path.
Finally, the company is also believed to be working to bring blood pressure monitoring to the Apple Watch. Again, trusted leaker Mark Gurnam posited that this feature would likely hit wrists in 2024, so it may be poised to arrive on the X. Gurman reiterated this point in a November report, also mentioning that the feature would only tell you if your blood pressure is trending upward. Users would get a journal to track when these moments happen.
Gurman further added in the November report that the X could also receive a sleep apnea detector. This feature would reportedly measure the user’s breathing patterns to determine if they have the condition. It would then tell the user to seek a physician for treatment. We expect further details and leaks to emerge in the coming months and will continue to update this hub as we learn more.
What might the Apple Watch X price be?
- Series 3: $399
- Series 4: $399
- Series 5: $399
- Series 6: $399
- Series 7: $399
- Series 8: $399
- Series 9: $399
Pricing for the Apple Watch X is hard to surmise. Since the Series 3, every generation of Apple Watch has arrived with a $399 starting price tag. Meanwhile, the premium Ultra line launched at a whopping $799.
Given the X is expected to land with significant upgrades, it’s possible Apple breaks its consistency and asks shoppers to fork over more than they have for past generations. On the other hand, if the Ultra is meant to remain the company’s high-end offering, it’s also possible Apple keeps the X in the same range as previous Series models.
Should you wait for the Apple Watch X?
To be frank, yes. The Apple Watch Series 9 doesn’t pack significant upgrades. Whether the tech isn’t quite ready, or Apple is just holding its cards for now in order to make a bigger splash with the X, it seems the Series 9 will pale in comparison to what may arrive on the X model. If you already own a Series 7 (on the product’s website) or Series 8 ($359 at Amazon), we recommend holding off for the X rather than upgrading to the Series 9. If you already own an Apple Watch Ultra ($799 at Amazon) or Ultra 2 ($679 at eBay), we also wouldn’t recommend upgrading just yet until we learn more about how the X will compare to the premium lineup, especially in terms of battery life.
Meanwhile, if you are an Android user, there is no reason to wait for an Apple Watch X. The device is extremely unlikely to break the smartwatch line’s streak of compatibility with iPhones only. We recommend taking a look at the Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 ($299.99 at Samsung) or the Pixel Watch 2 ($349.99 at Amazon). For a non-Wear OS experience with tons of in-depth fitness tracking, our top pick is the Garmin Venu 3 ($449.99 at Amazon).
Apple Watch X: What we want to see
If Apple is ready to pull out all the stops, we have a number of upgrades on our radar. Here’s everything we want to see on the Apple Watch X.
Better battery life
Some day we hope to stop wishing for better battery life on our Apple Watches. Why shouldn’t the launch date of the X model be the day? Compared to competitors like Fitbit and Garmin, dismal battery specs are one of the Apple Watch line’s biggest weaknesses. We hope the rumored band design has the effect intended and that Apple finds a way to pack a larger, longer-lasting battery cell into its anniversary device.
Advanced health monitoring
Blood pressure monitoring could turn the Apple Watch line into a powerful health companion for many users. According to the CDC, nearly one third of American adults have high blood pressure, a major risk factor for both heart disease and stroke. We hope to see the Apple Watch X leverage its 24-hour role on users’ wrists by monitoring blood pressure and other crucial health measurables. Even the existing tools, such as temperature sensing and cycle tracking, show room for improvement.
A more useful flashlight
When it comes to smart features, iPhone integration, and third-party app support, the Apple Watch is unmatched. However, one feature that doesn’t shine as bright as the competition is the device’s flashlight. After a number of review periods with leading Garmin devices, we’d love to see Apple adopt a true, built-in flashlight. The current onscreen version is not nearly powerful enough to be as useful as an LED one.