Apple Watch 8 (eight!) to take on Garmin Fenix…confirmed !!! Plus more new Apple Watch 7 Leaks

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Apple Watch 7 faster, Apple Watch 8 Explorer, Apple Watch SE2 2022

Watch out Garmin…Apple is coming for your Fenix sales…eventually…maybe…perhaps.

There has been a relatively big and seemingly reliable leak on Apple’s plans for the Watch 7 to be released in September and, incredibly, on some of the plans for the subsequent series in 2022.

Here’s what’s leaked…and I have to say for once it’s plausible. This time around the leaks says that Apple’s Blood Glucose monitoring won’t be ready for ‘several more years’ which, in my opinion, was always obvious. Some of the Apple Fan sites can get a little too carried away with their belief in Apple’s ability to lead innovation…Apple is a follower but one who follows properly.

Apple Watch 7 imagined by Prosser
Apple Watch 7 imagined by Prosser

Apple Watch 7 (September 2021)

Here’s what’s been ‘confirmed’ so far for this year

  • Faster processor – The current 64-bit Dual-Core processor was first introduced on the AW4 and is unchanged on AW SE, AW5 and AW6. It makes sense that this year will see a faster replacement, perhaps even quad-core.
  • Improved UWB Connectivity- This is an intriguing leak. UWB IS already on the Apple Watch 6 but not on the SE model. So I was somewhat surprised that Apple Find My does not (yet) use UWB Precision Finding on the AW6 to find Items like the Apple AirTag. I assumed that ability would be added later this year but maybe the existing UWB on AW6 is only able to support the basic unlocking of hotel rooms and cars (as has already announced for watchOS 8)? I previously assumed that Precision Finding would be introduced to AW6 on watchOS 8…now it might be that I need to buy an AW7 to check that out.
  • Updated screen – It looks like the screen tech is to be changed to reduce the number of laminations used (which is probably irrelevant to most of us) but also changed so that the screen borders might be thinner or, put another way, there could be a slightly larger usable screen area and an increased resolution (pixel density will be unchanged) or, more likely, the screen resolution and size will be unchanged and the overall form factor made very slightly smaller.

 

Apple Watch 8 (September 2022)

Hmm. Another new watch next year. You surprise me!

Apple usually adds a new sensor capability with each model. Apple Watch 7, kinda, will get a respiration sensor via software on the new oHR sensor from 2020. Going on past trends, we should expect new sensor hardware to follow on AW8 and the leak confirms this

  • It looks like Watch 8 will finally get the body temperature sensor which I had predicted/hoped would surface this year. This is an important sensor that can be used for illness detection, sleep stage and ovulation tracking. Time will tell if this gets medical-grade certification. Nevertheless, we have already seen the announcement of breathing rate detection with accelerometers in watchOS 8 and the addition of body temperature is just another sensor input that will be used to refine Apple’s Health algorithms. Apple is slowly ticking off, one by one, each individual physiological measurements that it intends to measure.
  • Fitbit Sense already has skin temperature measurement.

Apple Watch SE gen 2 (September 2022)

Confirmation that Apple will iterate the SE model in 2022 logically means that it won’t happen this year!

This also sounds a death-knell for Apple Watch 3 which I predict will vanish when the SE gen 2 is released and as the SE gen 1 price slips to fill the price point currently occupied by the AW3.

It will be interesting to see how Apple continues to differentiate the SE model from the more expensive variants, currently, it is the always-on screen, optical sensor, UWB and battery performance that set them apart.

Apple Watch “Adventurer/Explorer” (September 2022)

There is going to be an outdoors variant of the Apple Watch supposedly targeting Casio, Garmin Instinct and, much less so, Garmin Fenix.

This has been reported a few times already and the leak surfaces again via different sources. I don’t know why anyone is getting too excited about this as the Apple Watch is simply not going to be able to take the hardcore nature of what a Garmin Fenix can do. However, interestingly, I wrote this piece explaining that the Apple Watch 6 is already largely capable of competently supporting outdoors mini-adventures. It just needs a protective covering, decent strap and a judicious choice of app and you are ready to go and explore. So the new Apple Watch 8 Explorer Edition is highly likely to be little more than a ruggedised hardware offering. And even then remember that the Apple Watch 6 ALREADY comes with Gorilla glass if you get anything but the cheapest variant…just sayin’ that not too much needs to be added and Apple is good at adding ‘not too much’ and over-hyping it.

Must Read: Apple Watch 6 For Hiking, Outdoors, Adventures – Accessories and apps you can get right NOW!

 

Take Out

I’m falling into the trap of getting excited about the drip-drip progress of the Apple Watch. Still, it’s a strategy that patently works so maybe my excitement about a new sensor here and a new software feature there is founded on some reality.

 

Here are predictions and leaks for pretty much every other GPS sports device available right now

July 2021: Sports Watch Update: All new & current Bike/Run/Tri/Fitness Models with GPS. Rumors + replacement dates for Garmin, Apple, Polar, Suunto, Wahoo, Samsung, Fitbit

Source: Bloomberg

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5 thoughts on “Apple Watch 8 (eight!) to take on Garmin Fenix…confirmed !!! Plus more new Apple Watch 7 Leaks

  1. I’m quite skeptical that Apple will deliver a milspec rugged watch with 60 hours of activity tracking battery life and navigation with offline maps all featured in their built-in run app.

    I think it’s likely that this is going to be more about a look — like the Hermés SKUs — than a practical reality.

    I don’t think Apple are going to manage appeal to the adventure and ultra crowd who actually push the limits of fenix 6X, enduro, and Coros vertix this year. I just don’t see Apple really building something that will do the job for ultra running, Iron Man, SwimRun, Tough Mudder, Spartan, SkyRun, through hiking, and general back country use. I will be surprised if they actually produce a ruggedized SKU that is substantially different from teh standard watch other than basic materials they already use (steel, titanium, and sapphire) and a different watch strap style. We shall see.

    (I will also be surprised if any breathing rate detection algorithm from plethysmography on the wrist during exercise is remotely accurate.)

    1. hmmm…quite!
      yes i dont think they will deliver milspc…
      60 hours…nah! we all know that.
      i think it will be more than just the look. a LITTLE it more! I am nearly as sceptical as you and imagined a rubber covering for the Watch!

      Apple will never appeal to the adventure and ultra crowd and wont try to. those markets are tiny. they will be going for the experience-hunters and day-trip-adventurers …vastly more people there. (many of whom buy a Casio or Fenix)
      Ironman..no. but it could quite readily do a half ironman with the right app, swimrun too. Apple Watch can pair to a power meter and the button can take laps…it’s even rectangular which is the better shape for a sports watch.

      plethysmography – apparently from people I know Apple’s method should be MORE accurate. we’ll see.

      1. I’m genuinely curious how you would do SwimRun with an Apple Watch. I had dismissed it on simple battery life death at 4-5 hours. But as I think about it even if the battery life were not an issue, surely the touch screen does’t work in the ocean?

        I think you are right about the “poseur” or aspirational motivation behind a lot of fitness gear purchasing, but that’s part of branding. Apple is inexorably pushing into fitness and health branding but I don’t see them as a sport brand to date. Having a cobranding with Nike and Colleen Quigley wear the watch in some ads is insufficient. I mean the current Coros blitz of sponsorships seems to be dwarfing Apple in this space.

        1. good point, to unlock the touchscreen would need to twizzle the crown. I’m unsure if the buttons could be programmed to move to the next sport if the crown first needs twizzling. then again how big is the swimrun market (it’s not!) although the same issues still stand when going from swim to bike.I’ll check
          (edit: tri tracker MIGHT do this, you press both buttons to enter transition: https://the5krunner.com/2021/06/14/new-apple-watch-8-leaks/#comment-80883
          I asked the developer of TRANSITION who said “You could make your own swim lock that effectively does the same thing [as the water lock] tho and enables button interaction. Then it would be if an override function exists to enable button press changes rather than it going to the usual action of opening the dock view etc. ” the same developer pointed out other ways based on geographic location to automatically move onto the next sport…but that would be hard with swimrun even though his triathlon app does precisely that https://transitionapp.info/
          )

          apple/coros – yes i agree with you. however, i suspect you are seeing the coros blitz because of the places you frequent and/or because of the machinations of the FB algorithms (or whatever media you frequent). not sure either you or I would be a target Apple Watch Explorer customer.

    2. I am ready to charge them once a day, just not to see any more Garmin glitches. 😀
      And 60…6 hours of activity needed by one in a million. Average time training ~40-90 min.

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