Apple Watch 9 – predictions from back in April. How did i fare?

Apple Watch 9 – my predictions from April ’23

More: Apple Watch Ultra 2 Review

It looks like the Watch 9 will be announced later today and rumours and leaks suggest it will be a modest hardware upgrade on the surface. Looking inside the watch, we already know most of the new software and sports features in WatchOS 10 (beta) but there will be one or two more features announced that might expand on additional sports features – for example adding the ability to import a wider range of routes/courses.

Buy: Apple Watch Ultra 2 from $799, Eu899, GBP799

Buy: Apple Watch Series 9 from $499, Eu449, GBP399

More: Apple Watch 9 – April 2023

Some leaks had already been made in or before April and there have been new leaks since. I reckon the predictions made here in April, below, will stack up pretty well today.

  • ✅✅ Genuinely newer, faster and more efficient processor – leaked and widely reported. You will see a reference to 6nm architecture, the smaller the number of NMs the better. However, I don’t think that will change I think there will be more than the number of cores/CPUs and cache memory that is improved. Note: Better 5nanometer architecture IS used in some non-watch Apple Bionic chips (A14/A15/A16)
  • Improved UWB – I don’t think anyone else reported or leaked this at the time, rumours of this are only now surfacing. So I’ll claim my prescience or luck on calling this one if it happens. The slightly improved finding features aren’t very exciting though!
  • ✅ oHR – I wasn’t sure about this back in April. Rumours seemed to point to the next-gen sensor being a ‘super sensor’, able to sense lots of new things and if/when this happens it will be an industry game changer. However, I would be extremely surprised if that happened this year with Apple and had pencilled it into my mind for next year. However, in recent days there have been rumours of a new oHR sensor which will undoubtedly be more accurate and require less power. However, this means that the super sensor just won’t come next year as Apple will have an oHR module spanning several years’ worth of models to make the economics worthwhile. Anyway, I’ll also claim some uncertain prescience over this one. [Edit: There is no new ohr sensor, it remains gen 3, although it seems to work more reliably for me on Ultra 2]
  • ?✅? There haven’t been any leaks about 2000 nit brightness being rolled out to all models. I reckon that’s a safe bet for me to have made and that we will see that. Again, Apple wants to use one tech in multiple Watch Editions to make it economical, so I think it’s a good bet for me to have made on this.
  • ??✅?? Intelligent GNSS band switching (Garmin’s SatIQ) may already be used by Apple. If not they will shout about it today. It’s a battery-saving feature, so absolutely certainly will be used by Apple at some point. There was a new GNSS chip introduced in Watch 8, so what I expect here is a new software tweak made to existing hardware.
  • ❌✅❌ – I didn’t call out any change to battery life. This is a tricky one. It’s likely that Apple will just stick with the 18-hour claim that they always make. At launch, the watches’ batteries definitely last longer but as the batteries degrade over time, Apple’s official performance figures become more realistic. So we might see more of the same from Apple here. However, if there is a new processor, new optical HR and new intelligent GNSS-switching then such features WILL save battery and potentially quite a bit of battery, so the headline battery performance specs might go up. My bet tho is that the 18-hour claimed specification will be unchanged, there’s a decent chance this will be wrong! Perhaps more likely would be that Apple finds a way to improve the headline battery life of the Watch ULTRA if there is also a Watch ULTRA 2 released as well; the reason? WATCH ULTRA isn’t very Ultra because of the current battery life. (Edit: Ultra 2 has a 4% higher battery capacity)


Apple Watch 9 likely Specifications – Opinion


April Predictions


Buy: Apple Watch Ultra 2 from $799, Eu899, GBP799

Buy: Apple Watch Series 9 from $499, Eu449, GBP399


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