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Apple Watch X might bring four big changes for the wearable’s 10th anniversary

Published Aug 14th, 2023 6:50AM EDT
Apple Watch Ultra
Image: Jonathan S. Geller for BGR

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Apple is about to unveil the Apple Watch Series 9 and the second-gen Apple Watch Ultra. It should happen in September, during the iPhone 15 launch event. Leaks already say the Apple Watch 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 will deliver minor updates over last year’s models. The new wearables might be uninteresting to buyers who purchased a 2022 Apple Watch. But Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman says that Apple is working on an Apple Watch X redesign that should drop in 2024 or 2025.

As the name suggests, this wearable will be special, as it’ll mark the tenth Apple Watch anniversary. Apple did something similar with the iPhone in 2017 when the iPhone X arrived with a major redesign and a killer new feature, Face ID. The Apple Watch X might also deliver a couple of big features on top of a new design if Gurman’s reporting is accurate.

Apple is reportedly exploring the idea of not updating the Apple Watch yearly, the Power On newsletter says. But Apple hasn’t decided whether to make the change. Updates like the ones we’re about to get from the Series 9 and second-gen Ultra might be minor, but they can still attract new customers to the Apple Watch family.

Regardless of whether Apple makes changes to its Watch rollouts, the company is working on this special Apple Watch X device.

The anniversary wearable will drop either in 2024 or 2025. Apple unveiled the first-gen Apple Watch in 2014, but the device hit stores only in 2015. There’s plenty of wiggle room for the tenth-anniversary celebration, which can come in handy should Apple experience any development issues.

The new design

The Apple Watch X might feature two big design changes. First of all, Apple is reportedly working on a thinner watch case.

That’s an exciting development, and I’d love the Apple Watch to shrink, especially the Ultra. I’m speculating here, but those rumors about the iPhone 16 getting stacked batteries come in handy here. I hope Appl will use a similar battery design to reduce the overall footprint of the Watch.

Apple Watch Ultra 2 with a dark finish
Apple Watch Ultra 2 with a dark finish. Image source: The Applehub

Also, the use of titanium across the board might help Apple create a lighter Watch X. But none of that is in Gurman’s report.

The insider only says that Apple is toying with replacing the current watchband lock mechanism with magnetic bands. Keeping the current design in place would let you use the bands you own now. But it turns out that the current locking mechanism takes up a lot of space. That space could be fitted with a bigger battery or other components.

The Apple Watch features I really want

In addition to the two design changes, Gurman also mentions two big features coming to the Apple Watch X.

One of them is the microLED display that keeps popping up in reports. Apple has been developing the technology for years. It could help the company reduce its reliance on Samsung for OLED panels for iPhone eventually. But it might start with something small at first, like the Apple Watch X.

Even more exciting than replacing the OLED screens is the Apple Watch X’s rumored blood pressure sensing technology. That’s one of the feature I’ve been dying to get on the Apple Watch. Apple has been developing it for years as well, right alongside Apple Watch tech that measures blood sugar without requiring a blood sample.

Other wearables offer blood pressure readings, and the feature certainly makes sense for the Apple Watch, especially the tenth-gen special edition.

Still, none of this is official. Before we get to the Apple Watch X, we’ll see the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 in action. If reports are correct, Apple will unveil the 2023 wearables on September 12th, which appears to be the iPhone 15’s launch date event.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.