Apple's Next Big Event is September 7th

Apple

Save the Date! Apple has official set the date for its next big event. Happening on September 7th in San Francisco, the large press event is expected to be where the company launches its next iPhone, the iPhone 7, and where we're expected to finally get to learn more about the next version of the Apple Watch.

We'll, of course, be watching the event closely, and will be sure to post any big Apple Watch news as it happens.

Recent trademark filings suggest that Apple will be launching a number of different Apple Watch models. Apple has trademarked 10 different models in total, a bit of a bump from the three models it has on the market now: the Apple Watch Sport, Apple Watch, and Apple Watch Edition. If true, that means there will be a lot to talk about.

The company is rumored to be showing off a number of new Apple Watch models, aptly named Apple Watch 2, that will likely have faster processors and other internal upgrades. That doesn't mean that it's the end of the line for the current model. Apple is thought to be keeping the original models around for a bit longer, with perhaps some slight spec upgrades and a lower price tag. Think of it kind of like the iPhone's C models, which are essentially budget versions of the phone, using many of the same hardware pieces from previous models, while bumping up others.

In general, we expect the next version of the Apple Watch to stay pretty close to what we have now, with no huge design changes. The Apple Watch 2 will also likely run the same software as the current version, similar to how Apple simply updates the operating system for the iPhone, so current users should be able to take advantage of many of the Apple Watch's new features even if the decide to stick with model currently on their wrist.

Beyond that, hardware-wise, the next version of the Apple Watch is expected to add a barometer for measuring altitude (so it could track how many flights of stairs you go up in a day), as well as a faster processor and internal GPS.

The next version of the Apple Watch is also rumored to use a new type of Gorilla Glass, Gorilla Glass SR+, a tougher version of the glass made specifically for use in wearables. The glass is as durable as previous versions of Gorilla Glass but is also scratch-resistant similar to sapphire screens, something that is especially useful for wearable devices such as the Apple Watch that will often come in contact with a few more bumps and bruises than your traditional smartphone might.

Even better, the glass offers better optical performance than previous glass options. That means that you're able to see the screen better, with less light powering it. Using less light leads to using less battery, so you'll be able to run the device a bit longer, even if all the other parts (including the battery size) stay the same. The glass also offers better visibility in direct sunlight

Everything We Think We Know

Recent rumors point to the next generation of the wearable being slightly thinner than the current model ( a common theme when it comes to generational upgrades among Apple products).

 

Despite being thinner, the next generation of the Apple Watch is thought to be more durable than the current version. While today’s Apple Watch can certainly withstand some bumps and bruises along the way, the next version is anticipated to be able to handle life even easier and be able to withstand more taps and tumbles. My Apple Watch Sport, for instance, cracked within the first few months of owning it along the top corner of the display. I wasn’t aware that I had broken it — in fact, I couldn't even tell you what incident occurred to cause the crack —  but it happened with moderate use, something that hopefully won’t happen with the next generation of the device.

Important to mention: despite that crack early on in its life, my Apple Watch has remained working perfectly, and the crack has yet to spread, even after over a year of daily wear.

The next version of the Apple Watch is also thought to have a built-in FaceTime camera, which will alter the look of the front of the device slightly but shouldn’t lead to any major overhauls when it comes to design.

Sources familiar with matter told The Wall Street Journal that Apple plans to add cell network connectivity to the next version of the Apple Watch, along with a faster processor. Cell connectivity would be a huge improvement for the device and would allow it to function somewhat like your iPhone, even when your smartphone isn’t around.

The current version of the Apple Watch relies on Bluetooth for its functionality. That works, but it means that your iPhone has to be within Bluetooth range of the Apple Watch in order for many of the Apple Watch’s functions to work correctly. Adding cell connectivity would be great for allowing the Apple Watch to run independently from your smartphone, but will also likely require you to purchase service for the Watch separately for the wearable from your traditional phone service, a move that many iPhone owners might be reluctant to make.

How Much Will It Cost?

No one knows for sure how much the next version of the Apple Watch will cost, but expect it to be priced similarly to models of the device that are currently on the market. Apple isn't known for lowering the price of its devices, even with a new version.  When the next generation of the Apple Watch is announced, we should expect the current version to go through a bit of a price drop, in part as a way to clear out older inventory.

If the updates to the Apple Watch are significant, as many anticipate they might be, then we may also see a situation where Apple continues to offer the original version of the Watch for another year or so but at a price cut from the current model. So, purchasing the original Apple Watch Sport, for instance, might be $100 cheaper than purchasing the next generation.

In March, Apple opted to lower the price of the Apple Watch by $50, a move that many felt was a way for the company to increase sales before introducing a new model. When the price cut announcement was made, many had thought that Apple was going to use the event to announce a new model.

According to a recent survey, two-thirds of current Apple Watch owners plan on upgrading to the newest version of the Apple Watch when it is released to the public, even though they currently have no idea when that will be, or what improvements might come to the device. That same survey asked those who had yet to purchase a smartwatch what was keeping them from making the purchase. By in large, those customers indicated that price was the main barrier in them deciding to buy, even after the recent price drop for the Apple Watch.

It looks like the Apple Watch might eventually have a lot more health features baked in.  Speaking at Startup Fest Europe recently in Amsterdam, Cook said that he thought that the Apple Watch had “enormous” potential when it comes to healthcare, and could ultimately be used as a warning system of sorts for health problems, similar to how the check engine light works in your car. That way you might know something is wrong before you ever experience any physical symptoms.

"If you think about some of society's biggest problems and challenges, one of the ones that we are really focused on is health,” CNBC reports Cook saying at the conference. "And arguably the health care system can be made much simpler, can have much better results, you can have patients that really feel like customers...and have systems and applications that bring out the best in the medical professionals...I think the runway there is enormous.”

He goes on to talk about how much he enjoys using the Apple Watch, and how he feels the device might one day become even more common.

"I love the watch. One day, this is my prediction, we will look back and we will wonder: how can I ever have gone without the Watch?,” Cook said. “Because the holy grail of the watch is being able to monitor more and more of what's going on in the body. It's not technologically possible to do it today to the extent that we can imagine, but it will be,”

The Apple Watch is already being used as a warning system of sorts in some tests.

When will it arrive?

Don't expect to wait long before the Apple Watch goes on sale. Unlike its initial launch where there was quite a bit of delay, Apple will likely have the next version of the Apple Watch ready to go on sale alongside the iPhone 7. If for some reason there is a delay in getting the device, don't expect it to be a very long one. You'll likely be able to pre-order it very soon, and have it on your wrist before the holiday season officially gets underway.