A pair of recent rumors (with contradicting timelines) have suggested that Apple could overhaul the Apple Watch lineup with the introduction of a so-called “Apple Watch Series X.”
Here’s why we’d treat these rumors with a major dose of skepticism, even though it’s totally possible Apple releases an “Apple Watch Series X” at some point down the line.
The Apple Watch Series X rumors
The first rumor about an Apple Watch Series X came last month from the French website iPhoneSoft. This report suggested Apple is planning to skip the Apple Watch Series 9 in favor of the Apple Watch Series X, similar to what it did with the iPhone X in 2017. After all, the iPhone 9 is the iPhone that got away.
The report from iPhoneSoft cited sources working at Apple supplier Luxshare. According to the report, the Apple Watch Series X is slated to run watchOS 10, meaning it would be released this year. watchOS 10 is expected to be announced at WWDC in June, with a public release to follow sometime in September alongside new Apple Watch hardware.
Following this rumor, analysts at Omdia published a new report last week that also claims Apple is working on the Apple Watch Series X. These analysts, however, claim the device would be released next year to align with the 10th anniversary of the Apple Watch’s initial introduction. What kind of changes would this Apple Watch Series X offer? The analysts say:
- In 2024, the Series 8 and 9 (1.71/1.92 inches) will evolve to Series X (X meaning tenth) with a bigger screen (1.89/2.04 inches). The displays will have the same supplier, LG Display, and take LTPO backplanes. Apple might announce the product in late 2023 to commercialize it in 2024.
Alongside the Apple Watch Series X, Omdia analysts also predict a new Apple Watch SE model as well as a new Apple Watch Ultra:
- In 2024, the Apple Watch SE 2 series will evolve into the SE 3. Its screen sizes will be the same as Series 8 and 9 (1.71/1.92 inches), and the LTPO OLED panel supplier will be JDI. Apple might announce the product in late 2023 to commercialize it in 2024.
- The biggest evolution will be the Apple Watch Ultra 2 in 2024, which will adopt a new Micro LED display. Apple might announce the product in late 2023 to commercialize in 2024. The panel size is 2.13 inches with 325 PPI; therefore, the resolution will presumably be 540×440 or 556×452, which means there will be over 800,000 Micro LED chips aligning with the subpixels, including redundant LED chips.
Why we’re skeptical
Apple could very well be planning some of these hardware upgrades to the Apple Watch lineup, as reported by Omdia. Things like an Apple Watch Ultra with a larger display have previously been reported by other sources such as DigiTimes. An upgraded Apple Watch SE and Apple Watch design changes also make sense for 2024.
With that said, we’re skeptical of the so-called Apple Watch Series X rumors. Don’t get me wrong, an Apple Watch Series X could very well materialize sometime next year. The iPhone X strategy worked well for the iPhone lineup, so it would be foolish for Apple not to at least consider doing the same thing for the Apple Watch lineup.
The thing to remember, however, is that Apple product names very rarely leak ahead of a new product being announced to the public. Furthermore, they pretty much never leak this far in advance. The reports from Omdia and iPhoneSoft are both based on supply chain sources. If Apple is considering releasing an “Apple Watch Series X,” the only people who know about it at this point are a very limited number of marketing executives inside Apple itself. This sort of information is not shared with the supply chain.
With that said, I’d totally love to see an Apple Watch Series X launch this year or next year. It would be nice to have a middle-ground option between the Apple Watch Series 8/Series 9 and the Apple Watch Ultra. Perhaps the Apple Watch Series X could take the place of the Apple Watch Edition. What do you think? Let us know in the comments.