Apple's product release cycles are pretty much as regular as the seasons, so we fully expected the Silicon Valley tech titan to announce at least one new Apple Watch later this year. The company has introduced one (or more) new smartwatch each of the last six years — ever since 2015, when the first Apple Watch was announced — and 2021 is expected to be no different.
The real questions we need to ask, then, are twofold: how many new Apple Watch models will be announced? And what new features will it/they have?
Will Apple announce one or two Apple Watch models?
2020 was the first year that Apple gave us two completely new smartwatches: the Apple Watch Series 6 and the Apple Watch SE. The flagship Series 6 introduced a new blood oxygen sensor, a faster processor and some new colors, but was otherwise very similar to the previous Series 5. The Apple Watch SE was basically identical to the others, but lacked the always-on display as well as the blood oxygen sensor and the electrical heart sensor (so it's not capable of taking an ECG).
The next-generation of Apple Watches are expected to be announced this coming fall, and while that's still a long ways away, we're starting to rumors and rumblings of what they might be like. Here's what we know so far.
The next Apple Watch could tell you if you're drunk.
The next-generation Apple Watch is rumored, according to The Telegraph, to be able to track your blood glucose levels, your blood pressure and your blood alcohol levels. Its new sensor could shine infrared light through your skin to take these measurements, which is the same kind of sensor used by the Series 6 to take your blood oxygen levels and heart rate.
Like before, Apple will likely tell you that the new Apple can not — and should not — replace a doctor or medical professional, but it will be designed to give you a better idea on your current health. Having said all that, if you need an Apple Watch to tell you if you're drunk or not...you're probably drunk.
A redesign with flat edges, just like the iPhone 12.
With its iPhone 12 line, Apple debuted a redesigned smartphone with flat edges, which the company claims makes them even more rugged and drop resistant. In my personal opinion, it also makes them easier to hold. Well, according to the famed Apple leaker Jon Prosser, Apple could be bringing this same flat-edge design to the Apple Watch. If so, it could be the biggest new design update for the Apple Watch in several years.
A bigger display with thinner bezels.
The Apple Watch Series 7 is expected to have a new-look display. According to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, the new display will have thinner bezels and "a new lamination technique that brings the display closer to the front cover." This should make the Series 7's display appear a little larger than on Apple's previous smartwatches. Despite these thinner bezels, the Series 7 is expected to be slightly thicker overall (thanks in large parts to its new flat edges).
We might get a more rugged Apple Watch design.
According to Bloomberg, Apple could release a special edition Apple Watch with a more rugged design, which would be aimed at athletes, outdoor enthusiasts and people who are more prone to dinging up their smartwatch. Apple gave the Series 6 and the SE the ability to track more activities (such as swimming, yoga and dancing) and sports (such as basketball, soccer and surfing), and this new more rugged Apple Watch could be aimed at those types of people.
If not this coming fall, this more rugged Apple Watch could be on the roadmap for 2023.
The Series 3 is on its last legs.
It came as surprise last fall when Apple announced that it was going to keep selling the Series 3, its 3-year old Apple Watch. Typically, Apple stops selling its smartwatches after two years and in some cases, like the Series 4 and the Series 5, it stops selling them after just one year (most likely because they're just too similar to the next-generation models).
However, after almost four years on the market, Apple has got to stop selling its Series 3. The main reason is that, as pointed out by The Verge, it's so old that it's not able to easily install the latest software updates.