Ever since its first release in 2015, the Apple Watch has become another annual stalwart in the Cupertino release schedule. Thanks to its unique style and compatibility with Apple’s ecosystem, its popularity has only continued to grow.

Now, in 2024, Apple’s smartwatch owns almost 60% of the wearable device market. Hoping to repeat this trend, Apple is expected to release the Apple Watch X (or Series 10) late this year. 

Seeing as the Apple Watch is in an iterative phase of development, there won’t be any huge overhauls, but there are some areas that Apple is working on.

Will it be called the Apple Watch X or Apple Watch Series 10?

Naming conventions are perhaps the least interesting thing about Apple products. But alas, here we are.

Nobody knows what Apple will call the 10th generation Apple Watch. But there are some logical arguments that it will be called the Apple Watch Series X. This is because Apple called the 10th generation of the iPhone the ‘iPhone X’.

Part commemoration and part marketing strategy, Apple might do this for the next Apple Watch. But we don’t know for sure because the only other Apple product to reach its 10th birthday (the iPad) was just called the iPad 10th Generation.

Elon Musk’s Twitter rebrand to X may also have some considerable sway so, for what it’s worth, my money is on ‘Apple Watch Series 10’.

Operating System

Apple typically introduces new versions of watchOS alongside hardware releases. So we can be confident that the Apple Watch X will be powered by watchOS 11.

watchOS 10 saw Apple overhaul its app compatibility to make them work with larger display sizes. watchOS 11 probably won’t be this transformative, unless a new bigger screen is introduced again. 

Most likely we’ll see efficiency refinements, bug fixes and anything to facilitate new health features.

Design

Rumours from Mark Gurman at Bloomberg suggest that Apple is looking to overhaul the way straps attach to the Apple Watch X. The reason being that the current mechanism takes up more room than needed so a new strap system could potentially free up space inside the watch, allowing for a slimmer design. 

Or, Apple could go the other way and use the space for new components to be added inside the watch casing like sensors or even a bigger battery

The new strap attachment mechanism is likely to end compatibility with retro watch straps and other older strap designs.

As for colours, we haven’t got a clue. But we can expect similar to those released in 2023, a (PRODUCT)RED variant and maybe something special to commemorate 10 generations.

Battery

Apple’s potential redesign of the strap mechanism means there should be more space inside the watch casing for improvements. This could mean a larger battery to facilitate a longer battery life. 

The Apple Watch Series 9 has a battery life of 18 hours which is fine but nothing mind-blowing. More battery is always going to be welcome so Apple should be targeting it as a major improvement.

New Sensors – Blood Glucose and Sleep Apnea

Sleep Apnea Sensor

Once again, Mark Gurman has the down-low for us here. Apple is reportedly adding a sleep apnea detector to the Apple Watch Series X. 

Sleep apnea is a condition where people repeatedly stop breathing during sleep. The new Apple Watch would assess breathing patterns and heart rate to determine if a user needs to consult a doctor.

Hypertension Sensor

In a similar vein, Apple is also looking to add a hypertension sensor to alert users when their blood pressure may be high. Although at the start it will only be able to detect a trend in blood pressure, later models will be able to give exact blood pressure figures. This would be a genuinely useful and potentially life-saving addition.

Blood Glucose Sensor

Beyond that, there is also the prospect of a blood glucose sensor. This will use short-wave infrared absorption spectroscopy. In normal-person speak, that means your watch will shine lasers through your skin and determine glucose levels via the intensity of the light reflected back.

Apple is currently having trouble with accuracy on the glucose sensor with different skin tones which may delay the rollout. As such, the Apple Watch X might only get a simplified pre-diabetes warning sensor that tracks glucose trends rather giving than specific numbers.

Apple Watch X Release Date

If Apple follows its normal release schedule for Apple Watches, the Apple Watch X will be announced in September 2024. It would be made available for purchase in October.

Conclusion

We’ll learn more about the Apple Watch X as the year goes on. Apple may have been delayed slightly by the recent fiasco around the Apple Watch ban, but a timely resolution should mean they are back on track. 

There may even be some hints dropped at WWDC 24 in June. For now, though, we’ll just have to wait. 

Are you excited for the next Apple Watch? Let me know below!

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