Apple Watch Series 9 is expected to debut in September alongside an all-new iPhone 15. If last year and Apple Watch Series 8 is anything to go by, it's quite likely that this next model will be a fairly modest upgrade, with Apple offering more options and price points to users with multiple models including the Apple Watch SE and Apple Watch Ultra. With a cheaper and more expensive version of the watch, there's not much room left for a major upgrade to Apple Watch Series 9, and that's exactly what we've been hearing.
There are no major hardware upgrades expected for the Apple Watch this year, which is a shame given the Apple Watch Series 8 was also quite a slow year.
Here's everything we know about Apple Watch Series 9 so far -- and everything we'd love to see, fanciful or not.
Apple Watch Series 9: What we’d like to see
Big Series 9 asks from the iMore team include the introduction of diabetes tracking, something that's been in the Apple Watch rumor mill for literally years. The prospect of non-invasive blood glucose monitoring could change the game for anyone with diabetes. Unfortunately, we don't expect this will be ready in time for Apple Watch Series 9.
We’d also love to see Touch ID in the Digital Crown, or the side button for that matter, to improve security overall.
One thing iMore would love to see is some slightly tougher, scratch-resistant glass, as just six months into my Apple Watch Series 8 journey my screen is absolutely rife with scratches. We’d also like to see more third-party faces, and even more improvements to Apple Watch bands, perhaps with options for blood pressure sensing and more.
With September and the iPhone 15 on the horizon, we don’t have long to wait to find out exactly what Apple has in store for us this year.
Apple Watch Series 9: Release date rumors and expected launch
As noted, every Apple Watch Series update has debuted at the September iPhone event since the Apple Watch Series 3 in 2017. There are no rumors either to this effect or to the contrary regarding the Apple Watch Series 9 release date, which I would also expect to fall in early September again this year.
Given the Apple Watch is first-and-foremost an iPhone accessory, it makes sense that Apple would debut its next wearable alongside its new iPhone when all of the eyes of the world are on Apple.
As with the iPhone, the Apple Watch usually debuts on a Tuesday, is made available for pre-order that Friday, and then released in stores and online a week later. We’d expect the iPhone 15 event to fall on either September 5 or September 12.
Apple Watch Series 9: Price expectations
Apple has remained ultra-consistent with its Apple Watch Series pricing for five straight years, with every “flagship” costing $399 as a starting price point. When it comes to Apple Watch, adding bands, a larger display, and cellular capability could see the price mounting up fast, but we would expect the Apple Watch Series 9 to sit firmly in the $399 price bracket. As the starting point for the 41mm option with GPS, at least.
Apple Watch Series 9: Design
The Apple Watch design hasn’t changed much since the Apple Watch Series 7, which brought those sweeping edges and a larger display. It was a subtle yet significant change that made the Apple Watch easier to use and view, and I’ve loved it since. The only other major Apple Watch design change since is, of course, the Apple Watch Ultra. I’d expect Apple to reserve that form factor for its rugged premium model, however. One of the only leaks we’ve heard is that Apple will retain the 1.71/1.92-inch displays from the Apple Watch Series 8 in the Series 9, according to analyst David Hsieh, who does not have a track record of Apple leaks. Hsieh claims the Apple Watch Series X will adopt a larger screen coming in 2024.
Mark Gurman claims Apple Watch's impending processor upgrade "won’t affect the look of the watches," suggesting minimal design changes can be expected.
Apple Watch Series 9: Features
New features to Apple Watch have been few and far between in recent iterations. However, the biggest talking point in the Apple Watch rumor mill is definitely the prospect of non-invasive blood glucose monitoring that could allow users with diabetes to monitor their blood sugar and glucose levels without the need for a pinprick. Apple has apparently been working on this feature for 12 years, however, and unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like this will be ready in time for Apple Watch Series 9.
One feature we’ve yet to see come to Apple Watch is Touch ID. Entering a numeric password is a bit of a pain on such a small display, and Apple has filed a patent for Touch ID housed in the Watch’s side button. Rumors have previously also suggested that Apple could put Touch ID in the Apple Watch’s Digital Crown or even under the display!
Apple Watch Series 9: Processor
Bloomberg's Mark Gurman says that "the big change" coming to Apple Watch this year "will be a processor upgrade," the first in three years. That will hopefully mean better, snappier browsing and performance, as well as possibly better connectivity, and workout tracking.
With the Apple Watch getting some serious hardware upgrades in 2022, we're getting excited about what Apple might have in store for the next edition of its wearable operating system, watchOS 10. What might we see?
Third-party watch faces is a feature that's been long requested. While users have been able to install third-party apps since watchOS 2, Apple has not allowed watch faces to be distributed in the App Store.
Since the launch of the Watch, Apple has introduced a bunch of watch faces that have been great to use - some charming, some useful. The Toy Story and Mickey Mouse watch faces come to mind as the ones as close to third-party watch faces that have arrived on the wearable. Will watchOS 10 change the game?
Weather watch faces? If Apple doesn't introduce third-party watch faces, let's see a new one that revolves around the redesigned weather app (opens in new tab). We've been big fans of Apple's weather app since its debut in iOS 14 - we use it constantly, and more so since it made the move to iPadOS and macOS in 2022.
Time travel is a feature iMore's editors used all the time when it arrived with watchOS 2, and we were all disappointed when it was removed with watchOS 5. Using the crown of your Apple Watch, you could go forward in time to check on the weather and calendar entries for example. Will OS 10 bring it back? Please?
Get more iMore in your inbox!
Our news, reviews, opinions, and easy to follow guides can turn any iPhone owner into an Apple aficionado
Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.
Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9