Apple Watch 2 release date, news, features, apps and specs

Everything you need to know about the next Apple Watch

Apple Watch 2 at a glance

  • Apple Watch 2 expected to launch in September 2016
  • Up to five Apple Watch 2 models expected to feature, including existing Apple Watch Sport, Apple Watch, and Apple Watch Edition ranges
  • Apple Watch 2 price likely to range from £300 to £14,000 inc VAT
  • Over 3,500 Apple Watch apps are available to download now
  • WatchOS 2, the updated Apple Watch operating system, is available now

Apple Watch: latest news

02/02/2016: Rumours have begun circulating that the Apple Watch 2 could make an appearance in June, with the device's existence seemingly confirmed by supplier Quanta.

The speculation is based on a report on Chinese site United Daily News, which quotes the chairman of Quanta, Barry Lam, as saying the company is currently working with Apple on the second generation smartwatch, with a release date of late in the second quarter of 2016.

However, further investigation by IT Pro has shown this is not quite the whole story.

Lam in fact said that a "small number of devices are expected to begin shipping at the end of the second quarter [of 2016], with bulk shipments in the third quarter".

This would fit with rumours that Apple will release an 's' update to the Apple Watch in spring, along the lines of its previous collaboration with French Fashion house Hermès, with the main event for the second watch release coming in September.

Lam also said he expected demand for the Apple Watch 2 to be stronger than demand for the first device, thanks to an established business model and a more mature wearables market.

Cryptically, he added: "We want to change user behaviour, while still creating a product the user will buy."

25/01/2016: A new Apple Watch range is set to launch in March, according to rumours, but the Apple Watch 2 release date is not thought to be until September.

Apple's wearable will receive an update in March similar to the refresh it had in September 2015, with new watch straps, new casing and potentially a partnership with high-fashion brands other than Hermès, according to 9to5Mac.

It is also likely that WatchOS 2.2, which may initially power the Apple Watch 2, will make an appearance this spring, potentially at Apple's annual WWDC conference.

A full second-generation redesign in the shape of Apple Watch 2 will not appear until the autumn, however, with 9to5Mac speculating on a September release.

The launch of Apple Watch 2 in September would fit with the launch of the original Apple Watch, which made its debut in September 2014 alongside the iPhone 6. It is thought the iPhone 7 will also launch in early September.

It is rumoured that the Watch 2 will introduce additional lines alongside the existing Sport, Watch and Edition ranges. According to MacWorld, the company is targeting the £1,000 to £8,000 range, sitting between the Watch and Edition, with new materials including platinum, palladium, tungsten and titanium.

A FaceTime camera could also feature, which would provide additional functionality already seen on some AndroidWear-powered smartwatches.

While consumers continue to wait for the Watch 2, it is worth noting Apple has not stood still since the release of the Apple Watch, introducing incremental updates, such as the Apple Watch Hermès and new Apple Watch Sport cases, introduced in September 2015 alongside the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus.

Most recently, it has introduced two limited edition Apple Watch Sport models for the Chinese New Year, both featuring red wrist straps, but with different colour aluminium casing - one gold, one silver.

Ahead of the launch of the Apple Watch 2, read all about the existing Apple Watch range here.

13/01/2016: Juniper Research has revealed the Apple Watch was responsible for more than half of all smartwatch shipments in 2015, despite only going on sale in September.

James Moar, who wrote the report, said 17.1 million smart watches shipped last year, of which 8.8 million were Apple Watches. Android Wear-branded competitors accounted for less than 10 per cent of sales.

Juniper attributed the watch's success to its wealth of apps, with 10,000 available on Apple's device compared to only 4,000 for its Android-powered counterparts.

"The smartwatch is now a category waiting for a market," Moar said. "Newer devices have offered more polished looks and subtly different functions, but no large changes in device capabilities or usage. With smartwatch functions established, it is now up to consumers to decide if they want them, rather than technology companies providing more reasons."

The report added that there are still barriers against smartwatch adoption, including that people still don't see the need for one. In fact, of those surveyed, 30 per cent said they probably wouldn't use one even if they bought one.

Apple Watch 2 release date

Apple Watch 2 is expected to launch in early September 2016 alongside the iPhone 7. While the original Apple Watch took seven months to hit shelves after making its first appearance, the refresh it had in autumn 2015 saw no such hold up. Therefore, much like the iPhone, we can expect to see the Apple Watch go on sale in autumn shortly after launch.

Apple Watch price and different versions

Apple Watch 2 will, according to rumours, feature the Sport, Watch and Edition ranges seen in the first Apple Watch, but could also add another two device models, apparently to capture more of the mid-market. Another collaboration with a high-end fashion company, as previously seen with the Apple Watch Hermès, is also said to be on the cards. The Edition could also get an additional case, according to rumours, with the 18 karat gold models that have been available since day one being supplemented with a platinum option.

Potential pricing for Apple Watch 2, therefore, we have estimated as follows:

38mm screen 42mm screen
Apple Watch 2 Sport £300 £350
Apple Watch 2 'X' £380 £450
Apple Watch 2 £480 £950
Apple Watch 2 'Design' £1,000 £1,500
Apple Watch 2 Edition £8,000 £16,000

All prices include VAT.

By our estimation, the price of the Apple Watch 2 Sport is unlikely to rise much, if at all, from the cost of the original Apple Watch Sport at launch partly due to a lack of a rise in interest rates, which would naturally lift the price, and also because of Apple's apparent desire to target as broad a market as possible. For this reason, we have kept the price of the Apple Watch 2 the same as the Apple Watch as well, but have estimated a rise in the top-end price of the Apple Watch 2 Edition in anticipation of the platinum case.

What we have dubbed the Apple Watch 2 Design (it was snappier than 'Y') will inhabit the slot currently occupied by the Apple Watch Hermès, which sits nicely between the Apple Watch and Apple Watch Edition.

The Apple Watch 2 'X' (sadly, a better name escaped us) will fill the not insignificant price gap between the Apple Watch 2 Sport and Apple Watch 2.

Written by Akram Wahid 8 years ago

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