Apple Watch 8 rumors: new features, release date history and price
Apple Watch 8 release date and and rumors suggest we'll see a new smartwatch with a rugged edition this fall, but it'll lack sensors for blood sugar and blood pressure.
The Apple Watch rumors suggest that its release date is on track for this fall, but as of today, it won’t come with blood sugar and blood pressure monitors that were part of a series of Apple Watch leaks previously. They are, however, being tested at Apple.
The Apple Watch 8, expected to be released on September 23, 2022, may share the same launch event one-and-a-half weeks earlier as the iPhone 14 release date news Apple has a long history of announcing its new smartphone – and often its new Apple Watch – during the second full week of September at 1pm ET and making it available in stores the Friday of the next week (the third Friday of a full week in September).
There are going to be three Apple Watch 8 versions this time around: Apple Watch SE 2022, and the sporty Apple Watch Rugged Edition. But the latest Apple Watch 8 news shows that testing of the blood-pressure monitor has hit a snag, writes Bloomberg’s ace reporter on the Apple beat Mark Gurman.
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Why trust my Apple Watch 8 analysis?
I’ve reviewed, tested or owned every Apple Watch since the original Apple Watch launched in April 2015. So news coverage of the Apple Watch 8 is nothing new to me and I can tell which rumors seem accurate and which seem far-fetched.
I have also tested rival smartwatches from Samsung and fitness trackers from Fitbit, which often launch novel tech features ahead of Apple. The blood pressure monitor, for example, is already in the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4, as I’ll explain below. So I’m fully versed in the smartwatch space to write Apple Watch 8 news.
Apple Watch 8 release date history
The Apple Watch 8 release date would be harder to pin down if it wasn’t for Apple’s long history of launching a new Apple Watch every September since the Apple Watch Series 2, with the expectation of the Apple Watch 7, which faced delays and came out in October instead. So far, Apple Watch 8 rumors don’t indicate a delay.
Apple Watch 1 release date: April 24, 2015
Apple Watch 2 release date: September 12, 2016
Apple Watch 3 release date: September 22, 2017
Apple Watch 4 release date: September 21, 2018
Apple Watch 5 release date: September 20, 2019
Apple Watch 6 release date: September 18, 2020
Apple Watch 7 release date: October 15, 2021
The Apple Watch release date history indicates that September 23 is the most likely release date. With no reporting about Apple Watch delays so far, we’re on track.
Apple Watch 8 price
There’s no word on an Apple Watch 8 price increase in the report. The current Apple Watch 7 starts at $399 and the Apple Watch SE starts at $279. The Apple Watch 3 hangs on at $199 as of today, April 19, but that may end on September 23, 2022.
My retail sources – the same insiders who provide me PS5 restock information – expect Apple to discontinue the Series 3 as soon we have an Apple Watch 8 launch date. Supply of the $199 Apple Watch should dwindle leading up to the fall. The Apple Watch SE 2 should take its place as the lowest-priced option.
No Apple Watch 8 blood pressure monitor
The Apple Watch blood-pressure sensor – said to be four years in development – won’t be ready until at least 2024, meaning it may be an Apple Watch 9 feature, with the caveat that the sensor could slip to a further date in 2025.
Apple’s biggest rivals in the smartwatch space, Samsung and Fitbit, are further along today. I tested the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 blood pressure monitor seven months ago (and Galaxy Watch 3 before that) but it requires frequent calibration to reduce unpredictable readouts. This is likely what Apple – the “it just works” company – wants to avoid. Google-owned Fitbit launched a study last year for some users.
Even with the Apple Watch 8 delay, the planned blood pressure feature isn’t being designed to detail specific systolic and diastolic readings, reports Gurman. It’s looking for trends to warn of hypertension (high blood pressure). This sounds similar to alerts sent by an Apple Watch 4 or later (but not the SE) when the ECG detects an irregular heartbeat or atrial fibrillation (AFib).
If you’re buying an Apple Watch 8, you’ll have to invest in a separate blood pressure sensor for the time being if you want to monitor for blood pressure.
No Apple Watch 8 blood sugar monitor
Apple Watch 8 rumors about a blood sugar monitor have also been reported but are even more premature. That’s become a rule of thumb for smartwatch speculation – it’s a lot more hopeful thinking rather than leaks grounded in reality.
As expected, Apple’s non-invasive blood sugar monitor several years away, reports Gurman, so diabetics will have to continue to rely on third-party glucose meters that can be tied to existing Apple Watch models and the iPhone Health app. The good news is Apple is said to be improving support for third-party blood sugar monitors.
Apple Watch 8 body temperature sensor
The third sensor in development is actually poised to launch with the Apple Watch 8. Apple has been working on a body-temperature sensor to aid fertility planning initially and expand use cases from there. Expect high body temperature alerts rather than taking body temperature measurements, notes Gurman.
New Apple Watch low-power mode
Moving beyond Apple Watch 8 sensors that are coming and now delayed, the WWDC keynote should reveal an Apple watchOS 9 update that comes with a much-needed low-power mode. Currently, Apple’s Power Reserve mode prolongs battery life by turning off all features except the current time. There’s no in-between.
An Apple Watch low-power mode could mimic what we see on the iPhone, where battery-draining features like screen brightness, push notifications and the always-listening “Hey Siri” could be dialed back. We should see the power reserve mode in the watchOS 9 beta and be able to test it right away on June 6 – if Apple doesn’t restrict it to the new Apple Watch 8 while touting better battery life.
Apple Watch 8 satellite connectivity
The Apple Watch 8 could finally bring about satellite connectivity, something we first heard about right before the Apple Watch 7 launched. It’s a new feature that was said to be destined for future Apple Watch and iPhone models. It would enable wearers to send emergency text messages, even out of cellular range.
Along with fall detection, satellite connectivity for sending SOS messages would help cement the Apple Watch as the company’s Swiss Army safety device. A use case for this feature might involve being in a crash or stuck overseas with spotty (or expiring SIM card) cellular connectivity after a robbery (maybe speaking from experience). First responders would be able to get your message.
Health and Workout watchOS 9 app updates
There are some new features coming to the always-expanding Health app on the iPhone care of the forthcoming iOS 16 update, and that ties into what you’ll see with watchOS 9 and Apple Watch 8. Again, we may see a sneak peek at WWDC in June.
Sleep tracking may be more refined while a new medicine management tool could send reminders of when to take pills. Gurman notes that the idea is to have Apple users scan their pill bottles into the Health app, but that not all features may be ready for launch.
The Workout app should continue to see new workout types and additional metrics in the watchOS 9 update, while Apple is rumored to be refreshing watch faces of the Apple Watch. There’s still no third-party watch face support among the Apple Watch 8 leaks today, but maybe that’ll come to future Apple Watch models – along with the now-delayed blood pressure sensor and even more distant blood sugar monitor.
Updated: Tuesday, April 19