Apple Watch enthusiasts might want to temper their expectations for the Series 9, as reports suggest it will see minimal changes from the current model. The latest leak from Weibo’s “Instant Digital” confirms previous reports that the upcoming Series 9 will be a minor upgrade, focusing largely on performance enhancements rather than new features.
Digging into the details, it seems the changes are all under the hood. The S9 chip, expected to be at the heart of the Series 9, is pegged to have significant improvements over its predecessors: the S6, S7, and S8 chips. These earlier versions, found in Apple Watch models from Series 6 to 8, the second-generation Apple Watch SE, and the Apple Watch Ultra, share almost identical specs – 32GB of storage and a dual-core CPU known as T8301.
These chips are based on the A13 Bionic chip from the iPhone 11 lineup and were manufactured using TSMC’s 7nm process. Interestingly, Apple transitioned to TSMC’s 5nm process with the A14 Bionic chip in 2020.
As Mark Gurman from Bloomberg speculates, the S9 chip could be based on the more advanced A15 Bionic chip, which could lead to improved performance and efficiency. If true, we could expect faster app launch speeds and possibly better battery life. The S9 chip isn’t just for the Series 9 – it’s also expected to be a major upgrade in the upcoming second-generation Apple Watch Ultra.
Remember last year’s Series 8? It was only a small step up from the Series 7, featuring a more powerful gyroscope and accelerometer, Crash Detection, and a body temperature sensor. The Series 9 and the second-generation Apple Watch Ultra seem to be following a similar path with performance upgrades being the primary focus.
As for cosmetic changes, rumors hint at new color options for the 2023 lineup, including a pink Series 9 and a black second-generation Apple Watch Ultra. So while the upgrades might be minor, Apple fans will still have something to look forward to in the upcoming release.