The Apple Watch Series 3 was launched last Autumn and was a critical hit. We also think it has sold quite well, but we don't really know since Apple refuses to outline the numbers sold.
That's probably because the numbers wouldn't look that great up against the numbers of iPhones or Macs sold. However, we do know that Apple's wearables business - including Beats and AirPods is "as big as a Fortune 300 company" - so effectively one of the top 300 US companies.
Tim Cook also said back in February that sales around last Christmas and in that quarter were the best ever for Apple Watch. So what are we expecting from the new Apple Watch?
When is the Apple Watch Series 4 release date?
- Surely an autumn release date
- Will run watchOS 5
If there is a new watch this year, it'll be announced at the same time as the iPhone XI, so in September. That means the Apple Watch Series 4 release date will probably be late September or early October.
The new Apple Watch software update - watchOS 5 - was announced at Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) in early June.
Apple trailed several new features in watchOS 5 including a lot of new Activity and Workout features, the Walkie Talkie app and interactive notifications. Find out more about watchOS 5 features.
Apple Watch Series 4 design and display be like?
- A new design could be on the cards
- A larger display, too?
It wouldn't be too farfetched to assume that Apple will change the design of the Watch, as it has retained much the same form since the very first Series 1 model launched in 2015.
The display seems to be the key specification that will be upgraded for Series 4. Straight off the back of the new iPad 9.7-inch launch, usually-reliable KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has issued a new report saying the upcoming Apple Watch Series 4, due out later this year, will have a 15 per cent larger display.
Along with a larger display, Kuo says the new Apple smartwatch will have improved health monitoring capabilities and a longer battery life than the current Series 3 model.
However, while Kuo says the Series 4 will come with a larger display, he doesn't say whether the size of the casing will increase too, or if Apple will keep the current size and just shrink the bezels.
KGI: NEW Apple Watch models coming later this fall with new design, ~15% bigger display, enhanced health monitoring and longer battery life. pic.twitter.com/O1ZmgEoXRH— Ben Geskin (@VenyaGeskin1) 27 March 2018
Twitter tipster Ben Geskin (@VenyaGeskin1) has waded in on the debate and produced a mockup of what he thinks the new Watch will look like, based on Kuo's predictions. His design shows the same size Watch, but with much slimmer bezels.
However, if the battery life does increase, the Watch may need a larger casing to accommodate a larger battery.
In each, his imagined Apple Watch Series 4 is on the left, as shown with a Pink Sand Sport Loop band. A generic Apple Watch from Series 1 to 3 is shown on the right.
Previous rumours have pointed to the new Watch having touch sensitive buttons on the sides and haptic feedback instead of physical equivalents, but that's not evident on Geskin's designs. For our money, we think Apple will retain the digital crown because it is a point of differentiation.
As for release date, it is said that the new Apple Watch Series 4 will debut in September alongside the latest batch of iPhones. We will keep you posted.
Apple Watch Series 4 buttons
- Will the digital crown be replaced?
- Improved water resistance?
Apple may also e looking to replace the buttons on the Apple Watch with solid-state buttons for the Apple Watch 4, according to a report from Fast Company.
The move to solid-state buttons will allow the Apple Watch to be more water-resistant because there will be no gap needed for movement, and it will also free up space inside the Watch, which could be used for a larger battery.
The report, which cites a source with direct knowledge of Apple's plans, says that Apple will stick with the current button configuration of the digital crown and side button.
Fast Company's source said these changes could make their way into the new Watch that Apple is expected to announce later this year, but we may not get a new Apple Watch until 2019, anyway.
Got an Apple Watch already? Then check out the best Apple Watch accessories: Protect and personalise your watch