We’re less than a couple months away from what will be Apple’s big Fall event where we’re all expecting Apple to unveil the next-generation iPhone alongside the rumored next-generation Apple Watch. If you’ve been paying attention to the rumors, all the hoopla has focused on the strong possibility that years iPhone will look nearly identical to the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s. But what about the Watch? How come nobody is talking about it? Why is it essentially being seen as side-product that nobody cares about? This is the flaw with the tech press. And I think Apple is setting up to have a monster year with the Apple Watch 2.
Personally speaking, I welcome the change to a 3-year cycle for the iPhone. Why? Because it allows Apple to put the resources it would otherwise need a year sooner on other things, like the Watch. After all, we’re still living with the first-generation Apple Watch. I’d rather see the Watch make a bigger leap than the iPhone at this point.
And I think that’s exactly what’s going to happen. While everyone is focused on the lack of a 3.5mm headphone jack and similar-looking design, I think Apple is focused on making the Apple Watch a must-have product. Put another way, what has the potential to grow more as a business? The iPhone or the Apple Watch?
With watchOS 3, Apple rethought much of the user interface to make what is slow hardware feel much faster. That’s a huge step for those of us who currently own the Apple Watch. But when I think about the next-generation Watch, I think Apple will address a lot of the issues that make the Watch feel so first-generation. In fact, I think the Apple Watch 2 will be as big of a leap if not bigger than the iPad 2 was to the original iPad.
By the time Apple unveils the Apple Watch 2, it will probably be nearly 24 months since the original made its debut. Think about that for a second. What can Apple do in 24 months when it controls the whole stack? Answer: A LOT.
Look past how an iPhone looks and think about what happens in 24 months. Virtually everything changes. RAM, processor, screen technology, cameras, sensors, even materials. Compare an iPhone 5s to an iPhone 6s and it’s a night and day difference in terms of performance and technology. This is the type of leap I’m expecting this fall with the Watch.
I don’t think the industrial design is going to change drastically, but I do think it will change. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Watch get a tad thinner. I also think Apple may do some interesting new finishes with the Sport model, which has clearly become the go-to Watch for most of us. Everything will be improved, I think, from the Taptic Engine to the display cover.
It won’t stop there too. I expect the S2 chip to be a massive jump over the S1 when it comes to performance and efficiency. I also think we’ll see GPS added and maybe even cellular connectivity, something that’s been rumored for a few months now. Another big thing I believe Apple will do is give the Apple Watch 2 an always-on display. That would change how we view the Watch in a big way. Don’t you hate when you turn your wrist sometimes and nothing happens?
All these small little things in combination with watchOS 3 and some new bands (maybe smart bands) will make the Apple Watch 2 a massive leap over the first-generation Watch. In my mind, I think this year’s Watch is the Watch that’s going to lure so many people to buy one, just like the iPad 2 did.
Remember, Apple likely sold less than 20 million Watches since its sales debut in April 2015. There’s a huge opportunity to sell to millions more and I think this year is when we’ll see that happen.