Apple Watch Series 9: what to expect when it arrives 

Might the Apple Watch 9 be right for you?

While the Watch Series 8 was only released in September 2022, attention is already turning toward the hotly anticipated release of the Apple Watch Series 9, which is expected later this year.  

If you’re considering buying your first Apple Watch, or upgrading from an existing one, then having an idea of what to expect from the brand’s next timepiece will help you decide whether you should wait or buy now.

We’ve rounded up all the key rumours and speculation to identify what we can most likely expect when the Apple Watch 9 is finally released.

As always, take all this with a pinch of your preferred sodium-based condiment, as leaks can often be erroneously based on prototype versions of the tech. 

The Apple Watch Series 8 on a wood effect backgroundCredit: Shutterstock/WartinTech

Apple Watch 9 release date

Likely to arrive in September

Apple is notoriously secretive about release dates for its products, so every year we must don our deerstalker hat and do our best Basil Rathbone impersonation.

Luckily, Apple’s release cycle for its watches has been very consistent over the years. Since 2016, every Apple Watch has released in September (apart from the Series 7, which appeared in October 2021, reportedly due to production issues).  

There’s no reason to expect this to change, and the likelihood is the Apple Watch Series 9 will be announced at an Apple event in September, alongside the anticipated iPhone 15.  

After the watch is announced, the ‘official’ release date tends to follow a week or so later. 

Apple Watch release date history

Model  Announcement Date  Release Date 
Apple Watch  Tue, September 9 2014  Fri, April 24 2015 
Apple Watch Series 1 & Series 2  Wed, September 7 2016  Fri, September 16 
Apple Watch 3  Tue, September 12 2017  Fri, September 22 
Apple Watch 4  Wed, September 12 2018  Fri, September 21 
Apple Watch 5 & SE  Tue, September 10 2019  Fri, September 20 
Apple Watch 6  Tue, September 15 2020  Fri, September 18 
Apple Watch 7  Tue, September 14 2021  Fri, October 15 
Apple Watch Ultra, 8 & SE (2nd Gen)  Wed, September 7 2022  Fri, September 16 (Ultra September 23) 

Drilling deeper, every Apple Watch since 2016 (with the exception of the original and the Series 7) has gone on sale on a Friday between September 16 and 23. With that in mind, it points to either Friday September 15 or Friday September 22 as the most likely Watch 9 release dates.    

As Apple’s Watch and iPhone announcements tend to happen on a Tuesday or Wednesday, these September events have happened in a window between September 7 (the earliest so far) and September 15 (the latest to date).  

Given that it would be the earliest ever, it would be a slight surprise to see an Apple event as early as September 5 or 6 this year. September 12 or 13 would appear to be more likely, and therefore September 22 as the strongest candidate for the Apple Watch 9 release date. 

A woman working out in her living room with the Apple Watch on her wristCredit: Apple

Apple Watch 9 specs

Small changes expected

In terms of the basic design, we aren’t currently anticipating any major departures from the existing Series 8, which itself was very similar to the Series 7. Historically, Apple Watches seem to have significant design changes after three generations.  

The Series 7 brought a noticeably larger screen compared to its predecessor, for example, and was the first Apple Watch to carry that design. If Apple carries on with this convention, then the Series 9 would be the last model of the current design ‘cycle’ before a more dramatic change in 2024. 

We don’t, at this stage at least, expect any major changes in terms of design this year, barring the possibility of new colours just to differentiate the new watch. But there are rumours of a few ‘under the hood’ changes, which could be interesting. 

One possibility is an improved processor, which could lead to better performance, and (dare we dream?) improved battery life.  

Battery life is arguably the single biggest drawback of an Apple Watch. So anything that ekes a few extra hours, or offers a full day without relying on Low Power Mode, would be a significant step up. Even if it still lags behind many other smartwatches on this front.  

The Garmin Venu 2, for example, advertises battery life of over ten days.  

What will the Apple Watch 9 be called?

What’s in a name?

Intriguingly, there is speculation about the potential name of the next Apple Watch. Apple famously skipped the iPhone 9, and went straight from iPhone 8 to iPhone X. And, according to French website iPhoneSoft (via Forbes) there is a suggestion (apparently from someone within Apple) that it will do the same with the Apple Watch, going from Series 8 to Series 10 this year. 

Now, there are several reasons why this could make sense. Apple has never confirmed why they decided to skip the iPhone 9 in 2017. But speculation suggests that because that was the 10th year of iPhone – and the new model was a major change from the iPhone 8 going straight to ‘X’ made sense from a marketing perspective.

It’s also been noted that 9 is considered an unlucky number in Japan because it sounds similar to the word for suffering. And from a marketing and sales point of view, that’s not ideal. 

Whether or not Apple decides to skip a number, it still seems unlikely that this watch will see the kind of major updates that the iPhone X delivered.  

Apple Watch Series 8 Hermes EditionCredit: Apple

Possible features

A few possibilities

The Watch 8 delivered a host of new features, including temperature sensing, crash detection, and updates to apps such as the Workout app and the Compass app alongside the release of WatchOS 9 

We’d expect to see Apple continue to build on this, given the increasing competitiveness of the smartwatch market. Features such as blood pressure monitoring, which is available on the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5, for example, would be an obvious addition.

WatchOS 10

The release of a new Apple Watch generally coincides with a new version of the operating system. Forbes has reported a possible redesign of the Apple Watch home screen.

There’s also a possibility that the watch will sync with more than one Apple device, rather than being tied to a specific iPhone. The implications of this are not totally clear, but once again, we can attempt to join the dots.

Well-known Apple correspondent Mark Gurman has written that the Health app (which syncs with the Apple Watch) is coming to iPad this year. This would potentially confirm that an Apple Watch will work with iPad in the future.

New Apple Watch 9 features?

We may see certain features from the Apple Watch Ultra (the ultra-premium watch released in 2022 alongside the Watch 8) start to trickle down into the less expensive models.

For example, this could include updating the GPS function to improve location tracking. The Watch Ultra currently offers dual-frequency GPS, which might come the Series 9 this year. We could even see the introduction of 5G capability, as that continues to expand its coverage. 

Another feature to consider is what chip Apple will use power to the Watch. Every new Apple Watch appears to be given a new chip – the Series 8 uses an S8 chip, the Series 7 has an S7, and so on.

But actually, the Series 6, Series 7 and Series 8 all have the same chip, just with a different name. It’s possible that the S9 chip (which we expect to see in the Apple Watch 9) will actually be a new chip, with the notable performance improvements that would come with it.  

Marc Gurman also tweeted about new features, stating: “the Apple Watch hardware updates will be anything but major”. He also suggests that it will be in 2024 when the watch will see a major update, including plans for a larger, custom-built display.

To reiterate, much of this is speculation, or can be filed under ‘things we’d like to see’. But we will almost certainly get more concrete information as we move closer to the release date. 

Apple Watch 9 price

We’re expecting similar prices

Apple has tried to be consistent with its pricing over the years, with its watches generally staying within a fairly tight price range of between £369 (for the Series 7) and £399 for the Series 4 and 5.

The Series 8 saw a relatively significant price bump in 2022 however, launching at £419 in the UK.  

It’s possible then, that Apple will try not to increase the price of the Apple Watch Series 9, given the size of the increase last year. Or, if it does increase the price, we’d expect it to be minimal, unless Apple surprises us with a raft of new features.

Should you wait for the Apple Watch 9?

Is it worth hanging on?

If you’re already in the market for a new smartwatch, then we wouldn’t recommend waiting another five months for the next Apple watch to be unveiled.

If it was just a few weeks away, we’d suggest that you hold off, and wait for the new product. But at this stage, you’ll be waiting a long time. 

It’s much better to enjoy the benefits of a current Apple Watch (if you’re not sure which one to go for, take a look at our ‘Which Apple Watch is right for you’ article to help) with all their features. Regardless of what a new model might have to offer, these are all still fantastic smartwatches in their own right. 

We’ll continue to update this article as new rumours and information come to light.

Steven Shaw

Written by Steven Shaw he/him


Steven is a Staff Writer for Fitness at Saga Exceptional, primarily focusing on fitness tech, and how we can use technology to help us achieve our fitness goals. Prior to joining the team at Saga, Steven was a freelance writer for a variety of outlets, most notably TechRadar.

His degree in Medieval History prepared him less adequately for his career than you might expect, but the years spent working in technology focused retail were much more helpful.

Outside of work, Steven is passionate about health and fitness, and particularly enjoys high-intensity interval training, weight training, and increasingly, spending time recovering. Steven loves reading, films and a wide variety of sports. A particular highlight was watching Viv Richards and Sachin Tendulkar batting together in an exhibition match.

He wishes he could travel more. He can also tell you a lot about the Anglo-Saxons, Vikings, and Carolingians. Most of his non-work time is spent with his young children, who are the living embodiment of high-intensity training.

  • Email