Apple Watch Series 2: Specs, straps and all you need to know

Apple is refreshing its smartwatch with three new features. Here are the details.

Apple Watch 2: First parts leak ahead of reveal

2 September

Rumours that Apple is gearing up to release an Apple Watch 2 very soon have been given a significant boost.

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A leak reported in MacRumors says the Cupertino tech giant is planning a new display and a bigger battery for its next wearable device at the very least.

The article focusses on photos and videos of parts shared by Byte, a small UK chain of certified Apple accessory retailers.

As has been previously rumoured, the Apple Watch 2 will get a thinner display - the glassware looks slightly slimmer when placed alongside the original Apple Watch. However, it's unlikely the tech powering the display will be any different – rumours of a Micro LED screen are linked to a third Apple Watch touted for release in 2017.

Byte's battery is significantly larger than the current cell. It's rated for 1.28 watt-hours, which means the 1.6ins (42mm) Apple Watch 2 will have a 334mAh battery – some 35.7 per cent larger than what it has now.

The extra power will probably go to new technologies such as a GPS chip and not specifically for dramatically improved battery life.

The leak also suggest the Apple Watch 2 could be released imminently - Apple has a keynote event scheduled for 7 September.

It's expected the event will see the launch of the iPhone 7, but considering the Apple Watch has been out since April 2015, it's due a replacement and many have speculated it will also feature next week.

Apple Watch 2 could lack one crucial feature

19 August

Rumour has it that Apple is set to release an Apple Watch 2 later this year - but there could be bad news in store for potential buyers.

A new report by Bloomberg says Apple's plans to bring in the much-demanded cellular connectivity have run into difficulties. An Apple Watch with cellular data could potentially operate and execute many major functions without having to be paired to an iPhone, a requirement that's one of the main gripes of the first generation device.

The Apple Watch 2 will, however, have vastly improved health tracking and feature GPS-based location tracking.

Bloomberg's sources say Apple has held talks about a cellular smartwatch with major mobile phone and data operators in the US and Europe. If the companies worked together, wearers would be able to access the internet, emails and maps without needing to have an iPhone nearby or paired.

One reason why the launch of a cellular version is being postponed is that the battery technology simply isn't good enough for the time being - cellular chips consume too much power and they would severely hamper the amount of time users could wear their Apple Watch.

It's a big blow and while TechRadar says there's still plenty of room for surprises between now and the watch's much-anticipated release, the failure to provide this crucial feature could lead many prospective buyers to hold out for Apple Watch 3.

More and more information about the next Apple wearable is currently being leaked. The device could be unveiled as early as next month, alongside the iPhone 7.

Apple Watch 2: Release date, rumours, and specs

11 August

Apple's smartwatch sold 1.7 million units in the last quarter and estimates suggest the company has shifted more than 12 million units since its introduction in 2015 to become the market leader.

It's a device that Alphr says is a "brilliant, highly capable smartwatch" - but critics say there are little niggles letting the Apple Watch down.

In particular, the wearable's over-reliance on the iPhone makes it a pointless buy if you don't have a fifth-generation handset and even then you have to keep the watch mated to it to access the killer features.

Despite being the most popular smartwatch, some say Apple hasn't quite nailed the format yet and the next generation device needs new, independent features to flourish. It's something the company could deliver on quite soon – critics believe a new Apple Watch will launch this year.

Speculation is brewing alongside rumours and leaks, leading to a picture of the Apple Watch 2 slowly emerging. Here's what's being said.


MacRumors has previously picked up two reports regarding the Apple Watch 2's design, both with very different ideas.

The first note, issued by Apple analyst Brian White, of Wall Street firm Drexel Hamilton, makes for the most exciting reading. He believes the next wearable could be "20 per cent to 40 per cent thinner".

However, a contrasting report by Ming Chi-Kuo, who is renowned for his accuracy, says fans should not expect a big design overhaul.

The watch will adopt the same upgrade cycle as the iPhone, he says, with "S" models simply featuring hardware updates released in alternate years to the major developments. As such, he believes the Apple Watch 2 will come with very minor design changes, but will boast brand new specs underneath.

Hardware and new features

One of the biggest hardware additions could be the inclusion of a FaceTime camera, a rumour that has been peddled as far back as last June. 9 to 5 Mac says a small camera capable of recording video could be embedded into the top bezel, allowing wearers to answer calls from their wrists.

Pocket Lint cites rumours that the watch will get a faster wi-fi chipset to handle more data transfer and make for more accurate location services. A bigger battery made possible through a thinner display could also be on the cards.

However, one of the biggest rumoured features is cellular connectivity, with improved functions when the watch isn't paired to an iPhone. MacRumors picks up an article published in the New York Times claiming buyers will be able to choose models with 3G or 4G connectivity.

Users would have to pay for a data plan, but Apple Watch would be able to receive messages away from a wi-fi connection and without being paired to an iPhone, alongside a host of other features, such as GPS functions and streaming Apple Music.

In terms of display technology, Digitimes tips Apple to shake things up next year, with a new display moving the game on from the OLED panel in use on the first generation watch.

The site claims an Apple Watch with a Micro LED display could come at some stage in 2017 – a move which would a thinner wearable but with a brighter, more vibrant screen using less battery power.

However, that could also mean the new display isn't intended for the next Apple Watch – it's rumoured by many that we'll be seeing Apple's second watch much sooner. It may only be an Apple Watch 2 addition if the company adopts an interim "S" model upgrade cycle as it does with its smartphones.

The latest word is the addition of a GPS chip, though, something raised by 9to5Mac in what the site says is a "sketchy" leak. This would be ideal for those who use their watch as an exercise mate, as it would offer accurate workout logging without the need to keep an iPhone close by, and it could be mated to new fitness apps, including an addition to the existing Workout – the ability to track swimming. If true, this would also mean the next Apple Watch will come with a much higher level of waterproofing.

Apple Watch camera

Following early hints that Apple is considering fitting a camera to its next wearable, Patently Apple has uncovered patents held by the tech giant strongly hinting that an Apple Watch with a camera is under consideration.

The site says the system is the "ultimate selfie camera", with the patents outlining a camera fitted to the watch face. It could also mean users would be able to make and receive FaceTime calls straight form their wrists.

However, the front-facing sensor isn't the only camera system outlined in the patents. They also mention a lens fitted along one of the edges.

This would make selfies awkward, it's true, but it would make it easier for the wearer to capture images around them. It also paves the way for the likes of barcode and QR code-scanning capabilities.

The same patent outlines two new, possibly touch-sensitive buttons, too, but with no description as to what they are for. There are also new ways to interact with the watch through the digital crown.


Apple unveiled WatchOS 3 at its 2016 Worldwide Developers Conference on Monday, revealing a handful of new features from the current OS 2 running smartwatch.

The headline act is improved performance. The company claims the Apple Watch can launch apps seven times faster with the new system and will constantly update them in the background, so they're always ready to go.

There's a slight rethink in terms of user interface – an iPhone-like control centre can be accessed by swiping up on the watch face. There are also brand new designs which can be flicked through by swiping left.

Scribble allows users to write on their Apple Watch. By crudely drawing out letters with your finger, you can write short replies to messages and emails.

New fitness tracking and apps have also been introduced and there's a new emergency feature – holding down the side button for a few seconds will prompt your linked iPhone to call the emergency services. Developer previews are out now, with a full rollout expected this autumn.

More battery life?

Rumours suggest the next watch will use a thinner display to make room for a larger battery.

According to Wareable, this is an essential upgrade as many of the key features missing from the first generation Apple Watch had to be dropped because of battery life qualms.

However, they add that Apple is likely to see it differently. The tech giant, much as it has done with the iPad, will look at ways to make battery usage more efficient in relation to the features the next watch will pack. The same lifespan could be on the cards, but with new battery consuming features as a trade-off.

New variations?

MacWorld says Apple could be looking to introduce new variants beyond the current line-up of Sports, Steel and Edition, with a premium version rumoured to emerge.

The fourth Apple Watch tier could sit in-between the most expensive version of the Apple Watch Steel, currently priced at £949, and the cheapest version of the flagship Apple Watch Edition, which starts from £8,000.

The company is allegedly interested in attracting customers willing to spend four figures on a premium wearable but are put off by the Edition's asking price. It's not known what Apple could do to make this new watch different from its current offerings, seeing as a design overhaul may not be on the cards, but it could feature bands made from high quality materials, as well as an all-new construction, possibly made from tungsten, palladium, titanium or even platinum.


Some of the earliest Apple Watch 2 rumours centred on a reveal at some point early in 2016 -specifically April, given that the first watch, which was introduced alongside the iPhone 6 in September 2014, hit stores the following April.

Apple did pencil in a keynote event for that month, but the device did not emerge. Instead, we were treated to the iPhone SE and a 9.7ins iPad Pro.

Some believed the device could emerge at the developers conference but in the event, only WatchOS 3 appeared.

As a result, there's only one potential reveal date left for 2016 – September, alongside the iPhone 7.

The latest word on this comes via 9to5Mac, which cites a report from the "variously-reliable" Digitimes claiming that Apple Watch 2 will be revealed later this year.

If, as expected, the iPhone 7 doesn't represent huge change over the iPhone 6S, a second-generation Apple wearable should give the handset's launch "more punch", 9to5Mac adds.

Could Apple give us two watches in 2016?

The latest word from respected KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is that Apple's new watch, which she predicts will appear before the end of the year, won't change design but will come with GPS, waterproofing and a barometer.

But she has also suggested that a second Apple Watch could be on the cards in the next few months.

However, this device won't be marketed as a new model, says Kuo. Instead, she tips it to be a refreshed, more powerful version of the original device, says MacRumors.

The upgraded first generation Apple Watch will be fitted with a faster processor chip manufactured by TSMC and come with some waterproofing of its own, although the likes of GPS won't be heading its way.

The watch should also be joined by a price cut, meaning cheaper but more powerful Apple wearables could be on sale towards the end of the year.

Apple Watch 2: Two new wearables on the cards

8 August

A more powerful Apple Watch with new features is on the way, says respected Apple analyst Ming-chi Kuo.

Kuo's reports have been picked up by MacRumors, which says she has tipped the wearable to arrive in the "second half of 2016", with a faster TSMC processor chip, built-in GPS, a barometer, larger battery and much improved waterproofing capabilities.

However, it won't have 4G cellular connectivity. That's now tipped to be introduced in 2017. There's also no mention of the much-rumoured FaceTime camera or additional wi-fi functions.

Overall, Apple's next wearable should look and feel very similar to its current version, a fact pointing to the company adopting an iPhone like "S" upgrade cycle for its smartwatches.

Added to that, the original Apple Watch could remain on sale, albeit in a refreshed state, according to Kuo.

The upgrades won't be as significant, with faster processor chips and new waterproofing capabilities, although not as strong as on the Apple Watch 2.

Kuo also anticipates that the updated Apple Watch will be swiftly followed by a price cut from the current £259 base price. However, it's unclear if that will apply to every model or just first generation devices.

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