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.

27 June

Apple could completely overhaul the display technology used on the Apple Watch next year, according to a new leak.

Taiwanese insiders Digitimes says that while the tech giant has made use of OLED panels on its first generation wearable – potentially paving the way for future iPhones to move on from LCD and adopt OLED, too – brand new Micro LED display technology will be fitted towards the end of 2017 "at the earliest".

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.


Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up

The timeline suggests the Apple Watch 2, which is hotly rumoured to be arriving later this year alongside the iPhone 7, will come with the same display as its predecessor, says MacRumors, before an Apple Watch 3 with the new technology appears next year, potentially setting a precedent for a yearly upgrade cycle.

Micro LED displays would be thinner, lighter, more colourful and brighter, with higher resolutions, adds the site.

It also points out that respected Apple leaker Ming-Chi Kuo has said this year's Apple Watch will only have an internal upgrade and that it will be the next wearable which will sport significant design changes.

The fact that Apple acquired Micro LED display-maker LuxVue Technologies in 2014 is seen as adding extra support to the rumours.

TechRadar describes Micro LED as a step up from the OLED panel currently used on the Apple Watch, with the greater brightness and power efficiency making for a device with a better display and improved battery life.

However, it could also have an impact on the price - the freshness of the tech could push the cost of the wearable up.

Apple Watch 2: Specs, release date and rumours

Apple Watch 2: Patents reveal new buttons and a camera

20 June

Apple Watch 2 is expected to arrive this September and there's evidence out there to suggest that tech giant will present a heavily revised wearable.

The latest information comes by way of Patently Apple, which has uncovered two patents pointing at new ways to interact with the watch via additional buttons, as well as a potentially huge inclusion – an Apple Watch fitted with a camera.

As Phone Arena points out, rumours that Apple wants to introduce a camera on its smartwatch aren't new. But while other manufacturers have done so in the past, the "hit and miss" nature of these wearables opens up space for the Californian firm to show "how it's meant to be done".

Tech Times notes that the camera could be positioned on the front of the Apple Watch 2 so it can take pictures of the user or be used a FaceTime camera.

However, the patent also points out that a camera could be positioned on the edge of the device and iDigitalTimes says it could be used for scanning barcodes and as a QR scanner.

The information is light, but confirms that Apple could be interested in introducing cameras to its smartwatch.

As for the new buttons, the patent diagrams show an Apple Watch with two new controls attached to the left-hand side, but with no new functions listed for them. As [5] TrustedReviews says, they could be physical or touch-sensitive.

Alongside the buttons are new ways to use the Apple Watch's digital crown – the patent explains how it will, in the future, be able to detect how fast it is being scrolled and could become a touch-sensitive input too.

While the patents are officially from Apple, they should be taken with a grain of salt. They confirm the company's interest in further developing the smartwatch concept, but aren't solid proof of big new hardware additions in the next device.

It's believed Apple will unveil its watch alongside the iPhone 7 at the end of summer.

Continue reading for free

We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.

Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.