New Apple Watch models debut each fall like clockwork, and the countdown to Apple Watch Series 7 is well underway. In this roundup, we’re tracking everything we know so far about the next-generation Apple Watch. If you’re anything like me, Apple Watch Series 7 can’t come soon enough!

The lineup

Apple’s Fall 2020 Apple Watch lineup includes three models: Apple Watch Series 3 ($199), Apple Watch SE ($279), and Apple Watch Series 6 ($399).

Lack of support for Family Setup and other features on the Series 3 make it less compelling than the Apple Watch SE, but the $80 price difference is hard to overcome for smart buyers on a budget. It seems entirely possible that Apple Watch Series 3 could be discontinued in the next lineup while Apple Watch SE takes a price cut and sticks around.

There is evidence that Series 3 could be untouchable in the lineup however. watchOS 8, the upcoming software update for Apple Watch, maintains support for the model that launched in 2017. If Series 3 remains a product in Apple’s lineup into 2022, hopefully the $199 price goes even lower to make the starting price the lowest yet.

That’s speculation for now, but Apple Watch Series 7 replacing Series 6 this fall is all but certain. (Series 5 replaced Series 4, and Series 6 replaced Series 5.) That’s where the most interesting changes occur.

Design

Will the Apple Watch Series 7 look different? At this point, we’re banking on it. Apple Watch Series 6 introduced new red and blue aluminum colors and a graphite variant of the classic space black stainless steel casing. Apple Watch Series 7 could debut the first design tweak since the shift to a full-screen design with Apple Watch Series 4.

In September 2020, supply chain analyst Ming-Chi Kuo shared the ultimate teaser by predicting a new Apple Watch design could be ready as early as Series 7. Kuo warned that the Series 6 would retain the Series 4 design while adding that a “significant form factor design change would come with new Apple Watch models in 2H21 at the earliest.”

Jon Prosser, a prominent scoopster in the Apple community, surfaced renders that depict what he believes will be the new look of Apple Watch this fall. Flat sides and a new green color? We’re not raising an eyebrow to this claim.

Bloomberg has separately reported that the Apple Watch Series 7 will feature thinner bezels around the screen and a new lamination technique that reduces the gap between the display and glass. Consider us hyped.

If you’re looking for a reduction in depth this year, however, don’t hold your breath. That report adds that a slight increase in thickness is expected.

Sensors

Apple Watch contributes much of its success to a healthy suite of sensors that monitor a person’s overall wellbeing. For that reason, it makes sense to continue accelerating what’s possible for health through the Apple Watch.

Apple Watch Series 4 introduced the ECG function, Apple Watch Series 5 brought the always-on display, including for the Workout app, and Apple Watch Series 6 was the first to offer blood oxygen level measurements.

Rumors have included that Apple Watch Series 7 could be a breakthrough in blood sugar level detection. ET News out of Korea reported in January 2021 that both Samsung and Apple are working on bringing blood sugar measurements to their watches this year:

Samsung Electronics will be equipped with a blood glucose measurement function in the new smart watch ‘Galaxy Watch 4’ (tentative name) to be introduced in the second half of this year. It is a no-blood sampling method that detects the level of glucose in the blood without blood collection using an optical sensor, and is expected to contribute to the health management of the general public as well as diabetics […]

Not only Samsung Electronics, but also Apple is applying the blood glucose measurement function to the Apple Watch 7 to be introduced this year. With the related patent technology secured, it is focusing on ensuring reliability and stability prior to making the technology available.

Newer and deeper reporting from Bloomberg has included that blood sugar measurement is likely years away at this point. The same report includes that while Apple has been working on temperature monitoring with Apple Watch, that feature is likely slated for next year’s model. We should expect the Series 7 hardware to include “updated ultra-wideband functionality” however.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has long been said to be curious about blood sugar monitoring through Apple Watch. In May 2017, it was reported that Cook was spotted around Apple’s campus testing a wearable blood sugar tracker that worked with the Apple Watch.

Later that year, the New York Times reported that Apple was researching continuous noninvasive glucose readers with technology that may be years off. Is three to four years the amount of time Apple needed? It doesn’t sound like it just yet.

In the meantime, enjoy this concept by 9to5Mac’s Parker Ortolani that imagines what a potential blood sugar app could look like.

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