With Apple now expected to unveil the Apple Watch 6 ahead of its yearly iPhone 12 event, rumours are rolling in regarding the highly-anticipated smartwatch. We’ve squeezed all of the latest news, leaks and rumours into one handy guide so you don’t miss a thing about the Apple Watch 6.
It’s been almost a year since we last got an update to the popular smartwatch line and the Apple Watch Series 5 is still the best smartwatch any iOS user can buy. We were big fans of the always-on display and fitness tracking features we saw on the Watch 5, with the lack of Android support forever being its biggest con. We found a lot to praise in the Watch 5, meaning we’ve been left with high expectations for the 2019 smartwatch’s successor.
It’s looking as though the Watch 6 will bear resemblance to the Watch 5, but with a much more substantial upgrade under the hood than we saw last time around. The latest leak is regarding the release date, with one analyst claiming the watch will arrive ahead of the iPhone 12 this year.
Read on to discover all we know about the Apple Watch 6, including the latest news, leaks and rumours. Make sure to keep checking back as we update this page regularly in the lead up to its release.
Release date – When will the Apple Watch 6 be released?
While Apple has yet to confirm a release schedule for 2020, we’re pretty certain we’ll see the Apple Watch 6 this September. This prediction is based on a well-established launch pattern over recent years:
- Apple Watch – April 2015
- Apple Watch Series 1 & Series 2 – September 2016
- Apple Watch Series 3 – September 2017
- Apple Watch Series 4 – September 2018
- Apple Watch Series 5 – September 2019
While we originally expected the Watch 6 to arrive alongside the delayed iPhone 12, a tweet by tech analyst Jon Prosser earlier this month has had us second guessing the launch schedule.
According to Prosser, we could see the next Apple Watch arrive as soon as the week commencing September 7, over a month before the supposed iPhone 12 release and in line with last years Watch 5 announcement. Apple CFO Luca Maestru has previously confirmed that the iPhone 12 would be subject to a two-week delay, likely due to the ongoing pandemic.
While the Apple Watch could end up suffering similar disruptions, this latest leak suggests we’ll see the wearable right on schedule, albeit announced via press release rather than a massive launch event.
Price – How much will the Apple Watch 6 cost?
The Apple Watch 5 currently has a starting price of £399, and we see no reason why the Apple Watch 6 won’t cost a similar amount once it is launch. Of course, the final price will vary significantly depending on which strap you select to show off your timepiece; some designer options from esteemed brands like Hermès even sell for up to £1,399.
The Apple Watch 5’s steep price might render it an unattainable luxury for many consumers but, fortunately, the Apple Watch 3 is still on sale for just £199. That price makes it a more affordable option for fitness fanatics seeking an exercise companion that’s nonetheless seamlessly integrated into Apple’s tech ecosystem.
Apple Watch 6 – New hardware?
An official patent filing uncovered by Patently Apple appears to imply that the Apple Watch 6 could bear a fingerprint sensor for TouchID biometric identification. The earliest reports suggest that this feature will be mounted on the crown of the watch rather than the screen, which seems to be a surprising – arguably inelegant – solution. According to The Verifier, an in-screen fingerprint scanner may eventually arrive with the Apple Watch Series 7 further down the line in 2021.
On top of this, 9to5 Mac has suggested that the next Apple Watch will have a micro-LED display as opposed to an OLED, which would save a significant amount of power and would prevent the risk of burn-in that comes part and parcel of other screen types. To our eyes, it still seems a bit premature for this much-anticipated piece of technology to make its way onto to the mainstream market, but it would represent a great leap forward for the industry if true.
The latest hardware news comes in the form of another patent filed by Apple (and spotted by AppleInsider) that suggests we’ll see better Wi-Fi and wireless connectivity in the Apple Watch 6. According to the patent, Apple may be considering integrating a wireless antenna array into the display. Not only would this offer a stronger connection than the Apple Watch 5, but it could eventually bring the smartwatch up to par with your iPhone.
Apple Watch 6 – Design
The Apple Watch’s design is composed of a rounded square screen with the crown on the side. It’s unmistakable, it’s iconic – and what’s more, it looks like it’s here to stay for the next generation too.
Jon Prosser was on the inside track for all the insider information ahead of the recent launch of the iPhone SE 2, so he’s strongly credible when he says that the design will not be changed from the Series 4. Yet even though the outward design might remain identical, looks may be deceiving: the internal capabilities are rumoured to receive some very impressive upgrades.
Apple Watch 6 – Safety
Thanks to a detailed inspection of a snippet of code in iOS 14, 9to5 Mac has uncovered a bunch of intriguing health features that are supposedly joining the Apple Watch 6. The first of these is a tracker for blood oxygen saturation, which will include an automatic notification when levels are potentially dangerous.
The second upgrade applies to the existing ECG feature, now ensuring more accurate readings at heart rates between 100 and 120bpm. Both of these potential new features could well prove to be genuine lifesavers, so it’s hard to underestimate their importance.
And going by AppleInsider, there’s another potential lifesaver on its way to the smartwatch. This feature, which has also been registered for a patent, would be able to tell when the user accidentally falls into water, and could then notify friends or even the emergency services of the danger.
We could also see an update to the smartwatch’s fall detection feature. According to a continuation patent spotted by PatentlyApple, the watch could soon detect heart functions (ECG, EKG), water content, body-fat ratios and galvanic skin resistance and share that data with emergency services to identify which specific technicians to send to your location if you do fall. While this may sound like a lot of personal data to store on a watch, it could prove to be invaluable in an emergency.
Apple Watch 6 – pre-installed with watchOS 7
After plenty of rumours (with 9to5 Mac being bang on the money), Apple officially unveiled watchOS 7 at this year’s WWDC event. The upcoming update will bring a ton of new features across health and fitness tracking, UI and more, but none are quite so important as the addition of sleep tracking (finally).
Sticking out as one of the last major features absent from the Apple Watch, watchOS 7 will implement dedicated sleep tracking to let users better understand their circadian rhythm and sleep performance. This will include the ability to set alarms directly on the Apple Watch itself, making use of the watch’s speaker or even just the vibration mechanics for a silent alarm.
Prepare to see a lot more branded watch faces as well with watchOS 7 opening the floodgates with watch face sharing tools. Not only will you be able to share your own creations via messaging and social media, but you’ll also be able to download custom watch faces immediately from any website that hosts them. Expect to see a huge community form around this bit of creativity.
For you dancers (and High School Musical enthusiasts) out there, Tim Cook’s got you covered. As part of watchOS 7, several dance styles including Bollywood and hip-hop will be included in the Apple Watch’s list of workouts. Because of the rapid movement involved with dancing compared to other workouts, the Apple Watch will use the accelerometer and gyroscope to calculate detailed results regarding calorie exertion.
Arguably the timeliest feature of the bunch will be a dedicated tracker for washing your hands. The Apple Watch will now do its bit in fighting the global spread of Coronavirus by letting users know if they haven’t spent enough time washing their hands. Gone are the days of bad personal hygiene – we hope.
Most notably however, watchOS 7 will bring an end to Force Touch on Apple Watch, giving us an idea of what Apple might be focussing on with Apple Watch 6. Doing away with Force Touch will leave more room available for a larger battery – something that’s desperately needed for the Apple Watch 6 to tackle sleep tracking properly.
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