Apple Watch Series 9
Apple Watch Series 9 represents the peak of Apple's mature wearable platform. Performance increases and a new Double Tap gesture were introduced thanks to the S9 SiP. The overall design hasn't changed and all previous bands remain compatible.
● Faster S9 SiP chipset
● Double Tap
● Brighter 2,000-nit display
● Return of heart rate, blood oxygen, ECG, and temperature sensors
● Second-generation Ultra Wideband chip
● Starting at $399
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Apple Watch Series 9 was introduced during the Wonderlust event on September 12, 2023. It isn't a significant departure from the Apple Watch Series 8 but has some new features and improvements thanks to the S9 SiP.
Besides display size increases and a shrinking bezel, the Apple Watch's external design hasn't changed much from the original model. The edge-to-edge display and casing used today are nearly identical to the Apple Watch Series 7.
Rumors continue to suggest Apple could depart from the original design and watch band connector in the 10th-generation model for 2024. This "X" model would finally force customers to buy new bands for the first time in the device's history.
For now, Apple Watch Series 9 is indistinguishable from other devices, though there are a few tells. Besides the etched text on the back cover, customers will notice the brighter 2,000-nit display in the 2023 model.
Internally, there are several important upgrades. The System in Package (SiP) has a faster CPU for the first time since the Apple Watch Series 6, which means more advanced features.
Apple introduced a new gesture for controlling the Apple Watch called Double Tap. It is an evolution of the existing accessibility feature that has a bit more accuracy and requires less dramatic motion.
When the user double taps their thumb and another finger, the Apple Watch sensors will be able to determine the gesture has occurred using advanced algorithms and detected changes in blood flow. Whatever interaction paradigm is active on the display will be activated by the gesture, like accepting a call, pausing music, stopping a timer, or snoozing an alarm.
The Apple Watch Series 9 also has the second-generation Ultra Wideband chip. This enables more accurate device finding over longer distances, plus advanced Handoff features for HomePod.
Apple also shared that the optical heart rate sensor is a third-generation model.
Apple Watch Series 9 price and release date
Pre-orders began immediately after the event on September 12, 2023. Initial deliveries and in-store availability begin on September 22.
Apple didn't increase the price of the Apple Watch Series 9 nor did it introduce new materials. Customers can choose from pink, midnight, starlight, silver, and Product(Red) for the aluminum finish, or gold, silver, and graphite for the stainless steel finish.
This page is still being updated with all the latest information on Apple Watch Series 9. Check back regularly for updates.
The Apple Watch Series 9 rumor cycle
Everything below this point was written before Apple announced the Apple Watch Series 9. This information will remain as a record of what was rumored so it can be compared to what has been released.
Apple is expected to announce the Apple Watch Series 9 during an Apple Event in mid-September. It will be revealed alongside the iPhone 15 lineup, but there haven't been many rumors about the likely iterative device.
Apple Watch launched in 2015 with a focus on fashion, health, and social but with a UI and implementation that didn't capture the device's use case. Since then, Apple has refined the device's overall vision and functionality to line up with how people actually use the device.
The device and its core functionality rely primarily on what hardware is available. While watchOS has gone through a few redesigns, with yet another redesign in watchOS 10, Apple Watch functionality has largely remained the same.
The lack of substantial rumors surrounding Apple Watch Series 9 seems to suggest it will be a minor update. A new, faster processor is likely, while a new health sensor and Action Button could be enough to set this generation apart.
A faster S9 SiP
The Apple Watch doesn't need to be a processing powerhouse, but the processor should provide a balance of speed and efficiency. The previous three generations of System-in-Package (SiP) chipsets for Apple Watch have used the same base processing cores, meaning there hasn't been a speed bump since Apple Watch Series 6.
The S6, S7, and S8 SiP core processors are built based on the A13 Bionic, which is the chipset that shipped in the iPhone 11. So, it is understandably time to move to a newer, faster core processor.
Rumors suggest the S9 SiP will be based on the A15 Bionic processor, which is a significant jump in processing power and efficiency. The A13 was built on the 7nm process, while the A15 was built on the 5nm process.
While users may not be clamoring for more speed on Apple Watch, more processing power could mean more complex apps. Plus, improved power efficiency will undoubtedly translate to a longer battery life.
New health sensor and tracking improvements
Apple doesn't always introduce a new health sensor with an updated Apple Watch. Since there was a temperature sensor in the Apple Watch Series 8, the Apple Watch Series 9 may not get a new sensor.
The long-rumored blood glucose monitor isn't ready, and features offered by other smartwatches, like blood pressure, might not be accurate enough for Apple's needs. Instead, Apple could focus on improving the metrics it already collects.
The watchOS 10 update focused on implementing widgets and redesigning apps, but there wasn't any mention of more intensive programs or functionality. The rumored S9 SiP could lead to more powerful apps, better tracking, and more third-party integrations.
One of Apple Watch Ultra's tentpole features is the Action Button, which by all accounts, is an excellent addition to Apple Watch. Apple could bring this feature down to standard models to provide more control and customization options for those not seeking the high-end product.
The Action Button was so well-received that it seems Apple will implement it on the iPhone 15 Pro. Users will be able to assign actions or Shortcuts to the button, and it takes the place of the physical mute switch.
Since the Apple Watch Series 9 is expected to be more of an iterative spec bump, an Action Button would provide an excellent incentive to undecided upgraders.
There haven't been many rumors around the Apple Watch Series 9. One suggests a new color could be added to the aluminum models — pink.
Existing sensors will carry over from Apple Watch Series 8, so expect heart rate, blood oxygen, ECG, and temperature tracking to be part of the hardware package. It will likely retain the same design and work with existing bands.
Apple Watch Ultra could get a second-generation model too, but we're not expecting much to change. The overall design and functionality would remain identical, but it would get the S9 SiP and possibly a black color option.
Apple Watch Series 9 price and release date
Apple is expected to announce the Apple Watch Series 9 during an event in mid-September. It will follow the same configuration options as the Apple Watch Series 8 with aluminum or stainless steel options.
The price should remain identical, so expect the base non-cellular aluminum model to start at $399. Stainless steel models come with cellular by default and start at $699, while a second-generation Apple Watch Ultra would start at $799.