Apple Watch 2 Will Come In Two Versions, Release Before End Of 2016

Keep your eye on your watch.

As those second, minute, and hour hands tick away, they’re ticking closer to Apple’s launch of the Apple Watch 2, the company’s second iteration of its wearable offering.

Website 9to5Mac reported on August 12 that supplies of current Apple Watch models and wristbands are dwindling, adding fuel to the rumors that the release of a new model is imminent. Specifically, Apple Watch Sport models are listed on Apple’s official online store as “Sold Out,” save for limited availability in their brick-and-mortar locations. There are also a few of the larger 42mm stainless steel models of the watch listed as out of stock, with a four-to-six-week wait time specified. Accordingly, their more upscale band options, the Milanese and Link Bracelet accessories, are nearing complete depletion as well.

Website 9to5Mac continues by saying it is likely that the announcement of the Apple Watch 2 will coincide with a media event in early September that will also bring news of the upcoming iPhone 7, expected to reach its first users on September 16.

The questions present themselves. What will be different? Is this new watch worth the wait?

Apple Watch is shown to an Apple Store customer in Paris
An Apple Store customer in Paris is introduced to the Apple Watch [Photo by Kristy Sparow / Getty Images for Apple]

AppleInsider purports that the new watch will carry a faster S2 processor. If Apple follows its convention of doubling the processor speed as it does with each new iPhone release, the same may hold true for Apple Watch 2. Battery improvements are also highly likely to be announced, and a fresh watchOS 3 release alongside the new hardware will ensure that the software helps to prolong usage time.

Improved waterproofing, a GPS receiver, integrated cellular, better outdoor visibility, and additional sensors all fall under AppleInsider’s “Maybe” category. They cite proven KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo as stating that the new watch will come in two flavors. This rumor traces back to a note to investors dated this past Sunday, August 7. The document purportedly lays out Apple’s wearable strategy for the next six months, well into the start of 2017.

Kuo states that the first release will simply be a nominal, incremental upgrade, with a similar design and more powerful chipset. The second watch will possess GPS and a barometer, along with a physically larger battery. This will be the unit known as “Apple Watch 2.” He adds a shipment estimate, predicting between 10 million and 11 million watches sold.

The product line definitely has had its skeptics, despite AppleWorld.Today reporting, via Juniper Research, that the Apple Watch captured 52 percent of global smartwatch sales by the end of 2015, less than a year after its initial release.

Tim Cook shows off his Apple Watch in Palo Alto, CA
Tim Cook shows off his Apple Watch at an Apple Store in Palo Alto, CA [Photo by Stephen Lam / Getty Images]

Apple hardly has a reason to worry. The watch has been regarded as the first test of Tim Cook’s creativity after taking the helm at the Cupertino, California-based company after the death of co-founder Steve Jobs on October 5, 2011. Critics may view the current state of the company as a departure from the raw vision and charisma Jobs provided, yet the Apple Watch is just a small facet of a still largely successful American innovator.

In an interview with Rick Tetzeli of Fast Company, Eddy Cue, SVP of internet software and services, and Craig Federighi, SVP of software engineering, opened up about the company’s missteps, namely the much beleaguered launch of Apple Maps. They are learning, however. Cue cites Maps as the reason why there is now a Public Beta program for iOS and macOS.

Even in times of uncertainty, Apple has resources to spare in developing future products toward new horizons. Despite a disappointing quarter announced in April, 2015, Apple then recorded $50.6 billion in sales and $10.5 billion in profits, more than that of Google’s parent, Alphabet ($4.2 billion), Amazon ($513 million), Facebook ($1.5 billion), and Microsoft ($3.8 billion) combined.

[Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]