Updated: Apple Watch 2 release date, news and rumors

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Update: The next Apple event is upon us, just over a week away. While we wait, we can’t help but tear the invite apart for every last clue as to what will be announced at the Cupertino campus.

Apple event

We hopeful that Apple will announce the devices we’ve been pining for: the iPhone SE and the iPad Air 3. But looking at the invite’s imagery and language, it’s looking very likely that we’ll being seeing more of the Apple Watch.

Is the Apple Watch 2 announcement imminent? Or are we just going to be seeing more bands for the first iteration. Stay tuned to find out.

Original article follows below…

The Apple Watch 2 release date is shrouded in so much mystery that not even Siri knows the answer. The same goes for its new features and hopefully lower price.

Looking at my wrist and the Apple Watch asking “When does the Apple Watch 2 come out?” only gets me to a message: “Apple.com should be able to answer that question. Continue on the iPhone.”

There are two important things you should know about this answer. First, of course Apple’s official website doesn’t reveal such juicy information. I’ve checked. Everyday.

Apple Watch 2

Second, this is one of the many areas in which the Apple Watch throws to the iPhone instead of handling tasks itself. There’s plenty of room for improvement and a need for a sequel.

Siri, apps and fitness tracking need a serious tune up, and more sensors and even greater waterproof guarantees should be added.

We’ve had a good old think here at techradar Towers to work out what we want to see from the new Apple Watch, so head over to page 2 for our wishlist.

Right now, it’s time to explore the latest Apple Watch 2 rumors.

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? The second generation Apple Watch
  • When is it out? Current estimates point to March – although that feels a little early
  • What will it cost? Probably a lot, similar to the current Watch

Apple Watch 2 release date

Although Siri didn’t answer my question about the Apple Watch 2 release date, there are at least three distinct points in 2016 in which we could see the company’s next wearable.

Apple Watch 2

We could, but are very unlikely, to see the next iPhone-compatible smartwatch announced on March 15, as was previously thought. An annual cycle for the wearable seems a bit much.

Instead, it’s the iPhone 5SE and iPad Air 3 that’ll grace the stage. Oh, yes, Apple Watch will be there – and not just the white one on CEO Tim Cook’s wrist. Expect new Apple Watch bands and a Watch OS 2 software update.

There’s a chance that the Cupertino company is prepping an Apple Watch S upgrade for the event, but all new Apple Watch 2 predictions seem to be favoring later in the year.

That means the launch date may happen in June alongside iOS 10 at Apple’s WWDC 2016 event, or in September along with the likely iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus debut.

Apple Watch 2

A WWDC 2016 announcement would still go along with the Q2 2016 release date estimate that the chairman for Apple Watch supplier Quanta hinted at.

Barry Lam from Quanta said in 2015, “Quanta and Apple are currently developing the second-generation of the Apple Watch, expected late next year in the second quarter.”

A new report suggests that Apple Watch supplier Quanta will be responsible for all the production on the Apple Watch 2 as the company has lowered its order from its initial estimates.

Sources from the upstream supply chain suggest the Apple Watch 2 will go into production in Q2, suggesting it’ll be launched before the expected iPhone 7 launch in September.

This would give Apple enough time to tinker with its smartwatch and not make early adopters feel too cheaped with a rigid 12-month-upgrade schedule.

Apple Watch 2 price

There may be some wiggle room with the Apple Watch price, considering US retailers have iPhone smartwatch on sale right now.

Apple Watch 2

It launched at a starting price of $349 (£299, AU$499), and the unofficial price drop at some stores takes it down to $249. The first time we saw this discount was on Black Friday.

Introducing the Apple Watch 2 at this new price would put the gadget in more hands and on more wrists. Just don’t expect the gold Apple Watch Edition price to budge from $17,000 (£13,500, AU$24,000).

Apple Watch 2 news and rumors

With Watch OS 2 here it’s bound to feature the improvements that brings (if not be the poster child for Watch OS 3), including native app support, tetherless Wi-Fi and the ability to watch videos, reply to emails and make FaceTime audio calls direct from the Watch.

Apple Watch 2

Apparently a new wireless chipset will allow for basic communication tasks to be handled without a paired iPhone and the same technology may also mean that lost Apple Watches could be found using Wi-Fi triangulation.

A source talking to Phone Arena went on to claim that the Apple Watch 2 will have a video camera, allowing users to make and receive video FaceTime calls rather than just audio ones.

New models might be launched too, providing users with more than just the standard, Sport and Edition versions available now. It’s not clear exactly what form these new models will take, but new materials could be on the cards, such as titanium, platinum and perhaps even Liquidmetal.

Apple Watch 2

But if you’re hoping the appearance will change or we’ll see a circular smartwatch from Apple you might be out of luck, as another leak suggests that the Apple Watch 2 will have the same screen size, shape and resolution as the first Apple Watch – this is the way the Cupertino firm does things, after all.

One thing which will apparently change according to the same source is the thickness of the screen, which will be made thinner to allow for a larger battery. Yet that clashes with previous rumors that the juice pack will be staying the same, albeit with possible software improvements to improve its life.

It could also have a new breed of smart band to go along with it, as a recent patent application has been filed for a strap that has light fibres woven in, meaning you’ll be able to get notifications from your wrist all the way around.

Place

Hopefully it won’t flash or be too overt – simply function as a second screen that could give more information than the smaller screen could.

Overall we’re really not sure what to expect from the Apple Watch 2 just yet and we’re sure it will hold plenty of surprises and features beyond what we’ve heard so far and beyond what the original Apple Watch (which will be getting Watch OS 2) is capable of.

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