Apple Watch 4 is supposed to launch in September 2018, along with the new iPhone X series for the year, and it looks like there will be a major design change on the new variants if one goes by the latest leaks. According to a report in Fast Company Apple Watch is going to get rid of the physical buttons, and instead add solid state buttons, like we saw on the iPhone 7, etc. These will respond to a user’s touch, without one having to physically press the button like on the present Apple Watch variants.
The report quotes “a source with direct knowledge of Apple’s plans.” To be clear, Apple Watch 4 will continue with button and digital crown, except these will now vibrate when a user touches them. Apple is relying on the same haptic effect like we saw in the iPhone 7 series onward.
The new buttons could mean a bigger battery as well, considering they will take less space than a physical button, according to the source. It will also make the Apple Watch 4 more water-resistant. According to the report, the new technology is likely to make an appearance with the Apple Watch 4 when it launches in September, though there is a chance the new technology could be pushed to the 2019 variant as well.
These new solid state buttons could collect other data like heart rhythms, according to the Fast Company report, though the heart-rate sensor at the back will continue. Apple could be working on a future variant of the Watch sans any buttons, though this might not happen in 2018.
Previously, former Apple analyst Ming Chin-Kuo of KGI Securities had reported that the Apple Watch Series 4 will feature 15 per cent larger display in comparison to Series 3. It was not clear whether Apple will reduce the bezels on the display to allow for a larger screen. It will also come with new sensors for health monitoring, according to Kuo along with a longer battery life.
Kuo had estimated that Apple will ship close to 22-24 million units of Apple Watch in 2018. Apple Watch remains a best-seller from the company and is the top selling smartwatch in the world. Apple Watch shipments stood at 18 million for all of 2017, with nearly 54 per cent growth over the year 2016, according to research firm Canalys. Apple has itself never officially revealed shipment figures for the Watch.
Apple also showcased the new watchOS 5 at its WWDC 2018 conference, with a focus on health-features, new watchfaces, interactive notifications, etc. However, watchOS 5 will not be rolled out to the original Apple Watch.