Top analyst says Apple's next big wearable product will be unveiled next month
The Apple Watch has been an unqualified success. The device is the most popular smartwatch in the world with 5.7 million units shipped globally during the second quarter. And the next manufacturer on the list, Samsung, delivered 2 million timepieces during the three month period. The dominance of the Apple Watch extends beyond the smartwatch platform; during the fourth quarter of 2017, the Apple Watch outsold the entire Swiss watch industry. By the way, that includes some names you might have heard of like Rolex (uh, if you think that it should be spelled Rollex, you have a fake on your wrist) and Swatch.
Reliable TF International analyst Ming-Chi Kuo released to the media in China today a new report that was sent to clients (via MacRumors). In the report, Kuo says that the Apple Watch Series 5 will be unveiled at the same time as the 2019 iPhone models, which is now expected to take place on September 10th. The latest Apple smartwatch will then be released in the Fall. You might recall that Apple recently sunk $100 million into a restructuring of its LCD panel supplier Japan Display. The latter failed to foresee the wider move to OLED panels in the smartphone market but the report says that it will account for 15 to 20% of the OLED displays used for the new Apple Watch this year, rising to 40% to 50% next year. By 2021, Kuo sees Japan Display supplying 70% to 80% of the OLED screens used for the Apple Watch.
Apple Watch Series 4 has two breakout features including the ECG monitor
The analyst previously said not to expect any changes in design between the Series 4 and Series 5 versions of the smartwatch. There is speculation that the next Apple Watch will support gestures; the company has filed patent applications showing that a flick of the wrist can help users scroll through messages while making a fist can answer a phone call. One long-awaited feature not found on the Apple Watch, sleep monitoring, isn't expected until next year.
The Apple Watch Series 4 was unveiled last year and has two breakout features. The electrocardiogram (ECG) scanner checks for abnormal heartbeats that can be a sign of Atrial Fibrillation (AFib). This is a serious condition because it can lead to strokes, blood clots, heart failure, and death. This ECG scanner has already saved some lives as has the fall detection feature. The latter can detect when the wearer falls and will then sound an alarm and offer to call 9-1-1. If the watch doesn't detect any movement after a short period of time, it will then proceed to call 9-1-1 and send text messages to the user's emergency contacts with his or her location. The ECG feature on the watch is so popular that Samsung included one with its recently announced Galaxy Watch Active 2. However, the ECG monitor is disabled on Sammy's new timepiece until it receives FDA approval. This is expected to come sometime during the first half of next year.
Apple unveiled WatchOS 6 at its annual WWDC developer conference that was held in June. The next build of Apple's smartwatch operating system will include an independent App Store for the very first time, and apps like Audiobooks, Voice Memos, and Calculator will run right from the device. WatchOS 6 will also help the battery on the Apple Watch run longer between charges. A new "Trends" listing will show fitness data achieved over a longer period of time and there will be a whole slew of new watchfaces. That is noteworthy for many veteran Apple Watch users who felt that the selection of faces was getting a little bit long in the tooth.
If Kuo is right, the Apple Watch Series 5 is just weeks away from greeting the light of day for the first time.