Rock-solid analyst delivers bad news on both the iPhone SE 5G and Apple Watch Series 8 fronts

Rock-solid analyst delivers bad news on both the iPhone SE 5G and Apple Watch Series 8 fronts
It's still early January, and based on Apple's product release schedule from last year, we're probably at least a couple of months away from Cupertino's first big hardware announcement (or announcements) of 2022.

Of course, that's not stopping prolific leakers like Bloomberg's Mark Gurman from making relatively confident predictions of what's to come in both the near and not-so-near future in the latest weekly edition of the Power On newsletter.

While the resurgent coronavirus pandemic and ongoing global chip troubles are once again making it difficult to be certain of, well, anything ahead of time, the company's first event of the year feels pretty much etched in stone and is unsurprisingly expected to take place in virtual form. 

Looking further ahead, it seems increasingly likely that the next version of the world's most popular smartwatch will not revolutionize the industry from a health monitoring perspective, although that obviously doesn't rule out a long awaited major external redesign.

Expect a familiar-looking new iPhone SE in March or April

The third-gen iPhone SE has basically been making the rumor rounds since shortly after the Apple A13 Bionic-powered 4.7-incher was unveiled back in April 2020, and while it doesn't look like we'll have to wait much longer for a release, that redesign we've been dreaming of is almost surely not happening this year.

If Gurman is correct (and a number of recent reports strongly suggest that's the case), the first 5G-enabled iPhone SE edition will soon arrive with "new internals" but "about the same" design as the iPhone 8.

As to the question of how soon we should expect the iPhone SE 3 to break cover, the extremely reliable analyst calls for a virtual event to go down in either March or April. In case you're wondering, the iPhone 8-aping second-gen iPhone SE was both formally announced and commercially released in April 2020, but most recent (and not-so-recent) rumors pointed to a firm March 2022 launch for the 5G-capable sequel.

The aforementioned and extensively documented component shortages may well be behind Apple's reported timeline uncertainty, and intriguingly enough, Gurman appears to suggest something else might go official at the March or April virtual event... without offering any detail.

We're also not told when Apple could finally get rid of the five year-old (and counting) "bezelicious" iPhone 8 design, although odds are an iPhone 11-like SE model with a notch and considerably larger than 4.7-inch display will come out in 2024.

No new sensors for the Apple Watch Series 8?

To be fair, that's not precisely what Gurman is predicting today for this year's Apple Watch upgrade. For all we know, the Series 8 could add something minor in the health and wellness department compared to its forerunners.

But the already long-awaited blood pressure sensor is purportedly "at least two to three years away" and the potentially even more life-changing glucose monitor could keep Apple Watch fans waiting until "the second half of the decade."

That means 2026 at the earliest, so the best case scenario right now calls for a groundbreaking Apple Watch... Series 12 being the first to measure your blood sugar levels directly from your wrist, helping tens of millions of diabetics in the US alone take better care of their health using completely non-invasive methods.

Clearly, that's not something Apple would ever want to rush to market without rigorous preparation and testing, which leaves us hoping at least a body temperature sensor will make it to the Apple Watch Series 8 in the fall. The only thing Gurman can say about that feature is that "chatter has slowed down recently" after initially making "this year's roadmap", which doesn't sound very promising. After all, blood pressure monitoring was originally believed to be on last year's roadmap too.

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