Apple Watch 4 release date and rumours: Will Apple release a biosensing Apple Watch in 2018?

Written by techgoth

The Apple Watch Series 3 landed with great aplomb, treating customers to the first ever Apple Watch with cellular LTE connectivity. It was the first Apple Watch able to make calls and send texts independently from the iPhone, and it’s selling brilliantly.

With seven months to go until Apple’s major spring keynote, we look ahead to the inevitable Apple Watch Series 4 announcement, and loop you in with everything we know, as well as everything that we’re expecting from the Apple Watch 4.

When will the Apple Watch Series 4 be released?

Apple is a company of habit, something that makes predicting release dates incredibly easy to do. If we look past through each Apple Watch launch, we can see that, besides the first generation Apple Watch, Series 1, 2 and Series 3 Apple Watches were released in the month of September.

Apple Watch 1 and 2: 16 September 2016
Apple Watch Series 3: 22 September 2017

If the pattern continues, we should see the Apple Watch Series 4 announced at the Apple event in September 2018, and arrive in stores around a week or two later.

What will the Apple Watch Series 4 look like?

Simple answer: We’re not sure. While some rumours suggest that the Apple Watch 4 will have a round-faced design, it’s based on a flimsy, barely adequate picture from a report on a modular band, which we think is more likely to reach the Apple Watch than the round clock face. Patent images are often standardised to encourage approval, and a round face was probably chosen to remove any identifiable Apple branding. Still, we’ll never say never.

There are a bunch of other rumours which we think are more likely to come true, though.

Modular band

The biggest rumour making the rounds right now suggests that, not only will the watch be smart, but the wristband might be just as smart, too. There are numerous patents suggesting a modular design might be on the cards. This patent, for example, was filed way back in 2015, but it was only approved in January 2017. The patent describes a band made up of electronic modules which connect using a conductive, flexible material.

According to the patent, different modules will be able to contain speakers, batteries, biometric sensors such as blood pressure monitors and sweat sensors, haptic feedback devices and lots, lots more. The patent suggests that users will be able to swap out each module for whichever one the user prefers, making the Apple Watch fully customisable. It will also mean that tech from the Apple Watch can be moved out to the strap, giving Apple more room to bring things like a camera into the watch face itself.

Thinner display

Apple is always trying to make its devices thinner, so squeezing as much gear into the Apple Watch 4 is definitely not something out of its wheelhouse. If Apple moves some of the components into the rumoured modular wristband, it will be able to slim down the Apple Watch considerably. We can imagine the company will slim the Apple Watch 4 down so that it is thinner than its predecessors come September.

Polymer Circuit Board

According to famed KGI Securities, the next Apple Watch will use a liquid crystal polymer (LCP) circuit board which can be found on the iPhone 8 and iPhone X. This will make the antenna more stable for transmissions and make calls much clearer than they are now.

What will you be able to do on the Apple Watch Series 4?

Rumours surrounding the features on the Apple Watch 4 are actually much more substantial than design features. Here’s everything the rumour mill seems to be suggesting.

With every iteration of the Apple Watch, we’ve seen it adopt more and more tech usually found on a phone. From the implementation of GPS in the Apple Watch Series 2, and cellular connectivity found in the Apple Watch 3, the Apple Watch has been getting increasingly smarter every year. So could we see more features commonly found on an iPhone come to the Apple Watch 4?

An in-built camera

According to one patent, we could very well be seeing an in-built camera on the Apple Watch Series 4. The patent shows off a watch sporting a front-facing camera, with a note explaining that it could possibly be used to capture QR codes or barcodes. Most excitingly though, the patent describes how the camera will be able to capture images of the user. This means that the Apple Watch 4 could possibly allow users to make FaceTime video calls. Considering Watch OS 2 added the ability to make FaceTime calls, it might be likely.

Health monitoring sensors

Apple has also received FDA approval for an EKG monitor in an Apple Watch. A prototype involves the wearer squeezing the device with two fingers which triggers an imperceptible electrical current, travelling across their chest, and then tracking signals in the heart. According to the report, all the user needs to do is touch the band.  We’re pretty sure biosensing will make up at least some part of the Apple Watch 4.

How much will the Apple Watch Series 4 cost?

Like most things Apple Watch 4, there’s no word on how much the Apple Watch Series 4 will cost, but we can make an educated guess based on the Apple Watch 3.

The Apple Watch 3 starts at AU$459 for the standard model, rising to AU$559 for the version with cellular data. We don’t expect this price to change much when it comes to the Apple Watch 4, unless Apple pulls an iPhone X on us and produces something completely different. But we doubt that very much, considering the direction the rumours point to so far.

We’ll be updating this page with the latest rumours as and when we hear them

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