2016 was an interesting year for Apple. It saw the introduction of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, albeit controversially without headphone jacks, and a return to the 4-inch form factor in the popular iPhone SE. The MacBook Pro line received its first major revision for a number of years, including the introduction of the MacBook Pro with Touch Bar. Plus there was the release of the Apple Watch Series 2, a new 9.7-inch iPad Pro, and an apparently Brexit-related unwelcome hike in prices across the board.
So, what does 2017 have up its sleeves for Apple fans? Well, here at Macworld we’ve donned our prognostication hats, investigated every rumour and trend we could find, all to bring you our predictions for 2017. It looks like it could be a big year.
Apple predictions for 2017: Apple Watch 3
Apple released the second generation of its Watch in September of 2016 which added GPS, internal upgrades, and water proofing to the design. This was accompanied by the WatchOS 3 update that increased performance and functionality for not only the new models but also the original range.
We expect to see Apple announce the third iteration of its Watch in September 2017, hopefully for around the same price as the current models which start at £369, although that is far from certain after the increases we saw at the end of 2016.
There’s little in the way of firm evidence suggesting what the Apple Watch 3 will look like, but it’s fair to say that you should expect a model that’s very similar to the current version. Some experts have postulated that there could be a Watch S release in March of 2017 that would include additional storage space, but this remains a rumour at best. Several news sites have also specualted on the possibilty of a round display, much like the one found on the Moto 360 Android Wear device.
It’s widely expected that the Watch 3 will include a front facing camera that could be used for selfies or FaceTime calls, as Apple holds a patent for such a device and Watch OS 2 introduced support for FaceTime audio calls.
The new model is also likely to feature a Micro-LED display, which would be lighter, thinner, and brighter than the LCD panels currently used.
Another common thought is that Apple will finally introduce 3G or 4G capabilities to the Watch, in order to make it more independent from the iPhone. We’re not convinced by this. Apple likes its devices to be closely tied together, and the battery life problems that come with cellular capabilities might make it an unattractive option at this time.
It’s still early days for the Apple Watch, so we fully expect this to be a quiet evolution rather than revolution. Thinner, lighter, faster and longer battery life is the mantra, and we’d be very happy with that.
For a more in-depth look at the latest rumours on the Apple Watch be sure to check out our Apple Watch 3 Rumours article.