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Apple Watch to get larger screen, other ‘notable changes’ for Series 10 upgrade

After several years of minor refreshes, a new report claims the Apple Watch is headed for one of its most significant updates this fall

In the latest edition of his Power On newsletter, Bloomberg analyst Mark Gurman predicts that the Series 10 (or X) version of the Apple Watch, headed for launch in fall 2024, will see a raft of “notable changes” as the company celebrates the device’s milestone anniversary. These will include larger screens, thinner bodies, and a new processor chip designed to work better with AI when Apple is ready to bring Apple Intelligence to the wrist.

“Both versions of the Series 10–codenamed N217 and N218–will get bigger screens,” Gurman writes. “The change means Series 10 shoppers will be able to pick a screen that’s about as large as the one found on the Apple Watch Ultra.”

But unlike the Apple Watch Ultra, the Series 10 won’t become bulkier to accommodate the larger screens. In fact it will be slimmer than the previous generation (although presumably it will still occupy a larger area on the wrist). The design, Gurman claims, “is unlikely to look much different” in other ways, so we can expect the same curved screen corners, bezel width, button layout, and so on, but the bigger screen and thinner chassis alone represent a major update.

Not that the screen bump and chassis slimming are not the only changes; there will also be a new processor. The Series 10 and Ultra 3 which will accompany it, are both set to feature a chip “which could lay the groundwork for some AI enhancements down the road,” Gurman writes. For now, the Apple Watch is the only major Apple product to be excluded from the Apple Intelligence project (and isn’t that a shame?) but when the time comes, this processor will give the device the hardware capabilities to handle AI tasks.

Apple introduced a quad-core Neural Engine for the Apple Watch with the S9 chip in the Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2, which allowed the watch to “process machine learning tasks up to twice as fast, when compared with Apple Watch Series 8.”

Hoped-for health upgrades, meanwhile, seem likely to be pushed back to a later model. Gurman says efforts to develop monitors to detect high blood pressure and sleep apnea have not gone smoothly with Apple running into “some serious snags.” But those upgrades are still in the works and Apple is determined to

It’s worth noting that these are not entirely new theories; the newsletter’s weekly nature means Gurman often sums up and adds depth to existing rumors rather than breaking new ground. The Ultra-sized screen and slim chassis, for example, were revealed in a leak last month. The idea of the Series 10 getting an AI-ready processor is a new one, I believe, but the writer himself acknowledges that this is not certain: note that word “could.”

Still, there’s not long left to wait. For all the latest news and rumors as we head to the launches this fall, check out our regularly updated Apple Watch 2024 superguide.