Ming-chi Kuo is the best Apple analyst in the world. Rarely wrong, and usually only in specific interpretations, Kuo is the one person from which Apple news isn’t regarded as a rumour. This week, he has released what form the next Apple Watch will take, and it’s left hopeful fans decidedly disappointed.
The new watch will maintain most of the same aesthetics, with the exception of a slightly thinner display. It will also include GPS, and for no good reason, a barometer. Importantly, it will be faster with a 6nm processor coming as standard, but these features mean that due to additional power requirements, Apple will be unable to cut down on the overall size of the device.
Kuo has also said there will be another watch released later next year, and – if possible – this one will have even less upgrades, and will be more of a ‘filler,’ the same as the ’S’ models of iPhones, although there is no talk of whether Apple Watch S will be a thing.
This presents an interesting scenario for Apple, with Android Wear 2.0 focusing on hands-free innovations and, Android devices, based on popular opinion, seemingly beating Apple in the style stakes. In this, it seems strange that Apple has elected to stick with the rectangular face, with android devices being applauded for what is seen as a more current round face.
Apple is undoubtedly under siege, and this is only likely to get worse with the iPhone 7 needing to be a genuine case of innovation genius – unlikely given prior incremental, yet sensible changes. This seems to be the nature of Tim Cook’s tenure, he seems to be nervous about breaking anything and so has avoided any huge innovations and set his agenda around improving the working environment, and ‘staying the course.’ While it’s widely acknowledged that he is a tremendously nice guy, who genuinely cares about the customers, and his staff, it’s also becoming more apparent that if Apple is ever to gain the competitive edge again, there needs to be a passing of the baton, or perhaps the creation of another leadership position, with more autonomy around innovation and change.
It remains to be seen whether the new iPhone will deliver, but as far as the Apple Watch rumours are concerned, it seems to be business as usual.