September 14, 2021
– Sep. 14th 2021 5:20 pm PT
Many of us have been left scratching our heads following the announcement of the Apple Watch Series 7, not just because rumors didn’t pan out but because Apple is being quite vague about when it’s going to ship. They’ve simply said that it will be available “later this Fall” and that doesn’t even take into account if they’ll be available in large quantities or severely constrained. There are lots of clues on Apple.com and in today’s event that have us questioning if Apple even knows when the Series 7 will ship.
First and foremost, Apple did not add the Apple Watch Series 7 to the comparison page on their website. It shows models only up to the Series 6 and the SE. So there’s no way to actually see all of the individual details about what’s new. You can’t compare the new watches to their predecessors or to the other models that Apple says they plan to keep selling.
Apple is continuing to sell their remaining Series 6 inventory through the Apple Store, but it’s severely constrained and there are very few models left. You also cannot pair the Series 6 with any of the new watch bands like you can with the SE. With the Series 6 constrained, why not let people compare it to the Series 7 and other models?
To make the lack of a comparison even more suspicious, there’s no tech specs available for Apple Watch Series 7 on Apple.com. Apple has provided tech specs for every product unveiled today, expect for the Series 7. We don’t know some of the simplest details, like what SiP is inside these new watches. Apple didn’t even mention it during the keynote. In past years, they made a big deal about advancements in chips like the S5 and S6. Apple isn’t even revealing the display resolutions officially, we’ve only learned what they are through today’s final watchOS 8 SDK.
We don’t know how much these watches weigh, how thick they actually are, or what other components might have changed on the inside. Apple is being tightlipped about Apple Watch Series 7’s technical specifications and it’s unclear why. It’s certainly possible that they are unsure themselves what components will make their way into the final version of the watch.
Every single watch band listing on Apple’s website has included images of the band on whatever the current generation watch is. When Apple revealed the Series 6 last year alongside the Fall 2020 collection, all of those bands showed off the Series 6’s design. This year, none of the new bands show the Series 7 on their listings.
You can of course see images of the Series 7 with some of the new bands on the main Series 7 webpage, but this omission is strange. There’s really only one reason not to have images of the watches themselves here and it’s that they ran out of time. Did the design of the watch only get finalized recently?
You may have noticed that seemingly none of the Apple executives that presented during today’s event were wearing an Apple Watch Series 7. Last year we saw Apple Watch Series 6 physically on executives’ wrists during that event. Tim Cook himself isn’t even wearing a Series 7 while presenting later on in the video. He’s wearing a dark blue Series 6 watch. We do see executives wearing bands from the new Fall collection, but paired with Series 6 watches.
Actors were wearing the new watches during the Apple Watch Series 7 video towards the end of the event segment, but we don’t know what kind of marketing film trickery might be going on there. Jeff Williams himself gestured to his wrist as if he was wearing an Apple Watch Series 7, but we’re not quite so sure he actually is. You cannot see the display, which would be odd considering Apple is saying the Series 7 has a 70% brighter display for better outdoor and lowered-wrist viewing. It originally looked to me like a space gray Apple Watch Series 6 paired with the new clove sport band. But it might also be a dummy unit of the Series 7 and that would explain why the display isn’t visible.
Apple talked a lot about how watchOS 8 has been optimized for the larger displays on Series 7. Most of our questions are about hardware while software seems pretty locked up. If Apple had changed the design at the last minute from flat edges back to the curved chassis, the software wouldn’t change at all. watchOS 8 images all over Apple.com are now shown off on the larger 41mm and 45mm displays as they would have been if the watch had flat edges.
For many months we had been hearing about a Series 7 watch with flat edges and an iPhone 12-inspired design. Sources of all calibers reported the same detail, whether it was the most trusted source in the industry or others that many question regularly. Combined with the production issues that Apple was reportedly having, you have to wonder if the design was changed at the last minute or if the watch we’re getting was a contingency plan.
At the end of the day, something is definitely fishy about the Apple Watch Series 7. There’s so much we don’t know about it yet, including when we’ll be able to get our hands on it. Some have speculated that we may not get the Series 7 until as late as early December. After all, “Fall” ends on December 21st. There’s a lot of room for Apple to make changes and move shipping times around.
Correction: Jeff Williams himself gestured to his wrist as if he was wearing an
Apple Watch Series 6 Apple Watch Series 7, but we’re not quite so sure he actually is.
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Apple Watch is Apple's wearable is designed to help you stay active, motivated, and connected. It runs watchOS, and it comes in 40mm and 44mm size options.
Parker Ortolani is a marketing strategist and product designer based in New York. In addition to contributing to 9to5mac, he also oversees product development and marketing for BuzzFeed. A longtime reader, Parker is excited to share his product concepts and thoughts with the 9to5mac audience.
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September 14, 2021