The Apple Watch is the most popular smartwatch in the world, and by a wide margin. Get this – in 2021 alone, Apple had a 30% share of the smartwatch market, with Samsung trailing as the second-best company with a 10% share. This is huge, and makes the upcoming Watch Series 8 that more important – and interesting with rumored unexpected features.
The Apple Series 8 has a lot of upgrade and when compared to the Apple Watch 7, the Apple Watch 8 might offer an updated design and added health or fitness-tracking sensors. It could arrive alongside multiple new Apple Watch models, too. The Apple Watch 8 could also be more similar to the Apple Watch 7 than expected. In the past, Apple Watch upgrades have been mostly incremental.
The upcoming Apple Watch Series 8 will reportedly come with a body temperature sensor that can tell whether you’re running a fever, according to a report from Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman. The watch might even recommend that you use a thermometer to check or see a doctor. Instead of giving you an exact reading, Gurman believes the watch should be able to detect a spike in body temperature, and then encourage you to talk to a doctor or use a thermometer.
Gurman says the body temperature sensor still has to pass internal testing, and if it does, Apple’s expected to incorporate the feature in the Watch Series 8, as well as the rumored “rugged” smartwatch for extreme sports athletes. The upcoming entry-level Apple Watch SE likely won’t have the sensor, though.
Rumors of a new body temperature sensor have been floating around for over a year now. Gurman first pointed out the possibility in June 2021, and later backtracked on his prediction in January of this year. He then reversed course once again in April, noting that we can expect a body temperature sensor “as early as this year.” Supply chain analyst Ming-Chi Kuo also believes the sensor will make its debut later this year.
Previous reports from Gurman and The Wall Street Journal indicate that the body temperature sensor could also be used for fertility tracking — shifts in body temperature could help someone determine when they’re more likely to get pregnant, or predict when they’re going to get their period. Gurman only mentioned fever detection in his most recent report, so it’s still unclear how (or if) Apple plans on adding cycle-tracking capabilities.
Aside from the body temperature sensor, Gurman says any other changes to the Apple Watch’s hardware “will probably be minor” and also hints at the possibility of an improved display in higher-end models. Gurman predicted last week that the Series 8 processor will have the same level of performance as the previous S7 and S6 chips — we likely won’t see an upgrade until 2023. In terms of health-tracking features on other upcoming devices, Gurman says the new model of AirPods Pro, which is rumored to have a focus on fitness, likely won’t arrive with temperature or heart rate detection this year.
Apple Watch Series 8 release date, price, and features
The Apple Watch Series 8 will be unveiled on stage alongside the iPhone 14 family in September 2022. This falls in line with the usual announcement window for the Apple Watch and coincides with previous Apple Watch releases.
When it comes to the pricing of the Apple Watch Series 8, we generally expect no surprises. Ever since the Apple Watch Series 5, Apple has gone into a predictive pricing pattern that’s not-so-likely to be broken in 2022.
Starting at $399 for the regular, GPS-only version, and at $499 for the base GPS + cellular version, every Apple Watch generation since 2019 has been priced the same, with the notable omission here being the Apple Watch SE, but it’s a different device so its more affordable price tag is justified.
Thus, we don’t expect any stark differences with this pattern: the Apple Watch Series 8 will likely start at $399, and the GPS+cellular version might definitely carry a $499 price tag. Of course, there will be more expensive stainless steel and exclusive versions of the Apple Watch Series 8 that will be costlier to acquire.