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watchOS 3 isn’t enough, Apple needs a new smartwatch, too

by Jacob Kleinman | June 13, 2016June 13, 2016 1:30 pm PDT

Apple announced a huge update to watchOS on Monday, adding instant loading for apps and a bunch of other nice features. watchOS 3 feels like the software that should have been available right from the start, but by the time it actually launches, the Apple Watch 2 may be ready to roll as well.

The company never mentioned a new Apple Watch on Monday during its WWDC 2016 keynote. In fact, it didn’t announce any new hardware at all. But, with each big software update coming sometime this fall, it’s pretty clear Apple is gearing up to launch some new products at around that time as well.

iOS 10 will certainly arrive at around the same time as the rumored iPhone 7. macOS Sierra is pretty much guaranteed to herald an overdue MacBook Pro upgrade. So, it seems pretty likely that a new Apple Watch could be in the pipeline as well.

Apple is also already pushing the first-gen smartwatch to its limits. The watchOS 3 update even changes what the device’s side button can do. Instead of the old communication menu, it now triggers an app dock or an SOS feature if you hold it for longer. Clearly the company is rethinking its original hardware, and a physical upgrade may not be far behind.

Maybe I’m getting a little ahead of myself. Apple seems pretty confident its current hardware can handle this new software, and watchOS 3 should be a huge free improvement for anyone who’s grown tired of the device as it currently stands. The Apple Watch is already over a year old, though, and if the company doesn’t roll out some new hardware soon, it the may struggle to sell units later this year when the holiday shopping season comes around.

Jacob Kleinman

Jacob Kleinman has been working as a journalist online and in print since he arrived at Wesleyan University in 2007. After graduating, he took a...