Apple Watch Series 9: New S9 chip, hardly any other updates

The Apple Watch Series 9 is said to get the new S9 chipset, which is based on the iPhone 13 and also powers the Apple Watch Ultra 2.
Apple Watch Ultra 2 black titanium

According to a Weibo tipster called “Instant Digital,” the Apple Watch Series 9 will remain “basically unchanged” compared to the current model, save for the faster S9 chipset. The tip confirms other reports that the new Apple smartwatch will be more of a minor upgrade. Essentially, Apple is therefore limited to the new chipset from the S9 series, which also powers the iPhone 13 generation and should also power the Apple Watch Ultra 2. While the performance will increase significantly with this, the rest of the hardware will be practically identical to the Apple Watch Series 8.

The cores of the S6, S7, and S8 chips are virtually identical, each with T8301 dual-core CPUs and 32GB of memory. They power the Apple Watch Series 6, Series 7, Series 8, Apple Watch SE 2022, and Apple Watch Ultra. When Apple introduced the S6 in the Apple Watch Series 6, they claimed the chip launched apps 20% faster. That was the last time Apple made performance claims about its latest smartwatches.

The S6, S7 and S8 processors are based on Apple’s A13 Bionic chip from the iPhone 11 series. They are manufactured at TSMC in a 7nm process. Since the A14 Bionic chip from 2020, however, production moved to a more up-to-date 5nm process. With the S9 chip based on the A15 Bionic, both performance and efficiency should increase significantly. App launch speeds could increase and battery life improve.

The rumor reflects developments over the last year. At that time, the Apple Watch Series 8 launched as a rather small update compared to the Series 7. Compared to its predecessor, there was only a more powerful gyroscope and an accelerometer that enabled the new crash detection. Apple also added a body temperature sensor.

With performance also at the heart of the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2, history could repeat itself. And so the new Apple Watch models in 2023 will get similar small updates. Apple is reportedly planning to introduce some new color options this year. These include pink for the Series 9 and black for the new Watch Ultra.

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