Apple is expected to unveil new iPhones and, perhaps, a new Apple Watch on Tuesday, September 10, ready to go on sale on Friday, September 20.
We’ve already seen evidence in upcoming Watch software that says there’ll be ceramic and titanium finishes coming soon. But new evidence indicates what Watch to watch for.
Apple Watch Series 4. Is there a Series 5 coming and, if so, when?
So, what’s new?
There has been another nugget of information, from the treasure trove that is the Eurasian Economic Commission, spotted by MacRumors.
Who knew such an organization could prove so consistently useful?
To sell its products in the countries covered by the EEC (which are the Republics of Armenia, Belarus and Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic and the Russian Federation), Apple must register model numbers in advance. So, the new model numbers that have just appeared give away the fact that new Apple Watch models (and Apple iPhones and Macs) are on their way.
What’s the controversy?
An increasing number of sources are suggesting that the new codes filed refer to new Apple Watch Series 4 models and there will be no Series 5. After all, Series 4 is so good and was such a leap forward. Here’s the evidence and the answer to whether there will be a Series 5 Apple Watch and when.
The filing for the new Apple devices.
What do the filing model numbers mean?
Some of them are current models: for example, A1975 and A9176 refer respectively to the 40mm and 44mm North America versions of the Series 4 GPS + cellular models.
The new model numbers are A2156 and A2157 – almost certainly the GPS + cellular models in 40mm and 44mm sizes respectively – and A2092 and A2093. These last two will almost certainly refer to the new Watch with GPS only connectivity, in each size.
An Apple Watch in titanium or ceramic finish? Oh, yes please.
Could the new numbers refer to ceramic and titanium Series 4 models?
No! And here’s why.
Although this wasn’t the case in the first couple of years, more recently Apple has assigned the same model number to multiple Watches, irrespective of finish. So, for example, model number A1975 refers to the 40mm size Apple Watch Series 4 with GPS + cellular for four different watches: stainless steel, aluminum, Apple Watch Hermès and Apple Watch Nike+.
So, to introduce new metal finishes, Apple doesn’t need to add any digits to the Commission’s database.
I believe the four new registry filings refer to Apple Watch Series 5 in two sizes and two connectivity options.
Apple Watch model numbers for Series 4 in Stainless Steel…
So, does that mean Apple Watch Series 5 is definite?
I think so. Not just because of the registry filing.
First, some have said that there will be no Series 5 because there’s been no leak, Well, that makes no sense. Apple has managed to keep every single Apple Watch under wraps pretty much right up until the time it was revealed, apart from Series 4 which leaked because Apple left assets online. Well, that mistake won’t be made again and even that was only a matter of a couple of days before launch.
Anyway, if Series 5 looks like Series 4, and I believe it will, then we might have seen images and just not known what we were looking at. One (rare) recent image claiming to be Series 5, which has the right model number on it, looks just like Series 4. If so, then it seems to confirm that last year’s model and this one will look mighty similar.
… and Apple Watch model numbers for Series 4 in Aluminum – the same numbers!
The argument that clinches it for me
Beyond that, it seems utterly inconceivable to me that Apple will delay the launch of its next new Watch right now. The last financials revealed that wearables, including Apple Watch, are seeing a huge leap forward in sales terms.
Why on earth would Apple risk slowing the momentum? To the contrary, it needs to ramp up the innovation with a new processor and new features as soon as it can.
Oh, and what about Apple Watch Series 3?
Note that the listing mentions the code for Apple Watch Series 3 with GPS (A1858 and A1859) but not for Series 3 GPS + cellular. This suggests that this model is going to be removed when the new models are announced.
So, when exactly?
On Tuesday, September 10, I believe Apple will announce Apple Watch Series 5, in ceramic and titanium finishes, likely with aluminum as well. Stainless steel is less certain – it might continue alongside the titanium or be phased out.
Additionally, there may be additional finishes for Series 4 (titanium and/or ceramic). Series 3 GPS will continue, probably at a reduced price.
New models will then hit the stores on Friday, September 20.