Year after year, Apple only improves the details on its own iPhones. The development of the Apple Watch is more exciting, although the possibilities are even more limited. The small size of the smartwatch allows only a few changes in a small space. Still, we wanted to see: What happened on the road from the first Apple Watch in 2014 to the Apple Watch Ultra in 2022? And then we extrapolate: what could an Apple Watch look like in 2030?
Apple Watch Ultra vs Apple Watch 1:
First, let’s take a look at the obvious improvements between the first and latest Apple Watch:
|Apple Watch Ultra||apple watch 1|
|49 mm (1.92 inch) LTP OLED touchscreen with 2000 nits, resolution: 502 x 410 px (338 ppi), always on||38 mm (1.5″) OLED touchscreen with 450 nits, resolution: 340 x 272 px (290 ppi)
42 mm (1.65 inch) OLED touchscreen with 450 nits, resolution: 390 x 312 px (303 ppi)
|Dimensions: 49.0 x 44.0 x 14.4mm||Dimensions: 38.6 x 33.3 x 10.5 mm (38 mm version)
Dimensions: 42.0 x 35.9 x 10.5mm (42mm version)
|Weight: 61.3g||Weight: 40/69g|
|Processor: Apple S8 (7 nm), dual-core (2x 1.8 GHz), 32 GB storage, probably 1 GB RAM||Processor: Apple S1 (28nm), 520MHz Cortex-A7, 8GB storage, 512MB RAM|
|Battery: 542mAh||Battery: 205/250mAh|
|Controlled via: touchscreen, digital crown, side button, action button||Controlled via: touchscreen, digital crown, side button|
|Accelerometer, heart rate sensor, gyroscope, barometer, altimeter, compass, blood oxygen (SpO2) sensor, VO2max sensor, body and water temperature sensor, depth sensor||Acceleration sensor, heart rate sensor, gyroscope|
|WiFi 802.11 b/g/n dual band, Bluetooth 5.3, NFC, two speakers, waterproof according to IP 6X and MIL-STD 810H (up to 100 meters), GPS, 4G via eSIM||WiFi 802.11 b/g and Bluetooth 4.0 to connect to iPhone. NFC, speakers, waterproof according to IP X7 (up to 1 meter and 30 minutes of immersion), no own GPS or mobile phone chip.|
|Price: from 999 euros||Price: from 399 euros|
Apple Watch Ultra: What’s Improved?
The comparison shows that the Apple Watch Ultra has many extra sensors compared to the original Apple Watch and is therefore more versatile. Apple uses the larger dimensions, especially in height, for a battery that is more than twice the size of the first Apple Watches. Modern communication technology has found its way. Thanks to the eSIM, GSM chip and independent WLAN, an Apple Watch Ultra now works largely independently of an iPhone. However, you still need to pair and activate it with an i-device.
Processor performance is hard to compare. The original S1 processor of the first Apple Watch was still manufactured using the 28nm process. Noisy MacRumors Apple manufactured the Apple Watch Ultra’s S8 processor using the same 7nm process as the S6 and S7 of the two previous models. The chips are still based on the technology of the iPhone 11. The Watch Ultra wouldn’t have gotten any faster compared to the Series 6 and 7 – not even compared to the Apple Watch Series 8 and SE released at the same time.
Fast as a 10-year-old mid-range smartphone
Here’s a somewhat improvised comparison. The S6 chip, which was used in the Apple Watch Series 6, has been run according to the Sunspider benchmark by notebook controlwith roughly the same performance as a Snapdragon S4 Plus from 2012. In other words, the processing power and responsiveness of the Apple Watch 6 are comparable to the Nokia Lumia 620, a mid-range smartphone from 2012.
The Apple Watch Ultra’s S8 chip is cut from the same “wood” as the S6; According to reports, Apple only houses additional sensors on the board. And that is remarkable. For the same performance as an older smartphone, Apple now only needs about a quarter of the surface. Ever smaller, more powerful or with more stamina: this will also be the case in the development of smartwatches in the coming years.
Apple Watch 2030: what could it look like?
From here it gets very speculative. Here we extrapolate the development an Apple Watch could take over the next eight years. So what would we have in an Apple Watch 2030?
We assume that the Watch will continue to grow strongly. While the space on a wrist isn’t unlimited, the Apple Watch Ultra is still downright small compared to other sports watches and fashion accessories. There is much more to do. The first semiconductor fabrication processes in the 3nm process are already in the starting blocks, which would mean more transistors and therefore also calculation possibilities per area. There will be shatterproof glass and probably an even more powerful battery.
|Apple Watch 2030 (our prediction)|
|70mm borderless micro-LED touchscreen (2.75″) with 3,000 nits, 10 billion colors, resolution: 2,000 x 2,000 px, always on, never off|
|Dimensions: 70 x 70 x 14.5 mm|
|Processor: Apple S15 (1 nm), multi-core, low power, 2 TB storage, 128 GB RAM|
|Battery: 2,000 mAh, sodium-ion battery, power generation also via solar energy, thermoelectric (body heat), wireless charging, 7 days + x battery life|
|Controlled via: haptics, biometrics, touchscreen, digital crown, side button, action button|
|Accelerometer, heart rate sensor, gyroscope, barometer, hygrometer, altimeter, wind speed sensor, compass, blood oxygen sensor (SpO2), VO2max sensor, body, air and water temperature sensor, depth sensor, stress level meter (cEDA), blood blood pressure monitor, blood glucose meter, calorie meter, hydration sensor (measurement , if you’ve had enough to drink)|
|Camera system, WiFi 10, Bluetooth 7, wireless charging, 4×4 speaker system, absolutely waterproof and dustproof, also in salt water (up to 200 meters), various bundled satellite navigation technologies, 6G, satellite internet|
|Price: from 1,999 euros|
Apple Watch: what awaits us in the future?
You don’t have to be a prophet to predict that the Apple Watch (and other smartwatches like the Galaxy Watch) will be able to measure much more data in the future and then provide even more precise information about a wearer’s health and fitness. Therefore, it is likely that sensors can better determine blood composition. This can be a significant relief, especially for diabetics. A real killer feature would also be a calorie counter.
However, it is worth discussing whether masses will continue to win the race for the sensors. It will certainly also have an increasing influence on the quality of the sensors, in other words: their reliability and accuracy. But it’s very likely that Apple and other smartwatch makers will install sensors that we have no idea will exist.
Apple Watch with a camera? Why not!
We’re pretty sure an Apple Watch from the year 2030 will be able to work independently of an iPhone, and may even have largely replaced it. Thanks to better chip manufacturing processes, you can also expect the watch to perform like today’s smartphones.
And if you want to go without an iPhone, that would also mean a camera right in the watch. In the beginning certainly not with the best of all optics, but over time: with increasingly higher image quality. Apple may also come up with a mobile camera with a touch screen that will replace the iPhone. So you only need an Apple Watch and this camera.
We also assume that there will no longer be a lockscreen on the watch. The watch only dims when you’re not actively using it. But you can then use it without further action, because it immediately recognizes you – and only you. Improved battery technology, photovoltaic and thermoelectric power generation, and short-range wireless power delivery (wireless charging) mean you almost never have to take off the watch again.
Oh, and we’re pretty sure there will be many different Watch Ultra models in 2030, not just one. And that things get expensive. For the best model you have to take into account 2,000 euros.
What do you say? What have we forgotten in our prediction and what is unlikely to come true? Tell us in the comments!