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article imageApple Watch 2 now coming in fall, revised original in March

By James Walker     Jan 23, 2016 in Technology
The next Apple Watch might not be coming in March after all. Instead, a completely redesigned version of the smartwatch is reportedly planned for the fall and a refreshed Apple Watch 1 line-up will arrive in spring.
The report comes from 9to5Mac who claim Apple is now planning for two distinct device launch events this year. One will be in spring, likely scheduled for March, and the second in Apple's traditional iPhone launch period of late September.
Apple Watch fans will be able to enjoy a new selection of band colour options in March. A software update for the Watch, WatchOS 2.2, will include an improved maps app, the ability to use several devices with one iPhone and a selection of other feature additions, enhancements and improvements.
Alongside the software and accessory improvements, the current-generation Apple Watch is likely to gain a hardware revision too. TechCrunch reported last week that the company intends to add a FaceTime camera but "not much else," giving the device a mid-life refresh that should help it to stay relevant for a few more months.
Fans looking to upgrade to an all-new Apple Watch will now have to wait until the fall to do so. The company is reportedly designing the Apple Watch 2 with the intention of announcing it alongside the iPhone 7 in its usual late-September launch window.
The next-generation wearable is likely to improve upon many of the flaws of the original, sporting improved internals, better performance and a complete redesign. Few details have currently leaked and it's unclear whether the device will use the same shape as its predecessor or how far Apple will go with the design changes.
In its report, TechCrunch said rumours from Apple's supply chain indicate no drastically changed version of the Apple Watch is currently in production. If the next-generation version was really coming in March, the company would almost certainly have begun large-scale production by now, further adding to the increasing raft of evidence suggesting a delay until fall.
Part of the problem for Apple is that with only the original Watch on the market it has no idea how quickly people will upgrade their smartwatches or even whether they'll upgrade at all. With the iPhone, the company has been hugely successful in convincing people to buy a new phone within two years but it remains to be seen what the upgrade cycle for wearables will end up settling at.
By launching the Apple Watch 2 in September and only bringing a revised original to its rumoured March event, the company can buy itself some more time to make the new version as polished as it can possibly be. The extra few months may be enough to get some current owners considering an upgrade too. The refreshed Watch for launch in March, the final piece of the puzzle, would keep the wearable in the media and prevent it from going under the radar.
Needless to say, Apple hasn't said a word officially so all these reports should be taken with a pinch of salt. The company's actual strategy could be very different, although the one that 9to5Mac and TechCrunch have pieced together does seem a plausible method of maintaining the Apple Watch through 2016.
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