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article imageApple Watch 2 to get improved internals but no major redesign

By James Walker     Apr 11, 2016 in Technology
The Apple Watch has been out for almost a year and will soon be ready for replacement. According to new rumours, the Apple Watch 2 will bring only minor cosmetic changes, instead featuring upgraded components for improved performance.
The report comes from Apple Insider, citing noted Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities. Kuo passed the news site a research note which includes a few details on the upgraded wearable set to be introduced this year.
Kuo thinks the Apple Watch 2 will be the equivalent of an iPhone "s" release, putting heavily upgraded internals inside the same design as the previous generation model. The display, physical button placement, housing and band mechanism are all likely to remain unchanged for the Apple Watch 2. Wider design changes will arrive next year.
The 2016 model will bring "spec improvements with limited changes to form factor design," according to Kuo. There's no word on what the "spec improvements" will involve but previous rumours have already revealed much of the new hardware.
Increased performance with a faster processor, more responsive and capable apps, improved outdoor display visibility and a larger battery are obvious areas for Apple to improve with a new Apple Watch. The current model lasts only around a day on a charge and less if actively used for fitness, a problem for a device designed to be worn all the time.
Kuo's report contradicts a rumour yesterday that the Apple Watch 2 will be as much as 20 percent to 40 percent thinner than its predecessor. Brian White of the Wall Street analyst group Drexel Hamilton came under that impression after going on a tour of tech factories in China and meeting with companies on Apple's supply chain.
As Slashgear points out, the differences could explain each other though. The current Apple Watch body wouldn't accommodate a much larger battery. Apple may have managed to make the device 20 percent to 40 percent thinner in concepts and then later gone and filled up the extra space with the larger battery. In a sense, both White and Kuo could be accurate.
Either way, if the reports are correct then Apple's release cadence for the Apple Watch will look much the same as the iPhone. The company works on a "tick-tock" cycle, introducing a new design and base features with a "tick" and then boosting performance, improving and refining in "tock" years.
It looks highly likely Apple will be launching a new Apple Watch sometime this summer. Some reports have suggested an unveiling in June but the company could wait to introduce it alongside the iPhone 7 in September.
Either launch would mean Apple is targeting a lifecycle of longer than a year for the wearable, confirming it doesn’t expect people to rush to upgrade their Apple Watch as they do their iPhone.
More about Apple, apple watch, apple watch 2, smartwatch, Wearable
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