According to prolific Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities, the Cupertino company is finally ready to refresh the design of its smartwatch this year. The new "more trendy form factor" will arrive with the Apple Watch Series 4, which is likely to debut alongside the new iPhones at an event in September.
The Series 4 will also boast a bigger touchscreen than its predecessors, by 15%. It's unclear if the increase in screen real estate will come at the expense of bezels or if we should expect the watch's dimensions to grow. The new smartwatch will also have a larger battery and upgraded health sensors for enhanced health monitoring.
Older models will remain on sale with lower prices, and that will drive sales to new records. KGI predicts 22-24 million units shipped in 2018, around 30% more than last year. Long term, sales should grow to 50 million per year.
There need to be advancements in smart watch SoCs to really move forward. The market is small, and the underlying hardware has stagnated.