Leaker says pre-orders for Apple Watch Series 7 could start next week

Just in time to pair with your shiny new iPhone 13.

When the Apple Watch Series 7 was announced alongside the iPhone 13 / 13 Pro and redesigned iPad mini, Apple only said the smartwatch would launch “later this fall.”

Well, we’re a little over a week into fall and... Apple still hasn’t announced an official launch date. Leaker Jon Prosser says it should be released any day now. He claims “pre-orders could happen as early as next week, with shipping happening mid-October.”

Prosser’s track record is mixed. Though he’s had a string of hits with his Apple leaks, he incorrectly claimed the Apple Watch Series 7 would get a major redesign. It goes without saying that rumors/leaks are pure speculation and until Apple announces pre-order and launch dates, nothing’s set in stone.

Blame manufacturing — The circumstances of the current supply chain strain is likely to blame for the delayed launch of the Apple Watch Series 7. Just weeks before Apple’s “California streaming” event, Nikkei Asia reported manufacturing issues that could potentially delay a simultaneous release with the iPhone 13. The report cited complexities with the assembly that resulted in “disappointing production quality.”

The Series 7 has the largest screen ever on an Apple Watch. Apple

Nikkei Asia said sources claimed the Apple Watch Series 7 would enter mass production in the middle of September. TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo also corroborated the production timeline and launch delay. Prosser’s latest scoop tracks with these reports. A launch this month would give people ample time to get the Series 7 on their holiday shopping lists.

What’s new? — Since the original Apple Watch launched years ago in 2015, the design has largely stayed the same. The most popular smartwatch has seen big and small upgrades every year, but the new components this year, as well as the new screen, seem to have complicated things.

Apple claims the Series 7 is the most durable Apple Watch, and it features a 50 percent thicker front crystal than before. Apple

For starters, the display now comes in bigger sizes, 41mm and 45mm, and it’s been revamped to minimize the bezels by 40 percent compared to the Series 6. The display is also now 70 percent brighter in always-on mode.

The watch case is also tougher this time around, with an IP6X dust resistance rating, a swim-proof WR50 water resistance rating, and a crack-resistant display. You still have all the sensors from before, such as ECG and blood oxygen sensor; rumors suggest Apple is planning new sensors for the Series 8 due next year.

The Series 7 doesn’t come with the straight edge redesign that multiple leakers, including Jon Prosser, Ming-Chi Kuo, and Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman proclaimed was happening this year. But even without a design makeover, Apple has crammed quite a bit of new tech to make it more worth a consideration.