Yesterday Apple announced the Apple Watch Series 7. In typical Apple fashion, it sent shockwaves across the tech internet circle. But this time the controversy wasn’t over some new design change or price increase, but rather that the product that Apple announced didn’t match up to the false expectations created by leakers. Before we deep dive into that, let’s take a look at what Apple announced.

Image courtesy of Apple

Apple Watch Series 7 Features

  • A refinement to the classic Apple Watch design with softer, more rounded corners and a flatter back crystal that sits more flush with your wrist
  • The display is larger and now stretches almost edge to edge with just a 1.7mm bezel. And thanks to the way the glass refracts light at the edge of the watch case, it creates a waterfall effect that looks as if the display was flowing over the edge
  • It comes in two new size options, 41mm and 45mm with barely any change to the size of the case
  • Upgraded display materials including a crack resistant front crystal that is twice as thick at its tallest point as the previous Apple Watch
  • The OLED display is now integrated with the touch sensors using a special lamination technique for greater responsiveness
  • Indoors the always-on display mode is now 70% brighter
  • A new more power-efficient S7 processor that saves power for the larger always-on display and maintains 18 hours of battery life
  • 33% faster-charging thanks in part to a new USB C power adaptor that enables the watch to charge to 80% after 45 minutes
  • New watch faces that take advantage of the edge to edge retina display
  • Redesigned user interface with larger touch targets
  • A new quick type keyboard that enabled taps and swipes as yet another input method for quickly sending and replying to messages
  • IP6X rating for dust resistance, the first time ever in an Apple Watch

Not quite what you were expecting?

Several notorious leakers including Mark Gurman, Ming-Chi Kuo and perhaps most notably Jon Prosser from Front Page Tech claimed that Apple Watch Series 7 would feature a new design with flat edges. Clearly, that rumour didn’t play out. When Apple made the announcement yesterday it created this wave of shock across the leaker community. How could they get this so wrong?

In the days leading up to the Apple event, several reports suggested Apple was facing production issues with the new watch. The leaker community has speculated that Apple switched out the design at the last minute due to the aforementioned production issues. In my view that couldn’t be further from the truth. Apple locks down its designs months or sometimes years ahead. They create prototypes that go through various stages of validation before any decisions are made. Any current production delays are likely down to do the effects of the pandemic on sourcing certain components. Perhaps the semiconductors that are required for the new S7 chip.

Naturally, the leakers are trying to analyse how they got it so wrong but I think they’re completely off the mark. Perhaps their sources aren’t credible. Maybe they saw one of the many design prototypes that Apple tests. But the suggestion we’ve seen from some of them that Apple just switched the design at the last moment to upset leakers is just plain stupid at best. Arrogant at worst.

My advice? Don’t take leakers at face value. They’re entertainers. They make fun content. But don’t treat them like a know it all messiah. Time and time again they make predictions that later turn out to be false. Leaking isn’t precise. It’s educated guessing turned into light entertainment. And if you keep paying too much attention to leakers you’re just setting yourself up to be disappointed when the product announcement doesn’t align with what you’d seen shared around Youtube and Twitter.

But I’m guessing most people will forget and continue lapping this stuff up as fact with blind faith. More fool them I say.

The new edge to edge retina display. Image courtesy of Apple.

Back to the real news

The Apple Watch Series 7 is a delightful update that series 6 owners probably don’t need. But if you own an Apple Watch Series 5 or prior, there are meaningful updates from the series 6 that come to the series 7 along with the updated design of the 7, a larger more responsive display and significantly improved durability.

We don’t currently have a release date but once it becomes available I’ll be reviewing it in detail. Stay tuned!

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