KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has today issued a research note relating to the Apple Watch that could shatter the dreams of wearable aficionados. Apple’s “most personal device ever” has been available for almost twelve months now, with many consumers hoping that a second-generation overhaul would be on the cards sooner rather than later. Kuo’s research note indicates that 2016 is likely to see a refreshed Apple Watch make it to market, but that any refresh in the current calendar year will focus on improving internal components only rather than any major design overhaul.
Many consumers and industry insiders have initially speculated that last month’s “Let us loop you in” event event would see Apple introduce a new Apple Watch model. As we now know, that didn’t actually happen, with the only Apple Watch highlights coming in the form of some new Woven Nylon bands, as well as the release of watchOS 2.2 that introduced a number of new features from a software perspective.
KGI Securities’ well known and connected analyst is now predicting that the 2016 Apple Watch model will be akin to a ‘s’ upgrade like the iPhone lineup, and as such will only feature “spec improvements with limited changes to form factor design”. A major redesign for Apple Watch can be expected in 2017, but not this year.
Wannabe Apple Watch owners who have held off from the first release in favor of a hardware overhaul this year are likely to be extremely disappointed if this research note turns out to contain accurate predictions. On the flip side, anyone who parted with money for the first-generation Apple Watch last year, and specifically those who opted for the higher-end models with additional expensive bands, will likely be glad to hear that their hardware and design won’t necessarily be outdated until next year at the earliest. At least visually, it looks as though this year’s Apple Watch will largely be identical to the current model(s).
The interesting aspect here is that Ming-Chi Kuo has neglected to pack out the research note with any additional information about the potential improvements to the Apple Watch internal components that his company believes we can expect this year. If these predictions are indeed accurate, and if we tie them together with other Apple Watch predictions, then we could be in line for a WWDC reveal anywhere between June 13 and June 17 this year.
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