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I’m expecting to buy the Apple Watch Series 7 when it is launched later this year, and this may be the first time I’m willing to spend the extra on a premium model.
Let’s start with why I’m pretty sure I’ll be upgrading this year …
To be perfectly honest, it’s going to be for the design. We’re expecting the rounded edges to be replaced by flat-sided ones, to match the design language of the iPhone, iPad, and – soon – MacBook Pro.
I’ve been wearing an Apple Watch for more than six years now, and I’m ready for a change. All three models I’ve owned so far have essentially looked the same. Bands do let you change up the look, of course, but while I once amassed an unreasonable number of them (mostly third-party ones), I’ve culled that to six – and the reality is that I wear the Sport Loop 98% of the time.
A larger display also appeals, even if it’s just a single millimeter. In such a small device, even a tiny increase in size makes a surprising difference. The switch from 42mm to 44mm was definitely noticeable, and I’m willing to believe a 45mm one will be too.
The other rumored features? Well, not much, to be honest. Blood sugar monitoring was briefly rumored, and would have been a reassuring thing to have even as a non-diabetic, but the smart money is on this being years away yet. Better battery life? Nice to have for long-haul travel, when days can be very long, but irrelevant to me most of the time. Qi charging? A welcome convenience, but I already have Apple Watch chargers at home and in my overnight bag, so no biggie.
My attitude to the Watch to date has been that the premium models – like stainless steel, titanium, or ceramic – don’t justify the price.
That’s been for three reasons. First, Apple charges a rather unreasonable price premium for the fancier materials. Taking the Series 6 as an example, the aluminum model starts at $399. Switching to stainless steel sees the price jump at least $250 to a minimum of $749. Titanium starts at $799.
Second, it wasn’t like the extra cash got me something I’d really appreciate. I actually preferred the matte finish of the Sport model to the shiny stainless steel one, and the titanium didn’t look any better to me than the space black Sport.
Third, I’ve in the past seen the Watch as something I’d upgrade every couple of years, so that price premium – only some of which would typically be recovered on resale – would be a fair chunk of change when looked at as an annualized cost.
But a couple of things have changed. First, my Apple Watch purchase history has gone Series 0, Series 3 (for faster Siri), Series 4 (for larger size), and stopped there. Neither the S5 or S6 sold themselves to me, so I’ve owned my S4 for three years, and would have likely kept it even longer but for the reported design change. I’m expecting the keep the S7 for at least three or four years, lowering the annualized cost of any price premium.
Second, there was one premium model that I did come to love: the all-white look of the ceramic Edition.
Given the number of times I look at my Watch on a daily basis, I could be tempted if Apple reintroduced a ceramic model this year – especially as they have held their resale value spectacularly well.
Those, then, are my upgrade thoughts; what about yours? Please share your plans in the comments.