What Will The Apple Watch Refresh Cycle Be? [MERGED]

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by guzhogi, Oct 15, 2014.


What do you think the product cycle will be for the Apple watch

  1. 1 year

    10 vote(s)
  2. 1 1/2 years

    6 vote(s)
  3. 2 years

    22 vote(s)
  4. 3 years

    2 vote(s)
  1. guzhogi macrumors 68030


    Aug 31, 2003
    Wherever my feet take me…
    How often will Apple update the watch? Every year like the iPhone & iPad? More or less often?

    To go further, how long will each model be supported? Will Apple stop updating the iOS/software after X number of years? Everyone that I know that wears a watch keeps it for years (plural) so going to a 1 or 2 year replacement cycle might be a bit much for some people.
  2. Mad Mac Maniac macrumors 601

    Mad Mac Maniac

    Oct 4, 2007
    A little bit of here and a little bit of there.
    Obviously any response here will be pure speculation. But I would anticipate that the watch would yield a very similar cycle to iPhone and iPad (i.e. annually). I could see it being a bit more squishy than iPhone, because it doesn't have carrier contracts to worry about, but I think Apple beleives that 1 year has become a good development length (they've even moved OS X to annual releases). They'd probably do the same with Mac's, but are dependent on Intel.

    I hate to sound unoriginal and like a broken record, but I'd anticipate pretty similar OS updates and support cycles to iPhone and iPad. So essentially 1 big annual update* and support Watch hardware for around the ~4 year timeframe. iPad 2 came out March 2011 and will likely be supportd through Oct of 2015, so that's 4.5 years. iPhone 4s came out in Sept 2011 and will be supported through sept 2015, so that's 4 years.

    Of course that's not to say the Apple watch will stop functioning at the 4 year mark of course, but iPhone 4 just lost support last month. I think anyone who's walking around with an iPhone 4 either despeartely needs to upgrade or is the type of person that doesn't care about having the latest software updates anyway.

    *alternatively, I could also see Apple taking a new approach to software updates. Giving minor updates periodically and not having a major X.0 release ever (or at least not advertising as such)
  3. balzmcfearson macrumors regular


    Aug 26, 2009
    I'm very interested in how this will shake out. 1 year could be too short for someone spending $1000 on a digital watch, however the tie ins to fashion almost call for a more frequent refresh cycle. But yet at the same time we're almost already expecting a thinner model with gps. I wonder what one of the $349 models will be going for on eBay in 2016...
  4. Sonmi451 Suspended

    Aug 28, 2014
    Every couple of years or so I'm sure. There is way too much room for growth in this device. Thinner, more sensors, GPS etc. Eventually, I think this will be something that can run on it's own and not need a tether to a phone. Also better/larger battery.

    Just think about anything cool you can shove in a watch, and I'm sure Apple will slowly do that if the technology allows.
  5. kdarling macrumors demi-god


    Jun 9, 2007
    First university coding class = 47 years ago
    Depends on how quickly sales fall off, or not.

    Since they positioned it greatly as a fashion piece, one thing I can easily see them doing, is coming out with different shapes and styles each time.

    They know that everyone will want to have the latest style. Woe unto any big name star who still has a two year old model on their wrist :D
  6. Piggie macrumors G3


    Feb 23, 2010
    Remember, it's not a legal requirement to buy a new model every single time Apple makes one.

    Just because they may launch Watch 2, then Watch 3, then Watch Air

    Does not mean the cute tubby 1st one will instantly stop working.

    You could keep v1 for 2 or 3 years then do a BIG upgrade in one go.

    As for the price, well people spend up to the 1000 mark on other Apple products, and they keep bringing out new ones each year.

    Again you don't HAVE to change your one.

    But that does mean Apple should stop producing new things to improve them and tempt new customers.

    The fact it needs and iPhone nearby, AND even moreso, the fact they are restricting sales to only iPhone owners, WILL hurt them in time, if/when they have maxxed out sales to those people, and the larger Android market, simply cannot buy one, even if they wanted to, as it would not work, but they don't want to change phones just for the watch.

    I'd expect for obvious reasons these things will change over time, but for the moment, iPhone only is ok for Apple, as they can focus more on just this one area.
  7. Lostanddamned macrumors 6502a


    May 3, 2009
    London, UK
    Correct; but this is asking for speculation as to how regularly the Apple Watch will see an update, not how often you will be mandated to buy a new one by Commandant Cook.

    I think we are likely to see a yearly upgrade cycle, probably similar to the iPhones improved spec/new design alternation.
  8. nando87 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 25, 2014
  9. sracer macrumors 604


    Apr 9, 2010
    in exile
    I think it is reasonable to assume that there will be new models annually for the first few iterations as technology advances improve, and then every other year.

    Depending upon how "sticky" the aWatch becomes, Apple will probably release a major upgrade every 3rd year that will provide exclusive functionality that previous generations can't do resulting in everyone who currently owns one needing to upgrade.
  10. Lostanddamned macrumors 6502a


    May 3, 2009
    London, UK
    I can’t see them updating that rarely; aside from the iPod touch and Mac Mini, very few Apple devices see updates any less than once a year, and for something which is both a flagship and an aspirational device it will be important for people to yearn after the latest and greatest. The fashion aspect of the device also points to a yearly update cycle, in order to keep up with the trend.
  11. jason.siegel macrumors 6502

    Jun 15, 2011
    I imagine the refresh cycle will be the same as the iPhone: one year.
  12. Piggie macrumors G3


    Feb 23, 2010

    Just three reasons.

    1: Other brands are not going to stop using latest tech and bringing out new models just because Apple does not.

    2: Consumers/Us would be very disappointed if a whole 2 or 3 years went by and nothing new.

    3: Apple want more of your money each year, and they do that by showing you something better you will want to own.
  13. Rogifan macrumors P6


    Nov 14, 2011
    Depends what that technology is. Does Apple need a super powerful chip to run the watch? Are new chips going to be the source of battery improvements or is it more on the software end?
  14. firewood macrumors 604

    Jul 29, 2003
    Silicon Valley
    A new more super powerful chip can get stuff done sooner and go to sleep faster. Thus improving battery life.
  15. JohnApples macrumors 65816

    Mar 7, 2014
    Like others have said, it's all speculation right now, but I do also think Apple will update the watch yearly, as it is supposedly going to be a huge deal for them. But because watches are a bit different than other pieces of technology, and because Apple plans on charging possibly thousands for dollars for the higher end ones.. I think we may see "S" upgrades every odd year.

    I don't think Apple will actually call the next watch "Apple Watch S" but I think they'll have a minor upgrade next year. Introduce new styles and colors, maybe slim it down a bit, possibly improve the sensors. But they'll save the major upgrades for the next year.

    I have no idea what they'll actually end up doing, but I'm really curious to find out how this new line of products is going to pan out.
  16. monaarts macrumors 65816

    Jan 16, 2010
    Kennesaw, GA
    Hey guys,

    So I'm thinking about skipping the first version of the Watch (like I do for many 1st gen products) but I am thinking about the lifecycle and refresh rate of the Apple Watch. I'm thinking Apple will do a rushed 2nd gen in late 2015 (like they've done with other products) and then a more regular annua update from there. With each update, the former version will go down $50 so in late 2016 there will be the original at about $200, the late 215 model at $250, and then the most up to date model at $300.

    I'm debating whether I want to wait a year for a refresh or 2. What are your thoughts in the most likely life cycle of a product like this?
  17. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    If they roll out the first gen in 2015, there's absolutely no chance you'll see a rush 2nd gen the same year - its just won't happen.
  18. mattopotamus macrumors G5


    Jun 12, 2012
    I feel the same way. At the earliest, it will be a yearly refresh.

    Outside of the ipad 3/4 early refresh, what other product have they updated so soon OP?
  19. cmChimera macrumors 68040


    Feb 12, 2010
    That's not happening.
  20. Tycho24 Suspended


    Aug 29, 2014
    I agree with all that there will NOT be another 2015 release!!!
    And for a slightly different reason...
    Now that their two HUGEST selling items, the iPhone & iPad, are entrenched in a fall refresh... & seemingly a lot of their computer refreshes tend to work best in that timeframe for them as well- they desperately need a popular category to refresh each year at a different time. March is six months from September, so this may serve well to bridge the "tech news quits talking about Apple products" gap.
  21. mattopotamus macrumors G5


    Jun 12, 2012
    More recent rumors point to a release as early as January :D
  22. Tycho24 Suspended


    Aug 29, 2014
    That is incorrect.
    The reports stated "Apple could start MANUFACTURING in full swing as early as January".
    As January is only two weeks away... clearly, to ship in January Apple would have to be manufacturing at full capacity right now. *sigh* I wish though... the sooner, the better! :)
  23. Patriot24 macrumors 68030


    Dec 29, 2010
    I'm not sold on the idea that this device will be a yearly refresh. I'm not ruling it out, but it doesn't seem like a commodity device like the iPhone has become. We are seeing slowing of iPad sales for the same reason.
  24. jabingla2810 macrumors 68020

    Oct 15, 2008
    What products did this happen with?
  25. mattopotamus macrumors G5


    Jun 12, 2012
    Ahh. I guess a late February/Early March is more in line then.

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