A family of smartwatches from Apple that debuted in April 2015. Compatible with iPhones starting with the iPhone 5, the screen's Force Touch senses the difference between a tap and a press enabling two modes of touch interaction. Models include an altimeter and Apple Music streaming, and all models include a heart rate monitor and irregular rhythm notification. Each series is available in two case sizes with numerous band styles. The watch's Taptic Engine "taps" the wearer on the wrist for notifications.
If the watch was previously paired with the iPhone via Bluetooth but goes out of range, it can use the same Wi-Fi network to send iMessages, taps, heartbeats and an animated sketch to other Apple Watch users (see Digital Touch
). The device can also run Siri over Wi-Fi.
Apple Watch 9
In 2023, all Apple Watch 9 apps were redesigned to provide more information. When hands are full, users can activate functions such as answering a call or opening a notification by tapping index finger and thumb together. Brightness is doubled from Apple Watch 8, and Siri requests are processed faster. Siri dictation is more accurate, and there is automatic integration with Apple's HomePod. A lost phone can be more precisely found. See Apple HomePod
At the end of 2024, the Apple Watch 9 and Apple Watch Ultra were pulled from the marketplace in the U.S. due to a patent dispute with California-based Masimo over the blood oxygen SpO2 sensor. The dispute is expected to be resolved.
Apple Watch 8
In 2022, the Apple Watch 8 provides crash detection and a skin temperature sensor for ovulation estimation. With a change in case colors, a new low power mode enables the watch to last up to 36 hours. Also in 2022, Apple debuted its ruggedized Ultra watch (see Apple Watch Ultra
Apple Watch 7
In 2021, the Watch 7 line adds new faces and bands, a brighter screen, fast charging and more screen area (although case dimensions are the same). The 7 models are also more shatterproof and dust resistant.
Apple Watch 6 and SE (40mm/44mm)
Introduced in 2020, these flagship models include international emergency calling, fall detection and compass. The Series 6 features an always-on display and sensors for blood oxygen level and taking an electrocardiogram (ECG). Cellular capability is optional.
Using the Watch 5 processor, the SE is the lower-price model without the blood oxygen and ECG monitors.
Apple Watch 3 (38mm/42mm)
The Series 3 is the economy line. When introduced in 2017, performance was improved over the Series 2 along with lower prices. With the cellular option, the Series 3 was the first Apple Watch to become a stand-alone cellphone, but the cellular option was dropped in 2020.
Apple Watch Nike, Apple Watch Hermes (40mm/44mm)
In 2016, Apple introduced the sports-oriented Nike and fashionable Hermes models. In 2020, the Nike option became available in Series 6 and SE, and the Hermes models were available in 10 different band styles.
A Digital Crown
The Apple Watch Digital Crown is used to zoom, scroll, activate Siri and display the home screen. The power button accesses contacts and Apple Pay.
The Original Collections
With more than 40 models, no smartwatch ever debuted with such variety. Plastic bands were used on the aluminum Sport line (bottom), but the stainless steel Watch line (middle) had several band styles. The Edition line (top) featured gold-plated cases and a $17,000 solid gold model. (Images courtesy of Apple Inc.)
The First Update
In 2016, the second-generation Edition switched from gold to ceramic cases at a lower price. Nike and Hermes models were added. Ever since, Apple has introduced many variations. (Images courtesy of Apple Inc.)
Easy to Connect the Charger
Apple's MagSafe connector attaches magnetically onto the back of the watch.
Apple Watch Bands
Almost overnight, an industry of third-party Apple Watch bands sprang up; witness this assortment at Best Buy.