In the world of smartwatches, only one model family has really captured the public imagination. The Apple Watch is impressively popular, bridging the gap between the worlds of fashion and functionality in a way which is clearly successful.
With the Apple Watch Series 9 expected to debut next month, many have hoped for a decent upgrade. That doesn't look too likely, though. Instead, the device is expected to continue the recent trend of more incremental upgrades, with smaller tweaks.
Next year marks the tenth anniversary of the range, though, and we know Apple likes to shake things up there – we're looking at you, iPhone X. According to a recent report from noted Apple tipster, Mark Gurman, the Apple Watch could get a similar treatment.
He notes that the Apple Watch X could see a near total redesign. A thinner case has been suggested, along with a different method for attaching watch straps. We're also expecting a MicroLED display, as well as sensors to monitor blood pressure.
I'm really excited by the prospect of almost all of those upgrades. While the current models are hardly monstrously large, a slimmer case would make it much easier to wear. In a similar way, the higher quality display and new sensors would boost the attractiveness of the spec sheet.
The one thing I'm not looking forward to is the new strap attachment system. According to Gurman, the team are testing a magnetic method for attaching the strap to the case. And while details go no further than that, the prospect doesn't fill me with confidence.
The thing about magnetic attachments is that they're easier to detach accidentally. Sure, the MagSafe technology employed on devices like the MacBook Pro 14-inch is strong, but it's not impenetrable. That's not the case with the current mechanical attachment system, which is a masterstroke of engineering.
The report suggests that Apple's development team are dissatisfied with the amount of space that system uses. They say that is space which could be better employed to boost the battery capacity, for example.
And look – I'm all for the Apple Watch getting a bigger battery. If you're a regular here at T3, you'll know it's pretty much my biggest issue with them. But a boost to that spec is only worthwhile if the sacrifice doesn't impact usability.
If having a bigger battery means having a less secure strap attachment mechanism, it may do more harm than good.