Apple Watch Series 9 could see a massive jump in battery life

The ageing processor in the Series 8 is getting an upgrade, and that could mean improved smartwatch stamina

Render of new flat design for Apple Watch Series 8
(Image credit: Jon Prosser / @RendersbyIan)

The Apple Watch 9 isn't expected to be dramatically different when it launches later this year, but according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, it is going to get a more powerful processor. The processor is based on the A15 chip Apple used in the iPhone 13, and it'll replace the two-year-old S8 chip inside the Apple Watch Series 8.

If you own one of the best smartwatches, as the Apple Watch undoubtedly is, I very much doubt you've ever despaired at its speed; wearables are pretty fast these days, and I haven't been irritated by my Apple Watch's performance for generations now. Battery life is a biggie for me, and this new processor could help improve that.

Better processors mean better battery life

I think battery life is the Achilles heel of smartwatches, especially the Apple Watch: its proprietary charger means one more thing to carry whenever I travel because, despite a quoted two-day battery life, I never get anything close to that. A new processor could boost the Apple Watch's battery life, although it's important to stress "could" rather than "will".

That's because Apple is reportedly planning a very significant overhaul to the Apple Watch interface in watchOS 10 later this year, and that could be more demanding than the current one – so if it is, you can expect the familiar equation where more demanding software asks more of the hardware and negates the battery improvements of a new processor. You may remember that one from pretty much every major iPhone update in the last decade-plus.

I hope I'm being overly cynical here because the watchOS update is going to make it onto more than just the Apple Watch Series 9, and I don't think anybody's going to be happy about a watchOS update if it makes the already pretty poor Apple Watch battery life even worse. So I'm crossing my fingers on this one and hoping for a nicer interface and an Apple Watch with better-than-ever battery life.

Carrie Marshall

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written thirteen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote another seven books and a Radio 2 documentary series. When she’s not scribbling, she’s the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR (