Apple's latest filings fuel rumors about a new
Apple Watch in the pipeline for September, but
doesn't answer the question of whether it's the
Apple Watch Series 5 or an older Apple Watch
with a new spin. In this week's Apple Core
roundup we break down all of the plausible
rumors surrounding Apple's next smartwatch,
the latest details about Apple's new services
(Apple TV Plus and Apple Arcade) and the
Apple Card's official debut.

Apple Watch Series 5 or 4.5?
After a dry spell of Apple Watch rumors, this
week we finally received concrete evidence
from two different sources that Apple may be
launching an Apple Watch (or two) at its
September launch event.

The first bit of evidence: Apple has registered
four new Apple Watch models running watchOS
6 with the Eurasian Economic Commission
(EEC) according to MacRumors. This is a
necessary precursor to bringing a product to
market in this region. Apple listed a slew of
other products in its filing, including the new
iPhones running iOS 13 (which we're also
expecting in September) and new MacBooks.

We're also expecting a new 16-inch MacBook
Pro at a later fall event. But not all products
registered with the EEC have to be brand new.
Apple also registered the newly released 2019
iPod Touch in this round, and the watches in
question may just be new versions of an
existing model.


The other important Apple Watch clue this
week came straight from the source: watchOS
code. Brazilian site iHelpBR discovered
references to a titanium and ceramic Apple
Watch Edition in the latest code for watchOS 6.
These could be the four models referenced in
the EEC filing: the two sizes of the ceramic
model and the two sizes of the titanium
model.

This wouldn't be the first time Apple launches
a ceramic version of the Apple Watch -- both
the Series 2 and Series 3 watches came in a
ceramic option that sold for nearly $1,500. It
would, however, be a first for the titanium
edition. But it still doesn't tell us whether the
new case materials would be on a completely
new watch, or if they would be upgrades to the
existing Series 4 line-up.

The only reference to a Series 5 this week
came from long time Apple analyst Ming Chi
Quo. According to his latest report cited in
MacRumors, Japan Displays will supply the
OLED screens needed for a Series 5 Apple
Watch due in the second half of 2019. He also
predicted Apple would launch a ceramic model
of the watch.

Aside from the new materials, we know very
little about what new features may be coming
to the 2019 Apple Watch. The Series 4
received new FDA cleared heart health features
last year with the built in ECG and an Irregular
Heart Rhythm notification that screens for signs
of atrial fibrillation. This year there's been talk
of glucose monitoring and blood pressure
monitoring, but both these would likely need
FDA clearance, and by this point Apple
would've already submitted study results for
review as it did with the Apple Heart Study in
2018.

Video: We tested the Apple Watch EKG against
a hospital EKG
Sleep tracking could still be on the table for
this year though, because it may not require
this type of clearance. Competitors like Fitbit
and Samsung have had sleep tracking in their
wearable devices for the past several years.

But it's been notably absent -- at least natively
-- on Apple Watch, and Apple has already
expressed interest in the space. The company
acquired Beddit, a sleep sensor, back in 2017.

To bring a feature like this to market, Apple
would first have to improve the battery life of
the Apple Watch, which still needs to be
charged overnight. Apple may be able to give it
a power boost using a more efficient
processor, larger battery or a less power hungry
screen. Recent rumors suggest Apple will
eventually switch from OLED to microLED
technology in the Apple Watch. This would
enable a slimmer, brighter and more energy
efficient screen and ultimately solve the battery
problem, but it's not slated to happen until at
least 2020.