Apple Watch Series 7 uses same processor as predecessor

Posted:
in Apple Watch edited September 15
The Apple Watch Series 7, announced on Tuesday, is thought to use the same S6 system-in-package processor first deployed in the Apple Watch Series 6 released last year.

Apple Watch Series 7


Apple failed to talk up the performance of Apple Watch Series 7's processor during Tuesday's unveiling, which is peculiar considering sequential bumps in capability are typically a staple of Apple hardware introductions.

It appears, however, that there are no performance gains to speak of, as the new wearable uses the S6 SiP introduced with Apple Watch Series 6 in 2020.

While Apple has not released exact specifications pertaining to its flagship's processor, developer Steve Troughton-Smith in a tweet today said the latest version of Xcode reveals both Apple Watch Series 7 and Apple Watch Series 6 integrate a "t8301" CPU. Troughton-Smith guesses that the component is the "exact same" part used last year, meaning the chip was not massaged with modifications or upgrades.

"There is a reason Apple didn't talk about the Apple Watch Series 7 CPU this year," Troughton-Smith said. "[A]nd it's because it's the exact same as last year's Series 6 In fact it doesn't even get a new model number, it's effectively just a chassis tweak."

That take is perhaps a tad disingenuous considering Apple increased the chassis size to accommodate a new Retina display that boasts nearly 20% more screen area than the Apple Watch Series 6. The casing is also 40% thinner and includes "fundamental design changes" that make it the most durable Watch to come out of Cupertino. Apple claims the front crystal is its strongest yet, while the overall unit features IP6X certification and a "swimproof" WR50 water resistance rating.

Also new is an enhanced charging system that provides 33% faster charging than Apple Watch Series 6. Apple claims the device can reach an 80% charge in 45 minutes with the new Magnetic Fast Charger USB-C Cable.

Why Apple carried the S6 forward into Apple Watch Series 7 is unclear, but the decision is unprecedented for a next-generation flagship device. Apple has introduced a new S-series processor with each Apple Watch revision since its inception and only twice issued a variant of a current chip or integrated a previous generation processor in an entry-level model. A similar strategy is applied to iPhone and iPad.

It remains unclear how the wider Apple Watch ecosystem will be impacted by the decision, if at all, though it appears that the S6 is more than capable of handling a larger screen and watchOS 8. Among Apple's products, Apple Watch, with its lightweight apps and limited capabilities, is perhaps least affected by the lack of a progressively performant chip.

Apple Watch Series 7 is due to arrive later this fall.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 31
    The s4 and s5 were pretty much the same chip, so this isn't unprecedented.  It is disappointing.   https://appleinsider.com/articles/19/09/18/xcode-confirms-apple-watch-s5-cpu-is-the-same-as-s4-102-inch-ipad-has-3gb-ram
    Scot1elijahgseanjrinosaurtwokatmewrundhvid
  • Reply 2 of 31
    It stood out that several times on different products that the updated models where spun as X% faster than the COMPETITION, and not the PREVIOUS MODEL.
    muthuk_vanalingamnapoleon_phoneapart
  • Reply 3 of 31
    Chip shortages, thats why
    spherichammeroftruthrepressthis
  • Reply 4 of 31
    Are there issues with AppleWatches being too slow?
    beowulfschmidthcrefugeeStrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 31
    dk49dk49 Posts: 135member
    Kuyangkoh said:
    Chip shortages, thats why
    I don't think so. Chips for S7 still need to be produced, irrespective of what chipset it is. The shortage is on the hardware side, so a chip new design is not a hurdle.

    Though I believe that they might have moved to a 5nm design, saving the battery power required to power a larger display. 
    edited September 15 seanjrinosaurGeorgeBMacwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 31
    eriamjheriamjh Posts: 1,341member
    Getting anything redesigned during a pandemic is an achievement.  
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 31
    entropysentropys Posts: 3,109member
    Makes it an easier decision to grab a series 6 on clearance then
    edited September 15 Japheyrinosaurtwokatmew
  • Reply 8 of 31
    MisterKit said:
    It stood out that several times on different products that the updated models where spun as X% faster than the COMPETITION, and not the PREVIOUS MODEL.
    I noticed that as well. Nothing was touted as faster then the previous model, just the competition. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 31
    The display and more convenient charging time are the deciders for me. Aloha Series 3. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 31
    entropys said:
    Makes it an easier decision to grab a series 6 on clearance then
    I was thinking the same thing. Either that, or the base model 7, WiFi only. Quite a different decision than the SS vs. Ti one I started yesterday with. 
  • Reply 11 of 31
    reelgeek said:
    …this isn't unprecedented.  It is disappointing.  
    But why exactly is it disappointing? What is it that the AW6 processor can’t do that you need more power for?

    If they realized that their processor capability already surpassed software demands, I commend them for focusing their advancements (Screen seize, fast charging, durability) elsewhere—where people will actually see the benefits! 

    I imagine they are working on a faster processor and will have it ready when it’s needed—just not to satisfy the spec obsessed. 
    dk49neilmGeorgeBMacMplsPmuthuk_vanalingamhcrefugeeStrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 31
    dk49dk49 Posts: 135member
    bageljoey said:
    reelgeek said:
    …this isn't unprecedented.  It is disappointing.  
    But why exactly is it disappointing? What is it that the AW6 processor can’t do that you need more power for?

    If they realized that their processor capability already surpassed software demands, I commend them for focusing their advancements (Screen seize, fast charging, durability) elsewhere—where people will actually see the benefits! 

    I imagine they are working on a faster processor and will have it ready when it’s needed—just not to satisfy the spec obsessed. 
    I agree. I don't think that Apple watch runs any heavy computations such as games or CPU hogging apps. And though it doesn't apply to the current Apple watch, I would prefer more health sensors over a better processor any day. 
    GeorgeBMacwatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 31
    Very sad LOL. 
    edited September 15
  • Reply 14 of 31
    Im disappointed for not having new medical sensors….i will keep my 6 for now, until the flat one shows up. Hahahahaha come on Poser
    GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 15 of 31
    This may be the first time I skip a generation. Besides, my wife is not keen on inheriting my red 6. 
  • Reply 16 of 31
    bageljoey said:
    reelgeek said:
    …this isn't unprecedented.  It is disappointing.  
    But why exactly is it disappointing? What is it that the AW6 processor can’t do that you need more power for?

    If they realized that their processor capability already surpassed software demands, I commend them for focusing their advancements (Screen seize, fast charging, durability) elsewhere—where people will actually see the benefits! 

    I imagine they are working on a faster processor and will have it ready when it’s needed—just not to satisfy the spec obsessed. 

    I totally, absolutely agree!
    Many seem to be still living back 30 years ago when Ghz dominated every discussion about new PCs -- they were measured strictly on how fast their CPU could spin.

    But, as you point out:  CPU power has surpassed the functional requirements of most users -- so it's time to focus attention to other areas that actually benefit most consumers.

    For myself:  I saw a big difference going from a Series 0 to a Series 1.   Then I saw another big  difference going to a Series 4.   But, right now, my Series 4 is running just fine (knock on wood!), meeting my needs and is likely to stay on my wrist for at least another year.
    hcrefugeeStrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 31
    saareksaarek Posts: 1,321member
    dk49 said:
    bageljoey said:
    reelgeek said:
    …this isn't unprecedented.  It is disappointing.  
    But why exactly is it disappointing? What is it that the AW6 processor can’t do that you need more power for?

    If they realized that their processor capability already surpassed software demands, I commend them for focusing their advancements (Screen seize, fast charging, durability) elsewhere—where people will actually see the benefits! 

    I imagine they are working on a faster processor and will have it ready when it’s needed—just not to satisfy the spec obsessed. 
    I agree. I don't think that Apple watch runs any heavy computations such as games or CPU hogging apps. And though it doesn't apply to the current Apple watch, I would prefer more health sensors over a better processor any day. 

    Which is what makes this update doubly dissappointing. Same SiP, different chassis, no new functionality. Emperors new clothes.

    Don't get me wrong, I love my S6 and it was a fantastic upgrade over my S1. But the S6 wasn't much of an upgrade over the S5 which itself wasn't much of an upgrade over the S4.

    The Apple watch basically peaked with the Series 4 and since then it's had very tiny updates.
    edited September 15
  • Reply 18 of 31
    bageljoey said:
    reelgeek said:
    …this isn't unprecedented.  It is disappointing.  
    But why exactly is it disappointing? What is it that the AW6 processor can’t do that you need more power for?

    If they realized that their processor capability already surpassed software demands, I commend them for focusing their advancements (Screen seize, fast charging, durability) elsewhere—where people will actually see the benefits! 

    I imagine they are working on a faster processor and will have it ready when it’s needed—just not to satisfy the spec obsessed. 
    I would agree as well.  I have a S5 and I never sit there thinking that it's not fast enough given the types of applications it runs.  This is largely the same with the iPhone or iPad... even years after their introduction, the older devices rarely make me cringe as I work with them.  I think memory (RAM) might have a larger impact as it pertains to OS updates.

    As someone who grew up in the earlier years of computing, I truly remember how much each generation of processor design impacted the day-to-day usability of things.  Yearly A-series and S-series updates sometimes feel like an unnecessary (but not unappreciated) luxury.
    GeorgeBMacwatto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 31
    mike1mike1 Posts: 2,748member
    dk49 said:
    Kuyangkoh said:
    Chip shortages, thats why
    I don't think so. Chips for S7 still need to be produced, irrespective of what chipset it is. The shortage is on the hardware side, so a chip new design is not a hurdle.

    Though I believe that they might have moved to a 5nm design, saving the battery power required to power a larger display. 

    That's not necessarily true. It takes time to migrate and tool for the new chip. If production time/space is limited, it is far better to keep the production lines cranking out S6 than it is to migrate to S7 and have fewer chips available. Especially if there is no reason to do so.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 31
    twokatmewtwokatmew Posts: 30unconfirmed, member
    entropys said:
    Makes it an easier decision to grab a series 6 on clearance then
    Yep. I might just keep my SE for another year and wait for watch  series 8. 
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