We're expecting to see some of watchOS 9 at WWDC 2022, but the Apple Watch 8 launch date is likely later. When will the Apple Watch 8 launch in 2022? Unless Apple has suddenly changed its way of doing things, we can take an educated guess: the Apple Watch Series 7 was launched in September 2021, the Series 6 in September 2020, the Series 5 in September 2019... you can see where I'm going with this. So unless Apple has decided to Think Different in 2022, we'd expect the Apple Watch Series 8 launch date to be September 2022, possibly with a few weeks' wait before the models actually go on sale.Apple is holding its WWDC developers conference in June 2022, and we'd expect to see at least some of the new features of watchOS 9 at this Apple Event. But we'll be very surprised if Apple decides to launch new watch hardware this side of the summer.
We're still quite early in the rumour cycle, but reports suggest that we'll see a new ruggedised model designed for athletes and outdoor sports enthusiasts, and the Apple Watch Series 8 is also expected to gain a new body temperature sensor. Rumours of other sensors such as glucose, alcohol and blood pressure haven't been substantiated so far and I think seem unlikely at this stage.
We're expecting the Apple Watch Series 8's price to be similar to the current range, so around $399 / £369 / AU$599 for the smaller aluminium GPS model and around $499 / £469 / AU$749 (plus the cost of a data plan) for the LTE model, with prices escalating steeply when you get into the fancier case options.
The Apple Watch Series 8 isn't the only flagship watch we're expecting to see later this year. Samsung has its Samsung Galaxy Watch 5, while Google has its Pixel Watch. The latter has very clearly been designed as a direct rival to the Apple Watch, although so far it seems that its specification will be more modest than that of the Samsung – although now Google owns Fitbit, its Fitbit integration could make it more compelling than many other Wear OS watches.
It's going to be an interesting year for key wearables, that's for certain, but you'll have to wait that bit longer before things really kick off, as it's going to be September at the earliest before the big releases begin to roll out.