It's long been rumored Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) would launch a new version of its hot-selling Apple Watch this fall. And now those rumors are gaining a bit more traction this week, as the company reportedly filed six new Apple Watch model numbers with the Eurasian Economic Commission, according to French blog Consomac (via MacRumors).
Wearable products are undoubtedly a priority at Apple. In its third-quarter earnings call, the tech giant said that rapidly growing sales of wearable products were one of the key drivers of its strong revenue growth during the period. An Apple Watch Series 4 would help position the company to keep building on its growing momentum in the nascent segment.
Apple Watch Series 4: Coming in September?
Supporting the case that Consomac stumbled onto model numbers that truly represent new versions of the Apple Watch, the blog said all of the new models filed with the Eurasian Economic Commission are slated to run WatchOS 5. Unveiled earlier this summer along with iOS 12, WatchOS 5 is scheduled for release this fall -- just in time for an Apple Watch to be launched alongside Apple's usual iPhone launch, which occurs every September.
As MacRumors notes, Apple has made similar filings with the Eurasian Economic Commission ahead of many other products. These filings usually happened "within one to two weeks before each product was released," according to MacRumors' Joe Rossignol.
These rumors corroborate reports earlier this year from the well-connected KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who said Apple was planning to launch a new version of the Apple Watch this fall.
Of course, a more obvious reason to expect an Apple Watch Series 4 to be announced alongside a new iPhone, at Apple's annual fall product launch event, is that this is exactly what happened last year. The Apple Watch Series 3 was unveiled on Sept. 12 alongside the iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and X.
Why it matters
The wearables segment is rapidly morphing into the next leg of Apple's business, making the upcoming Apple Watch launch especially important.
Apple CEO Tim Cook detailed the growing importance of the wearables business in the company's third-quarter earnings call:
Our third highlight of the quarter is the outstanding results in wearables, which comprises Apple Watch, AirPods, and Beats ... up over 60% year over year, with growth accelerating from the March quarter. Our wearables revenue exceeded $10 billion over the last four quarters, a truly remarkable accomplishment for a set of products that has only been on the market for a few years.
Cook also noted the Apple Watch, specifically, saw year-over-year revenue growth "in the mid-40% range" during the quarter.
Making the Apple Watch unveiling even more exciting this year: rumors that the device will finally get a redesign of its exterior -- the first time for the Apple Watch ever. The new Apple Watch will have a 15% larger display and a "trendy" new design, according to Kuo.