There are two Apple Watch models now – Series 1 and Series 2 – but when will the Apple Watch 3 come out? Here we take a look at the possible Apple Watch 3 release date along with specs and features. See also: Best smartwatches 2016.

Although Google's partners have launched hordes of Android Wear smartwatches over the years, the Apple Watch is a top seller. With the 'Series' naming scheme differentiating the two current models, the next wearable could well be called the Apple Watch Series 3 but we're calling it the Apple Watch 3 for now to keep things simple.

Related articles: Apple Watch vs Apple Watch 2 | Apple Watch buying guide 2016 | Apple Watch tips: watchOS 3 tips & secret features.

Update 6 January: The Chinese Economic Daily News website has reported that Apple has again given the manufacturing contract to Taiwan-based Quanta, which has made all of Apple's smartwatches so far. It says to expect a launch in the Autumn of 2017. It may not look much different, though, as the rumour is that the main improvement will be in battery life rather than a new design or new features. Rumours say that Apple might use what's called a 'micro-LED' screen to help in its quest to last for more days between charges.

Apple Watch 3 release date

Even without rumours, we expect the Apple Watch 3 release date to fall around September 2017, as this would be a year after the Apple Watch Series 2 (which was revealed on 7 September).

However, there could be new Apple Watch models as soon as March, with a possible 'S' models arriving with more storage – maybe 4- and 8GB. This is our thoughts as opposed to rumours, though.

Apple Watch 2

Apple Watch 3 specs and features

Will the Apple Watch 3 be round? We certainly hope so or at least an option for circular alongside square, but there are no rumours to suggest so yet. It's one of the more unlikely features since watchOS has been designed for square shaped displays and the latest rumours suggest Apple isn't going to change the design at all.

What's easy to predict is that the Apple Watch 3 will come in a range of models, colours and a choice of straps. This means the price will have a large range depending on how basic or flashy you want to go. You can also expect collaborations with the likes of Nike.

Apple, we think, will also continue to offer two different sizes to cater for more users.

Do you need a camera on your smartwatch? It didn't work on the Samsung Gear 2 but Apple's patent is for a selfie camera instead. So, the Apple Watch 3 could support taking selfie photos and maybe FaceTime video calling, too.

Another interesting patent show that Apple might be designing multi-function straps. A 'Magnetic Wristband' shows a strap which would attach to the body of the watch with magnets. However, the interesting bit it when the watch isn't worn as the strap can be rolled up to create stand.  

Apple Watch magnetic strap

Though the screen may stay square, Apple could introduce 3D Touch to the Apple Watch 3 providing extra functionality. It was a possible feature for the Series 2 so we expect the next model to be adorned with the pressure sensitivity.

We'll update this article with more news and rumours as they appear, but if you're listening Apple, our wishlist includes better battery life, an optional round screen, Qi wireless charging and smart straps. Ok? Thanks.