The second generation Apple Watch is coming this spring and it's going to be 40 percent thinner than the original model. Or, the new model is coming this fall and it'll have the same form factor as the original. What we really know about the second generation Apple Watch is that we don't really know anything yet.
Drexel Hamilton analyst Brian White thinks the new Apple Watch will be between 20 percent and 40 percent thinner than the current model (thanks, Mac Rumors), and that it could make a showing at Apple's annual Worldwide Developer Conference in June.
KGI Securities analyst Ming Chi Kuo says the second generation model will look like the first, but will sport improved features (thanks, AppleInsider). He isn't offering up any details on what those new features may be, and isn't saying if battery life will be improved.
Some reports are targeting this fall for a new Apple Watch release, along side the iPhone 7. If so, that puts the next watch release in the fall, most likely in September.
Apple is maintaining its usual tight-lipped stance on future products and very little is leaking about the new watch model. Assuming Apple is planning a spring launch, we should be seeing supply chain leaks and so far those haven't been coming.
We also have no idea what sort of timeframe Apple has been planning for its smartwatch update cycle. Many smartphone users are fine with an annual iPhone upgrade cycle, especially now that carriers are making it easier to trade out phones, but iPad buyers seem more content waiting longer between upgrades.
Watches have historically been a slow upgrade cycle with years between replacements. Apple no doubt would like to see customers upgrading their Apple Watch more often, but an annual cycle may be a hard sell for many watch users.
It's a safe bet we aren't on an annual Apple Watch upgrade cycle because the first model shipped about a year ago and we haven't had any announcements yet. That said, fall seems more likely than spring since we haven't seen a stream of parts leaks yet.
So, when is the next Apple Watch shipping? No one outside of Apple really knows yet, so don't make any purchasing plans based on the rumors.