Apple Watch Series 7 didn’t get a body temperature sensor over software issues

The upcoming Apple Watch Series 8 should measure your body temperature via a new health sensor, provided Apple has managed to perfect software support for it.

Image credit: Chelson Tamares / Unsplash
  • A reliable Apple analyst explains why he is now expecting the upcoming Apple Watch Series 8, launching this fall, to include a body temperature sensor after all.
  • The sensor was ready for the Apple Watch Series 7, but Apple has apparently failed to perfect the algorithm on time for it to be included in that model.
  • The same analyst thinks Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy Watch 5 might not support the body temperature measurement due to similar algorithm limitations.

Kuo expects Series 8 to measure body temperature

With a miniature body temperature sensor, your watch would turn into a wrist thermometer that could help detect a range of health problems such as a fever, which is a common symptom of many illnesses. Ming-Chi Kuo on Twitter explained that creating a wrist thermometer is much easier said than done because “skin temperature quickly varies depending on outside environments.” That’s why implementing precise body temperature measurements requires reliable algorithms.

“The challenge in implementing precise body temperature measurement is that skin temperature quickly varies depending on outside environments,” explains Kuo. “A smartwatch can’t support core temperature measurement in terms of hardware, so it needs an excellent algorithm to work together.”

He went on to claim that the company canceled the new sensor for the current Series 7 model “because the algorithm failed to qualify” before entering the EVT stage last year. EVT, or Engineering Validation Test, is performed on the first engineering prototypes to ensure that the product functions according to design goals and specifications. “I believe the Apple Watch 8 could take body temperature if the algorithm can meet Apple’s high requirements before mass production,” the analyst has concluded. Read: 30+ things to do after buying a new Apple Watch

Gurman vs. Kuo

Following the Apple Watch Series 7 launch in September 2021, Kuo originally made the prediction that the next Apple Watch would gain the ability to measure the user’s body temperature via a specially-made sensor. But in January 2022, Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman said that he didn’t believe the Apple Watch Series 8 would get new health sensors for body temperature, blood pressure and blood sugar.

Here’s what Gurman wrote in that story:

Body temperature was on this year’s roadmap, but chatter about it has slowed down recently. Blood pressure is at least two to three years away, while I wouldn’t be surprised if glucose monitoring doesn’t land until later in the second half of the decade.

This isn’t the first time Gurman has said that the next Apple Watch would bring “major updates to activity tracking” along with faster chips, but no new sensors to measure body temperature. Ultimately, both Gurman and Kuo could be right even though they’re getting their information from different sources, hence the discrepancies. At any rate, having a reliable analyst like Kuo, who has sources deeply entrenched in Apple’s supply chain, saying they are now expecting a body temperature sensor on the next Apple Watch is no doubt an encouraging sign.

If Kuo is hearing—just a few months until the announcement—that Series 8 will measure body temperature, then Apple has probably fixed its failing algorithm. As a result, we’re now expecting an Apple Watch with a wrist thermometer come this September. Read: How to know whether Apple Watch is online