The Vision Pro may have been Apple’s first “new” product line in a while, but many hope it won’t be the only one this year if the Apple Smart Ring rumors are to be believed. The Apple Vision Pro headset received a very lukewarm reception, with the initial excitement dying down quickly as customers began returning it, citing discomfort and headaches. With matter as they are, an Apple Smart Ring release date could perhaps boost their sales numbers somewhat, but only if it is done well enough so that the next device doesn’t meet the same fate as the VR headset. Apple has had its eye on smart ring technology for a long time now but there have been little to no updates on how things have been progressing at the Cupertino company. With the Vision Pro launch out of the way, the company should be more free to pick up the pace on the Smart Ring and refine the product it has designed so far. For now, a few details have emerged from the Apple Smart Ring patents the company has been filing, likely as they work past each developmental stage in their production process. 

Will We See An Accelerated Apple Smart Ring Release Date in 2024?

Image: Apple always aims for a simple, clean design. We’re hoping the Apple Smart Ring is just as classy.

The health and wellness category has been blossoming in recent years and wearable smart tech has grown to be a billion-dollar industry in its own right, projected to reach $265.4 billion USD by 2026 according to MarketsandMarkets. The smart ring industry in particular could grow from $29 million USD in 2023 to $200 million USD by 2031, a tenfold growth according to the numbers by Business Research Insight. Despite it feeling like smart rings are a new concept, in reality, it is far from the truth and the industry has been growing steadily for a few years now. 

Is Apple Going to Make a Smart Ring?

It’s almost certain that Apple will release a smart ring soon enough as their patents appear quite detailed, with a clear focus on what they want to do and how they plan to achieve it. Affectionately dubbed the iRing by the media right now—because what else would Apple call it—the smart ring appears to be going through various design iterations as the company plots out what it wants to put out onto the market. The attention to the patents was drawn by a report in ET News, a Korean news page, which quoted an industry insider who stated that the sudden burst of energy behind the Samsung smart ring had sped things up at Apple as well. 

Now we don’t know how reliable this news is because the Apple Smart Ring patents haven’t particularly ramped up right now or indicated that they were particularly close to a “final” product, but it is interesting to see the direction in which the company is working. Is Apple going to make a smart ring? That is definitely a “yes.” But the exact details surrounding the launch remain hazy. 

Is There an Apple Smart Ring Release Date?

Not yet. The rumor mills hypothesize that the Apple Smart Ring release date could be set for sometime in 2024 but there is no concrete evidence to suggest this just yet. Many predict that the Apple Smart Ring has a targeted release before the Samsung one, but that seems even more unlikely as Samsung seemed to be much closer to a finished product than Apple. Reports like the one by ET News predict that the Samsung Galaxy Smart Ring could be unveiled during an event scheduled for July, but there is no way Apple will be able to market and sell an entirely new product that quickly. Even the Galaxy ring release seems mostly unconfirmed by any other sources.

Apple announced the Vision Pro for the first time back in June last year during the WWDC 2023 event, but the product launched only on February 2, 2024, after pre-orders opened on January 19. If an Apple Smart Ring was released, we would likely see a similarly spaced timeline between the initial product announcement and launch, even if they don’t hype the device up as much as the Vision Pro. As such, a 2024 Apple Smart Ring release date seems unlikely. 

Is Apple Going to Make a Smart Ring?

How Much Will the Apple Smart Ring Cost?

Again, the details remain a little hazy on Apple’s plans for the smart ring. Like most products from the company, an Apple Ring will likely be priced slightly higher than most of the competitors on the market, with the aim to reach its usual premium audience. The benchmark for smart rings on the market currently seems priced around $300, so the Apple Smart Ring may very well begin with at least a $400 USD price tag. The Oura Ring, the leader of the smart ring industry, comes priced at around $299 USD but it has a monthly subscription after the first month, which is $5.99 USD out of your pocket every month. The steel and gold versions of the Oura ring gen 3 are priced at $399 USD and $449 USD respectively, so it wouldn’t be surprising for the Apple Smart ring to take a page from their higher-end models. 

The Ultrahuman Ring Air is another competitor on the market but one that doesn’t require a subscription, and this one is priced at $349 USD. Monavo’s Evie Ring for women? That’s a more niche product but still priced at $269 USD. It seems quite likely that the Apple Smart Ring will cost more than what is available on the market right now. If it doesn’t? Consider us pleasantly surprised. 

Apple Smart Ring Patents—What Will The Apple Ring Do?

It’s difficult to fully break down the content of the Apple Smart Ring patents as their focus remains on the very specific technical aspects of the device as opposed to how exactly this will culminate into features on the Apple Smart Ring. The most essential features of smart wearable tech will undoubtedly feature on the ring—sleep trackers, blood oxygen measures, heart-rate monitors, and some form of a fitness tracker. Its biometrics capabilities should be the bread-and-butter of the device. Additionally, it seems the Apple Smart Ring could showcase some form of compatibility with the Vision Pro, supporting gesture controls that allow you to interact with the headset in a much more comprehensive way.

If the Smart Ring could take matters one step further and showcase some amount of gesture control integration with other devices like the iPhone, it would make it a more appealing investment to a wider audience. Monetary transactions via these smart devices are another popular application of such technology—the arrival of the McLEAR RingPay is one such example, even if an oddly short-lived one. With the existing ApplePay platform, integrating Near Field Communication capabilities could mean an easy win for the company pursuing a single device that can do it all. 

There aren’t too many other features available right now. In terms of the physical structure, the Apple Smart Ring patent shows some form of a rotatable outer ring, pressure-sensitive input mechanisms, wireless communication components, etc. In the past, there were reportedly rumors of a patent for a touchscreen interface but that seems a little unlikely right now, as it could make the device quite bulky—a smartwatch for your finger that you didn’t ask for. We’re excited to see how exactly the Apple Smart Ring takes shape and whether they land on Apple Ring or iRing as the official title. We’d much prefer if the company took its time with the launch and released a fully functional device rather than rushing to match up to the Samsung release, but the final outcome remains to be seen.