Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities, who holds an impeccable record for flawlessly predicting Apple-related news, is back with his forecasts for the second-generation Apple Watch.

Citing Kuo’s research note, Apple Insider reported that Apple Watch 2 will be released sometime this year with improvements to internal hardware components. However, there will be little to no design changes. The new device will ultimately be an “s” variant of the smartwatch. The minimal changes to the innards of the device include performance boosts and a fix to improve battery life, among others.

Design-wise, Kuo reportedly said the Apple Watch 2 will look identical to the original model. Apple is believed to house a relatively bigger battery in upcoming model. To top it off, the tech giant is also working to improve the display/dial of the smartwatch to offer better outdoor visibility, Phone Arena noted.

Apple Watch Hermes Edition A photo of the Apple Watch Hermes Edition. Photo: Apple, Hermès

According to Kuo’s predictions, Apple Watch 2 sales figures will hit 7.5 million this year. In comparison, he estimates Apple shipped about 10.6 million units of its first-generation Apple Watch in 2015.

Apple has officially not announced sales numbers for the Apple Watch so far. However, the tech giant acknowledged that smartwatch sales grew each quarter from the time it debuted in spring 2015.

Past rumors suggesting that Apple Watch 2 would be unveiled in March proved to be untrue. Phone Arena says some sources point to June as the possible release time frame, when Apple has scheduled the annual Worldwide Developers Conference from June 8 to June 12.

The other possibility for the introduction of Apple Watch 2 is alongside the heavily-rumored Apple iPhone 7 in the usual release cycle in September.

Furthermore, Apple usually cuts the price of a product's predecessor in time for the next-gen device launch. The iPhone-maker recently cut the price of the original Apple Watch by $50. Now, the 38mm Sport version of the smartwatch can be purchased for just $299, while the 42mm model comes for $349.

This move suggests one of the two things. Apple is either clearing the Apple Watch inventory to make way for its successor. Or it’s just a marketing strategy to make people buy the device by offering a discount.