Apple’s goal to untether the Watch from the iPhone interfered with the currently available technology, so the company only managed to partly reach that goal. The Apple Watch 2 will include a GPS chip and other improvements to health tracking, according to people familiar with the matter speaking with Bloomberg.
As you may already know, the Apple Watch needs to be connected to the iPhone (5 or later) to download content and track location. Bloomberg’s sources say wireless carriers have allegedly been urging Apple to release a model that features cellular connectivity and Apple has been exploring such version.
Apple also had talks with carriers in the US and Europe to add cellular connectivity to allow users to get sports score alerts, email and use mapping applications without the need to carry the iPhone as well. That didn’t happen, at least not this year, because “current cellular chips consume too much battery life, reducing the product’s effectiveness and limiting user appeal,” sources say.
During the discussions, Apple executives expressed concern that the cellular models may not be ready for release this year and that the feature may be pushed back to a later generation, according to the people. Apple warned that, even on an aggressive schedule, the earliest possible shipment time-frame for cellular models would have been this December, one of the people said.
The Apple Watch 2 which will be unveiled this fall, however, will be able to partly untether from the iPhone, since it comes with a GPS chip which allows owners to track running and walking distances more precisely (without the need of carrying the iPhone) The data submitted to health applications will also be more precise, and will make navigation more accurate, according to two people cited by Bloomberg.
As for the Apple Watch with cellular connectivity, well, we’ll have to wait a bit more. Will the GPS chip be enough to consider buying an Apple Watch or maybe upgrade?