Bloomberg reports the next generation Apple Watch is set to include LTE wireless networking, and could debut by the end of this year:
Apple Inc. is planning to release a version of its smartwatch later this year that can connect directly to cellular networks, a move designed to reduce the device’s reliance on the iPhone, people familiar with the matter said.
The release could finally break the tether to an iPhone currently required for Apple Watch. Unnamed sources say watch users would be able to perform functions such as download new songs or apps over cellular networks, instead of a connection to an iPhone.
New LTE modems for Apple Watch, according to another person familiar with the matter, will be supplied by Intel. Apple sourced some LTE modems for iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus last year.
People say Apple is in talks with wireless carriers in the U.S. and Europe, with AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile planning to sell the cellular Apple Watch. No word on any Canadian carriers, but you can bet they’ll be involved somehow when data usage is at stake.
Sources tell Bloomberg “Apple has been exploring ways to improve battery life,” which was the cause of the device’s delay, earlier reported by the publication this year.
Also, John Gruber from Daring Fireball, responding to this Bloomberg report, says an “all-new” design is coming for Apple Watch Series 3 (Update: Gruber has updated his post re: “all-new” design):
It’s hard to overstate just how big a deal this could be. No mention in Businessweek’s report, though, of the all-new form factor that I’ve heard is coming for this year’s new watches. That tidbit came from an unconfirmed little birdie, though, so I wouldn’t bet the house on it.
Oh snap. Gruber has been roasting Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman lately for the tardiness of his leaks and specific details, when it comes to Apple products–again, we have a subtle jab.
This is the first time we’ve heard a cellular Apple Watch was in the works, as Barron’s claimed in March the next wearable would be powered by an Intel LTE modem. Digitimes claimed this year the next Apple Watch would include a new glass-film display. Last month, another Digitimes report claimed a fall launch was pegged for the next Apple Watch.
Are you ready for an Apple Watch upgrade in your life?