The new Apple Watch may have the ability to connect to cellular networks, wrote an analyst from research firm Susquehanna Financial Group after taking a trip through Asia in recently. The results of the trip were reported in Barron’s.
Susquehanna Financial Group semiconductor analyst Christopher Rolland, who covers chip makers such as Broadcom and Qualcom, which supplies parts said that the Cupertino-based firm could include cellular modem chip in their next smartwatch.
After taking a trip through Asia, Rolland claimed to Barron‘s: “We understand a model of the next Apple watch will include a SIM card, and therefore is likely to support LTE. We understand some issues remain, including battery life and form factor size, but significant progress has been made.”
“Apple may be employing VOIP and data across a CAT-M1 connection for superior battery life,” he added. “Apple will tout interoperability with the company’s AirPods (now on back order till May) to make and receive phone calls (perhaps a small win for Maxim with amps in each ear bud).”
The main roadblock to a cellular Apple Watch has been the battery consumption of cellular chips. The company has apparently been researching low-power data chips which could bring cellular connectivity without sacrificing as much battery life.
Adding integrated GPS in 2016’s Apple Watch Series 2 was a big step. It supported fitness enthusiasts in particular, letting them track running distances accurately while leaving the iPhone at home. But an Apple Watch Series 3 with LTE could make that experience significantly better. Apple Watch wearers could take phone calls, send messages, check their Twitter feed, receive notifications and potentially even stream Apple Music.