Apple is working on a new model of the smartwatch that can work independently from a companion smartphone, according to a report. Bloomberg reports that the next-generation Apple Watch will have a cellular connectivity, meaning the wearable will directly connect to LTE mobile networks.
The report says the company has already begun talks with several network providers in the US and Europe about rolling out the device later this year. Intel will supply the LTE modems for the new Watch. It’s actually a big deal for Intel, as the veteran chip company has been trying hard to supply its components into Apple mobile devices. Apple is currently facing an ongoing legal battle with Qualcomm over patents and depending on Intel should be seen as purely a business decision.
In fact the concept of a 4G-enabled smartwatch isn’t new. Smartwatches from Samsung and LG already offer 4G connectivity. With a cellular connection, Apple Watch will be able to send messages, stream music, and connect to the internet without the need for an iPhone. Though it’s not clear whether you need a standalone LTE plan for the Apple Watch. Bloomberg says only a subset of network providers who sell the iPhone will support the Apple Watch, but in the US AT&T, Sprint, Verizon and T-Mobile all plan to offer cellular support when the smartwatch lunches this fall.
Apple Watch has been rumoured to get a cellular connectivity for quite sometime. We’ve been hearing reports of the smartwatch getting the SIM support, even before the launch of the Apple Watch Series 2 last year. However there have been concerns about the battery life on an LTE-enabled Apple Watch. Right now, Apple Watch lasts a day on a single charge. If Apple plans to add an LTE modem into the watch, it could severely impact on the smartwatch battery life. Last year, Apple added a GPS chip into the Apple Watch, but chose not to embedded an LTE modem due to severe battery issues. Cellular connectivity in the smartwatch is a challenge, but Apple has been trying to overcome those hurdles, Bloomberg noted.
Other than a LTE chipset, not much is known about the Apple Watch Series 3. It’s being speculated that the upcoming Apple Watch won’t look too different from the current model in terms of design. Apple will most likely improve general performance and battery life. Rumors have pointed towards a minor upgrade in the form of the micro-LED display, though the exact details are limited.
Despite being priced on a higher side, Apple Watch has been the most popular smartwatch in the market. Apple Watch Series 2 was launched in September and the next model will be out in the market during the same timeframe.