In a move that could be game-changing, Apple is planning to launch the Apple Watch 3 later this year with cellular connectivity. This will help make Apple Watch a standalone product, which is currently dependent on the iPhone for most of its functionality.
A report on Bloomberg states that the upcoming Apple Watch, likely to be called Watch 3, will come with LTE modems from Intel. The company is already talking to cellular carriers in the US and parts of Europe to bundle cellular connections with its smartwatch. The LTE modems are likely to be supplied by chipmaking giant Intel.
This means you can wear your Apple Watch 3 and do tasks without having an iPhone nearby. Currently, it’s impossible to do a lot of important things on the Watch without having an iPhone. However, it’s unclear whether Apple would open up the smartwatch to other mobile operating system users like Android.
If Apple does go out of the way and lets Android users buy and use an Apple Watch, it could be truly game-changing for Apple Watch, as a product. Currently, the Apple Watch doesn’t make a lot of money for the company. Apple still admits that its smartwatch is doing very well, without releasing any sales numbers for the Watch.
Another point worth considering is if the next-generation Apple Watch would get slightly thicker. With an LTE modem inside, it will need a slightly bigger battery to supply juice to the modem. So far Apple’s smartwatch lasts almost a full day on average usage. With cellular connectivity, battery issues could become a major issue.
Apple is expected to launch the next-generation Watch later this year. During the last earnings call, Apple’s CEO Tim Cook declared that Apple is headed for an interesting fall period ahead, like always. This year Apple is expected to launch three new iPhones – iPhone 7s, iPhone 7s Plus and the iPhone 8 (or Pro or X or whatever).
The company announced the Apple Watch Series 2 last year along with the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. Apple may announce the next-generation Apple Watch at the iPhone launch event in September this year. If that happens, the Apple Watch Series 3 may be available by fall this year in the US and select countries in Europe. Apple is expected to keep a similar pricing for Watch Series 3
Apple is expected to keep a similar pricing for Watch Series 3 as the Series 2. It may, however, discontinue the first-generation and the Series 1 entirely.