Apple reportedly plans to include an LTE modem in the Apple Watch 3, making the wearable more independent of the iPhone
The next iteration of the Apple Watch will be able to connect to 4G networks without the need for a paired iPhone, according to reports, in a move which could cement Apple’s position as the world’s leading smartwatch manufacturer.
Bloomberg says the Apple Watch 3 will come equipped with an LTE modem from Intel, although it may not arrive until 2018.
An LTE-enabled device had apparently been shelved by Apple last year because of battery life issues.
Apple Watch 3 4G
Apple does not release sales figures for the device, bundling revenues in with sales of accessories and Apple TV, but CEO Tim Cook claims the company is the world’s biggest smartwatch manufacturer by far.
And a more independently functioning Apple watch could boost sales even further. The Apple Watch 2 for example included a GPS chip which meant it no longer had to rely on a smartphone’s location feature.
The next version of watchOS 4 is set to arrive later in 2017, offering Siri functionality and providing developers with tools that allow them to make better use of the Apple Watch’s native functions.
Other planned features include integration with gym equipment featuring near-field communication, easier ways to access iTunes through the new Music app.
The first Apple Watch debuted in 2015, marking Apple’s first major new product line in several years. It competes with numerous Android Wear devices, most notably the Gear range from Samsung.
Silicon has contacted Apple for comment.