In addition to new iPhones, Apple will be releasing a new smartwatch later this year. The current Apple Watch Series 2 is already a huge upgrade over the previous version as it gets built-in GPS and water resistance up to 50 metres deep.
In order for the Watch to work with greater independence, it has to support standalone connectivity via 4G LTE. That’s apparently the next big feature that will be introduced on the upcoming Apple Watch Series 3.
According to Bloomberg, Apple is working with Intel to supply them with LTE modems for the upcoming Watch. With 4G, users on the Apple Watch can download maps, stream music and possibly make/receive calls and messages directly from your wrist.
It won’t replace your iPhone completely but it offers you the freedom to perform your fitness activities hands-free while keeping your music and messages with you. It isn’t clear what type of SIM Apple would be using but it is likely an embedded one which requires some form of partnership with supported telcos.
Apparently the Apple Watch Series 2 was supposed to support cellular connectivity but the plan was scrapped last year due to battery life concerns. With newer LTE modems that are more efficient, now is probably the right time.
We recently reviewed a Huawei Watch 2 with 4G LTE and it manages to last a full day with a few hours of standalone 4G usage in between. You can read our full review here.
Apart from 4G LTE support, the upcoming Watch Series 3 is said come with a glucose monitoring feature which is a big deal for health tracking. Also not forgetting is the public release of watchOS 4 which brings more standalone perks including payments via iMessage, advanced Siri features and the ability to connect with supported fitness equipment.