The Apple Watch has become a strange beast ever since it was first announced, in part because it received such a huge initial push of hype. While you still may see people wearing it, few can argue that the Apple Watch has come anywhere close to the mainstream appeal of the iPhone.
Apple seemingly thinks that the best way to begin putting that right is to ship a device with a built-in cellular capability, allowing the new Apple Watch to function without the need for an iPhone to be within range.
The new rumors come courtesy of Bloomberg, which suggests that while an LTE chip will be included in a future Apple Watch, it is not guaranteed that all Apple carrier partners will support it, something that will no doubt be disappointing to the company considering it is reportedly working closely with carriers to ensure that does not happen. A release date for the new Apple Watch with LTE support is also fluid, with a release not until 2018 very much possible at the moment.
The new device could still be delayed beyond 2017 — indeed, the company had already postponed a cellular-capable smartwatch last year. Apple declined to comment.
Alongside the inclusion of an LTE connection, set to be provided by Intel, the new Apple Watch is also expected to receive a facelift as mentioned in a follow-up report by John Gruber. In it, he says that he has heard that a new physical design is in the works.
It’s hard to overstate just how big a deal this could be. No mention in Businessweek’s report, though, of the all-new form factor that I’ve heard is coming for this year’s new watches.
Apple’s wearable has yet to receive a physical refresh, meaning one is very much due. If Gruber is right, and he usually is, then we could be set to see what Apple’s engineers are capable of when they have an extra couple of years of Apple Watch design under their collective belts!