Next-gen Apple Watch rumored to have standalone cellular connectivity

James Marshall
August 5, 2017

Apple Inc.is planning to release a version of its smartwatch later this year that can connect directly to cellular networks, a move created to reduce the device's reliance on the iPhone, people familiar with the matter said.

With cellular support, the new Apple Watch could make calls, send messages, stream songs, request an Uber, and download info from maps, to name a few functions that now require your iPhone be close by.

That means the Apple Watch would no longer rely exclusively on the iPhone to download or stream data, and would be able to connect to an LTE network.

It's not clear yet how a cellular plan would work with a cellular Apple Watch. This feature will allow you to leave your iPhone behind and still have full functionality. It's unclear if an additional monthly fee will be required by carriers as is now the requirement for LTE smart watches.

Intel Corp. will supply the LTE modems for the new Watch, according to another person familiar with the situation.

Blooomberg says Apple is actively working with carriers to support the cellular Apple Watch when it's ready, but not all carriers that work with the iPhone are expected to support the LTE Apple Watch at launch. Battery life - already a sore spot for the Apple Watch - would take a hit if the device had to power a cellular radio.

Bloomberg's report indicates the new model will be called Apple Watch Series 3. Apple added Intel as a modem supplier for some iPhones a year ago.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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