Apple Watch 3: Less reliance on iPhone
Canalys and IDC, both of which are industry analyst firms have stated that wearables are set to rise in popularity within the next couple of years. In Canalys analysis, the firm predicted a total 7.5 million smart watches to feature cellular connectivity.
This number does depend on Apple's inclusion of cellular connectivity in their watch product line, but it seems that the analyst firm is confident that the feature will be included soon. It wasn't in the new Series 2 watch, but we did see the inclusion of GPS, a step in the right direction.
As it stands, the Apple Watch Series 2 supports activity tracking (with GPS), music playback and mobile payments without a paired iPhone, with many other features including text messaging, emailing and using third-party apps impossible without an iPhone for the Apple Watch to communicate with. The release of watchOS 2 (and later watchOS 3) brought the ability for third-party apps to run natively on the Watch, but the apps still require an iPhone to send and receive data.
We would like to see the Series 3 add a new wireless chipset and cellular connectivity, to make it less reliant on the iPhone. While it probably won't be able to handle data-heavy requests (such as software updates), other tasks could be handled without the assistance of an iPhone.
Some are suggesting that the Watch 3 will be able to run on its own, allowing it to run independently from an iPhone. In this respect, it's rumoured that the Watch 3 will have an untethered mode, allowing you to directly connect your Apple Watch 3 to a network, directly from the watch itself. We don't think Apple will allow this, due to the battery impact it will have on the device.
There are even more speculations surrounding the inclusion of a 3G or 4G-LTE-enabled Apple Watch 3 that will bring a lot new connectivity options to the upcoming watch. However, this might raise concern for those wanting a better battery life.
According to a blog post from Apple, all apps developed from 1 June for the Apple Watch must be 'native' - that is, apps that can operate from the Watch instead of the user's tethered iPhone. This may have a positive impact on speed, given that apps will now all run right there on your wrist.
This also ties in in part to another report from the Wall Street Journal that the Apple Watch may get cellular connectivity. We've seen smartwatches from Samsung that ship with 3G connectivity, and allow users to make and receive calls without their phone. It complicates things slightly for mobile operators as Apple will have to make it clear how the user is billed for cellular usage over two devices.
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