Apple Watch 3 to include smartphone-like features; September release date anticipated

By @ULB1N on
Apple Watch
The Apple Watch is seen on display during a preview event at the new Apple Store Williamsburg in Brooklyn, New York, U.S., July 28, 2016. Reuters/Andrew Kelly

Apple is expected to release an all-new smartwatch sometime in September alongside the iPhone 8. And according to a new report, the Apple Watch 3 is supposedly going to have its own cellular connection, which will allow it to make phone calls, surf the web and send messages without the need of an iPhone.

Current models of Apple’s wearable need to be connected to an iPhone to do tasks. Those include sending text messages, streaming music and looking for directions on a map. But if a new report is to be believed, the upcoming Apple smartwatch will be able to stand on its own without a counterpart handset.

According to Bloomberg, the Apple Watch 3 is going to come with its own LTE wireless chip, allowing the smart device to reduce its reliance on the iPhone. This could be the biggest game change for the California-based company’s wearable, which has received some unfavourable reviews despite selling rather well.

Just a week ago, Apple CEO Tim Cook mentioned that the company’s smartwatch revenue increased more than 50 percent in fiscal third quarter. According to market research firm Strategy Analytics, the Mac maker is currently the world's number three wearables vendor, behind second fiddle Fitbit and global leader Xiaomi. It won’t be long, however, until Apple climbs the top of the market again.

“Apple shipped 2.8 million wearables worldwide in Q2 2017, growing 56 percent annually from 1.8 million in Q2 2016,” said Strategy Analytics director Cliff Raskind. “Apple has for now lost its wearables leadership to Xiaomi, due to a lack of presence in the sizeable fitness band subcategory. However, the rumoured upcoming Watch Series 3 launch with enhanced health tracking could prove to be a popular smartwatch model and enable Apple to reclaim the top wearables spot later this year.”

Apple likewise needs to improve its upcoming smartwatch’s battery life. It will reportedly come with contemporary new features, including additional Siri-enabled functions, gym equipment connectivity and the ability to display news stories and send payments.

Intel will reportedly supply Apple with its next smartwatch’s LTE chips. Qualcomm also wants a piece of the pie, but unfortunately for the San Diego-based semiconductor and telecommunications equipment company, it’s still involved in a legal dispute with the iPhone maker. Apple has ultimately elected Intel to be the Apple Watch 3 series’ chip provider.

Giant US telcos including Sprint, Verizon, T-Mobile and AT&T are set to sell the upcoming Apple Watch 3 with wireless plans, according to the report’s sources. But if Apple fails to fully develop the wearable in time for the projected September launch with the iPhone 8, fans will have to wait for it until next year.

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