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Forget iPhone, Apple’s Next Watch Will Connect Directly To Cellular Networks



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Aug 06 2017
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Penny’s watch from the classic 1980s cartoon Inspector Gadget is still miles smarter and capable than Apple’s so-called smartwatch. Besides making voice call, the smartwatch from the 1983 could make video calls, has laser beam to cut metals, flashlight feature, ability to detect radioactive and even extremely powerful magnetic feature.

 

It appears Apple is slowly moving towards the capability possessed by the smartwatch in the era of Inspector Gadget – 34 years since the popular cartoon was unleashed to millions of kids worldwide. While Apple’s watch is cool, its dependency on iPhone is the single point of failure. Penny didn’t need a smartphone because the smartwatch was genuinely “smart”.

 

Scheduled to be released end of the year (2017), Apple will break that dependency by freeing its watch from ever relying on the smartphone. Yes, Apple’s smartwatch will no longer required to be connected wirelessly to an iPhone to stream music, download directions in maps, and send messages while on the go – the same way like the cartoon Inspector Gadget.

Penny Inspector Gadget SmartWatch vs Apple Watch

The grand plan is to release, at least a version, of smartwatch that can connect directly to cellular networks, hence reducing the gadget’s reliance on the iPhone. Apple is expected to release 2 versions of smartwatch, one that still depends on iPhone and another that is independent of the smartphone, just to test water and market reception of such approach.

 

According to Bloomberg, Intel Corp. will supply the LTE modems for the new Apple’s watch. Thanks to a bitter legal dispute between Apple Inc. and Qualcomm Inc., the main modem supplier for Apple iPhones and other mobile gadgets, Intel will finally boost its presence as a major component supplier for Apple – a huge win for the chipmaker.

 

Apparently, Apple has already started talking with carriers in the U.S. and Europe about offering the cellular version of its smartwatch. It was reported that AT&T Inc., Verizon Communications Inc., Sprint Corp. and T-Mobile US Inc. in the United States are excited and plan to sell the LTE Apple Watch. Presently, Apple Watch forms just a small part of Apple’s overall revenue.

Apple LTE Watch - Video Chat Mode

According to research firm Strategy Analytics, Apple only ranks third behind Xiaomi Corp. and Fitbit Inc. in the wearable smart gadget category. In essence, Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook has been riding on the success of iPhones, iPads and Macs ever since the death of Steve Jobs. Apple Watch, the first product introduced under Cook’s leadership, obviously isn’t performing.

 

The launching of Apple Watch as a standalone device may boost sales of the product, therefore boosting Tim Cook as the real driver of new technology and products. People are still comparing him to Steve Jobs even after 6 years of his death. The legacy and DNA of Steve Jobs are still very much glaring as far as Apple products are concerned.

 

In actuality, the tech giant had planned to release an LTE Apple Watch model last year, but chose to hold off due to battery life issues. In addition to an LTE-capable model, WatchOS 4 is coming with more Siri voice-enabled features – the ability to connect to gym equipment, send payments in iMessage and display news stories.

Apple Watch - Battery Life Issue

Still, it’s unclear if the LTE Apple Watch will be introduced just for the sake of releasing new product by the desperate Tim Cook, or the company has finally solved the issue of the battery life. The new watch is expected to consume more battery juice with a direct connectivity to cellular networks. There’s also the question of whether a separate data plan is required.

 

It makes prefect sense to leave the iPhone at home while jogging, instead of buying and wearing another piece of awkward looking armbands. It would definitely lighten the load while burning calories on the treadmill by wearing just a watch, instead of two pieces of gadgets. The burning question remains – how much Apple plans to charge for the new gadget?

 

The new Apple Watch is expected to command a price premium, the same way the WiFi+Cellular iPads are more expensive than a WiFi-only iPads. However, while the freedom to leave the iPhone at home may sound appealing and exciting, consumers would rather carry both gadgets if an LTE Apple Watch would cost them an arm and a leg.

Apple Watch Pair with iPhone

The new smartwatch, most likely Apple Watch 3, could be revealed alongside iPhone 8 to coincide with the 10th anniversary flagship product in September. With built-in cellular support, the new Apple Watch could make calls, send messages, stream songs, request an Uber, download info from maps and more exciting functions. That’s because the new watch could come with a bigger form factor.

 

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