'Apple Watch 2' expected to feature cellular connectivity, faster 'S2' chip

Posted:
in Apple Watch edited April 2016
The second-generation Apple Watch, expected to arrive by this fall, may boast integrated cellular data, as well as a faster next-gen custom chip, a new report claims.




Citing unnamed sources, The Wall Street Journal claims that Apple is working on both features for its next-generation wearable device.

Apple, unsurprisingly, declined to comment, but the inclusion of an LTE radio would be a logical addition to the Apple Watch, which in its current iteration must be tethered to an iPhone for data on the go.

As for an "S2" processor, the S1 in the first-generation Apple Watch is a low-power custom chip designed to allow for a full day of usage. Initially, even the loading of apps was handled by the iPhone and wirelessly transferred to the Watch, but Apple began allowing native apps with the launch of watchOS 2 last fall.

Both moves signal Apple is looking to build a new Watch that can be used on its own on the go, without the need for an iPhone or a known Wi-Fi network. Cellular connectivity is especially important for fitness functions, as an LTE radio, in combination with a GPS receiver, could allow for fast and accurate pace and distance measurements when exercising.

The Journal also claimed that Apple sold twice as many of the Watch in its first 12 months than the company sold of the first-generation iPhone, which launched in 2007. The source of that data, however, seems to just be analyst estimates. Apple has not officially disclosed Apple Watch sales.

Apple's biggest success out of the gate remains the iPad, which sold 19.5 million units in its first year.

The "Apple Watch 2" is expected to look largely the same as the current model, with Apple instead opting to focus on internal hardware improvements. Some rumors have claimed the second-generation model will feature a larger battery and a display with improved outdoor visibility.

While a new Apple Watch is expected this year, the launch timing remains unclear. Incorrect predictions had pegged it for a March launch, while others forecast a June launch that might coincide with Apple's annual Worldwide Developers Conference. It's also possible the company could showcase an "Apple Watch 2" alongside the anticipated "iPhone 7," which is expected to be unveiled this September.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 58
    kpomkpom Posts: 653member
    LTE seems like a surprising addition given that it drains battery, but perhaps Apple has been pleasantly pleased by the Watch's real-world battery performance. After all, if it already lasts the entire day for most people with 30-40% left, there isn't really much incentive to try to stretch it to more (as it would still likely need daily recharging). The Wall Street Journal isn't likely to put out such a rumor if they weren't confident in the source.

    Anyway, I'm guessing it is still intended primarily as a companion device, but could gain some "independence." Perhaps this is why they are waiting to release the newer model (get the chip technology right and optimize performance and battery life).
    supadav03latifbpredgeminipa
  • Reply 2 of 58
    How about longer battery life? That should be top priority for Apple before anything else.
    tallest skil
  • Reply 3 of 58
    robin huberrobin huber Posts: 3,478member
    I'm thinking that the new watch will not replace the old one, but augment it. The old entry level Sport will continue to be entry level (with a few tweaks), and the new watch will be the second tier product. Also possible that the Edition will be differentiated by more than just a gold case. This would give the Watch line the Good-Better-Best model that Apple has historically favored. 
    redgeminipacornchip
  • Reply 4 of 58
    tmaytmay Posts: 5,430member
    kpom said:
    LTE seems like a surprising addition given that it drains battery, but perhaps Apple has been pleasantly pleased by the Watch's real-world battery performance. After all, if it already lasts the entire day for most people with 30-40% left, there isn't really much incentive to try to stretch it to more (as it would still likely need daily recharging). The Wall Street Journal isn't likely to put out such a rumor if they weren't confident in the source.

    Anyway, I'm guessing it is still intended primarily as a companion device, but could gain some "independence." Perhaps this is why they are waiting to release the newer model (get the chip technology right and optimize performance and battery life).
    Little snippets of data.
    It's not like you will be watching Netflix, though I'm sure some would like to try that.
  • Reply 5 of 58
    robjnrobjn Posts: 263member
    If ultimately the Watch didn't ever need an iPhone, sales would go through the roof.
    kingofsomewherehot
  • Reply 6 of 58
    mtbnutmtbnut Posts: 198member
    I'll take GPS functionality way before cellular connectivity, so that I don't have to lug along an iPhone to capture Strava run/bike data. 
    tmaynolamacguylatifbpjbdragon
  • Reply 7 of 58
    sog35 said:
    wow. this might be my new 'phone'

    If you could share data with your Watch and iPhone without added costs I'll be all over this.

    Many days I don't even need my phone and a Watch would do.
    The idea of strapping a smartphone to your wrist is nothing new, but also not especially compelling. I found one for about $25 on Amazon:
     https://www.amazon.com/dp/B013YDFHGQ/
    gatorguy
  • Reply 8 of 58
    I'm pretty sure I wouldn't want to add on another $15-$30/month cellular charge to my family share phone bill to make my watch an independent phone, just yet.  It's ok occasionally to make a call to a restaurant to confirm a reservation, or to receive a call from the iPhone in my pocket, but that's about it.  Call quality on the Watch is pretty weak, and I don't need another phone number.

    I'm sure this full independence is in the cards for a few years down the line, but I don't believe the technology is quite there yet.  I have the same technology concern for throwing in GPS functionality, with battery life a significant issue.

    nolamacguyredgeminipa
  • Reply 9 of 58
    isteelersisteelers Posts: 738member
    This may coincide with Apples recent decision to have new apps run natively on the watch.  Battery life will always be an issue, but if they can maintain a day of charge with LTE than that would be a great accomplishment.  I figure that later versions would incorporate GPS as battery life continues to improve but that may not happen for a few years.
  • Reply 10 of 58
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 4,297member
    How about longer battery life? That should be top priority for Apple before anything else.
    My 38mm lasts a whole day even on days when I work out. And it doesn't take very long to charge either. Non-issue IMO. Honestly unless we could get say a weeks battery life, which is totally unrealistic, who cares if it's a day or say, two days? Now I never forget to charge it because I know io have to do it every day.
    edited April 2016 nolamacguychiatdknoxredgeminipa
  • Reply 11 of 58
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 4,297member
    I'm thinking that the new watch will not replace the old one, but augment it. The old entry level Sport will continue to be entry level (with a few tweaks), and the new watch will be the second tier product. Also possible that the Edition will be differentiated by more than just a gold case. This would give the Watch line the Good-Better-Best model that Apple has historically favored. 
    That's possible but if Apple does I think we'll see the biggest complaining ever. Heck people complained because the sport model came in a different box than the stainless steel and that the edition owners received special customer service. The one argument that could be thrown back in these peoples faces is that from a tech standpoint the watch was the same across all three product lines. In many ways the watch is the opposite of other Apple products. The tech is the same but the materials are different. I think it should stay that way.
    cornchip
  • Reply 12 of 58
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 2,438member
    I think Apple should offer existing Watch and Edition owners an upgrade to the S2. It could be an in-store upgrade. 

    Alternatively/equivalently, they could have a trade-in program where people get non-trivial $$ credit towards a new Watch when trading in an old one. 

    If they don't do something like this then they might as well drop the Edition entirely. There just aren't that many people who are going to spend thousands on a watch that is obsolete in two years. 
  • Reply 13 of 58
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 4,034member
    sog35 said:
    wow. this might be my new 'phone'

    If you could share data with your Watch and iPhone without added costs I'll be all over this.

    Many days I don't even need my phone and a Watch would do.
    New "feature" phone? Yes. Smartphone? No.

  • Reply 14 of 58
    boltsfan17boltsfan17 Posts: 2,275member
    mtbnut said:
    I'll take GPS functionality way before cellular connectivity, so that I don't have to lug along an iPhone to capture Strava run/bike data. 
    Same here. I would love to be able to use the watch as a standalone gps device. Built in GPS with the Gaia app, take my money now Apple. 
    tmay
  • Reply 15 of 58
    mike1mike1 Posts: 2,754member
    How about longer battery life? That should be top priority for Apple before anything else.

    Why? Would 2-days make it better or just mean you'd forget which day it needs to be charged. Until battery technology evolves to the point where the thing lasts a month or more, a solid day's use is the perfect battery life. Just throw it on the charger each night. Simple.
    nolamacguytdknoxredgeminipa
  • Reply 16 of 58
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 4,034member
    sog35 said:
    I'm thinking that the new watch will not replace the old one, but augment it. The old entry level Sport will continue to be entry level (with a few tweaks), and the new watch will be the second tier product. Also possible that the Edition will be differentiated by more than just a gold case. This would give the Watch line the Good-Better-Best model that Apple has historically favored. 
    agree. I don't think they will get rid of the $299 non-LTE model. Some people don't need it as a stand alone device.

    I'm hoping the LTE version is $399
    I don't believe Apple will ever do LTE Watch, at least in the next 2-3 years. Watch with SIM card doesn't make sense. LTE watch just add 1 benefit ( phone call wo iPhone) but create a lot more issues from hardware design to battery drain. 
    I understand that many features should be independent in AW, but phone call. I rather have GPS than LTE in AW. 
    A
    macplusplus
  • Reply 17 of 58
    nolamacguynolamacguy Posts: 4,758member
    How about longer battery life? That should be top priority for Apple before anything else.
    how about you buy one first? even on gym days where i use the green heart rate monitor, i still have 40% left when its time to charge before bed. 
    jakebtdknox
  • Reply 18 of 58
    carthusiacarthusia Posts: 574member
    Best Buy announced a blowout $200 off the Watch Stainless Steel. I picked one up a couple days ago-Black Stainless Steel 42mm. I knew such a sale might indicate that a new Watch may be coming soon and stock would be clearing out. I also knew there was little chance that Best Buy, one of Apple's biggest retail distributors, would need a bit of a nod or nudge from Tim & Co. to lower prices so dramatically.

    I don't regret my decision at all, personally. I don't need cellular connectivity and I also don't see needing faster third-party app support right now. I didn't want the sport and $599 for the SS was a bit much for me; $399 placed it in a very alluring sweet sport. If after any software updates this summer and fall it's just to slow, I'll probably be able to see it for the same $399.
  • Reply 19 of 58
    The Apple watch should have entered the market independent of the iPhone. In other news, 'Should' is the most disappointing word in the English language.

    Seriously though, as soon as the watch becomes independent, people will have an interesting array of devices to choose from depending on their daily needs and workflows. Do you need to always be connected to calls, email, texts, news, and social media, but often aren't in places where surfing the web is necessary or appropriate? Apple Watch is an excellent solution. If you need all that AND internet/video content, you then have screen size options from 4" up to 12.9" from which to choose. That's not to mention the same array of computing solutions Apple provides. I love having the choice to choose exactly what device will benefit me the most, rather than trying to find a one-size-fits-all device.
  • Reply 20 of 58
    fallenjt said:
    sog35 said:
    agree. I don't think they will get rid of the $299 non-LTE model. Some people don't need it as a stand alone device.

    I'm hoping the LTE version is $399
    I don't believe Apple will ever do LTE Watch, at least in the next 2-3 years. Watch with SIM card doesn't make sense. LTE watch just add 1 benefit ( phone call wo iPhone) but create a lot more issues from hardware design to battery drain. 
    I understand that many features should be independent in AW, but phone call. I rather have GPS than LTE in AW. 
    A
    Im not saying they will, but I think having call and limited data capability along with GPS would be a huge boon.  I know the Gear S2 offers a LTE version that can be tied to your cell phone number(at least on Verizon) for an additional 10 bucks a month.  In theory, you could limit cellular data and GPS until the phone is not in Bluetooth range.  Then, when your out for a jog, the GPS and cell could kick on.  You would be able to make calls if needed and it might do some limited fitness updates over LTE.  I don't think you would want to be streaming music while running unless you wanted to destroy the battery, but I can see some benefits of having at least some data connectivity. 
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