Apple is reportedly planning on releasing an Apple Watch with a built-in data connection that can be used separately from an iPhone.
The new version of the smartwatch is expected to arrive by the end of the year and, according to Bloomberg, will include LTE modems from Intel – taking the main modem supplier role away from Qualcomm, which is engaged in an intense legal battle with Apple.
The current iterations of the Apple Watch are required to be connected to an iPhone to use features such as maps, messaging, and music streaming through the wearable. With the inclusion of LTE chips, the planned Apple Watch will be able to conduct these tasks without the need for an iPhone to be in range. It is not clear at this time if the watch will also enable the wearer to make and receive calls without their device.
It is alleged that Apple are already in talks with carriers in the US and Europe, and already has the likes of AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile US on board in the US.
Sales of existing Apple Watches grew 50 per cent in Q3 of the fiscal year 2017 – though Apple is still not sharing any hard figures regarding that. However, Apple CEO Tim Cook did say that “it’s the number one selling smartwatch in the world by a very wide margin”.