A major leak suggests the Apple Watch Series 3 will come with LTE connectivity
Today in Cupertino Tim Cook and Co. and will take to the stage of Apple’s new campus to unveil the iPhone 8 and, if leaks are to be believed, the iPhone X. Amongst the other products set to get a look-in is the Apple Watch Series 3 – the next wearable to come from the company, and allegedly the first to come with LTE connectivity.
If you’d like to see all the announcements as they happen, you’ll need to head to Apple’s event page for 10am PDT (6pm BST). Below are the latest rumours.
Apple Watch Series 3: The first LTE Apple Watch?
The final development-build of iOS 11 has been leaked, and 9to5Mac has been trawling through the software update to glean details about Apple’s upcoming iPhone launch. One of the more significant piece of information they’ve uncovered is an image of what looks to be an Apple Watch Series 3 with LTE connectivity.
The image is reportedly from the new Apple Watch app, and shows a version of the device with a strikingly red-coloured Digital Crown. Could this be an LTE antenna?
The main giveaway about LTE connectivity, however, comes in the centre of the watchface – where a signal indicator can be seen. There are also symbols on the top of the watchface for phone and navigation.
9to5Mac also found reference to different Apple Watch Series 3 models, including “blush gold” and “ceramic gray” variants. These details follow previous reports about the Apple Watch 3 getting an LTE antenna, so it won’t need to an iPhone or Wi-Fi to function.
A report in August, from Bloomberg, says that “people familiar with the matter” claim that at least one type of Apple Watch 3 will be able to connect to cellular networks without an iPhone. It’s likely that Apple will release the LTE Apple Watch line at a higher price as the others, like it already does with iPads.
The Bloomberg report goes on to say that Intel will be supplying the new models for the wearable, and that Apple is already in talks with networks in both the US and Europe.
We’ll know about the Apple Watch Series 3 tomorrow, when Apple is due to launch the iPhone 8 alongside the iPhone X.
Apple Watch 3: Things we want to see
The signs are pointing to Apple launching its next smartwatch this week. When it lands, we’re hoping it will be faster, lighter and, most importantly, thinner than the current model. So what’s Apple going to do? In this article, we’ll explain what to expect from the Apple Watch 3.
According to CNBC, Apple has hired a small of team of around 30 biomedical engineers to develop a system for invasively and easily monitoring blood-sugar levels. If successfully deployed in the next smartwatch, the new technology would be life-changing for those with diabetes – and it’d also make the Apple Watch 3 legitimate medical product as well as a lifestyle and sports orientated one.
CNBC’s report also says that Apple has been investigating the technology five years ago, when it acquired a company called Cor, that specialised in sensor technologies for the body. Five years on, it’s possible that the technology could be seen in a future Apple Watch – and hopefully the Apple Watch 3.
According to CNBC, Apple has just acquired Beddit, the makers of a hugely popular sleep-tracking app on the App Store. No details of the deal have appeared yet, but all links to Beddit’s existing Apple Watch apps have been removed.
If Apple’s track record is anything to go by, it’s likely Apple is now working with Beddit to bring some some official, built-in sleep-tracking functionality to the Apple Watch 3.
Previous reports have suggested the new Apple Watch 3 will also feature far more complicated biometric tracking, such as the ability blood glucose levels. Sleep tracking, however, should be relatively easy to implement, so it’s not the wildest Apple Watch 3 rumour we’ve heard.
Better battery life
Apple Insider has uncovered a brand new patent filed by the tech giant, and it shows a device which could actually charge the Apple Watch 3 when it’s being worn.
The first part consists of a inductive charging base – just like the one used on the current charger – but diagrams obtained by Apple Insider show it connected to a small battery house on the inside of the watch’s strap. To make sure users can still use the Apple Watch 3’s biometric functions, the charger also includes all the same sensors you’d see on the rear of the normal watch.
Additional diagrams also show the new device being charged up by a lighting cable, suggesting that it may act like a portable charger – just like the iPhone 7 battery case. However, it’s not clear in the diagram whether the module is part of a new accessory, or one designed to fit on existing straps.
Apple Watch 3: Everything else we know
Apple Watch 3: Release date
Apple hasn’t given us a release date for the Apple Watch 3, but by looking at the release dates of the last two smartwatches, we can pretty much work out when the wearable will arrive. The original Apple Watch was released in April 2015, and the updated Apple Watch 2 was unveiled alongside the iPhone 7 in September last year. Although it’s not yet a certainty, it’s likely the Apple Watch 3 will be released in September this year – probably alongside the iPhone 8 and iPhone X.
Apple Watch 3: Specs and price
The price of the Apple Watch has remained relatively constant, but recent price increases in the Apple MacBook range may be a sign of things to come. If that’s the case, the asking price of the most basic Apple Watch could end up closer to £400 than £300.
The specs of the Apple Watch should change too, and most rumours suggest Apple will make the Apple Watch 3 a sleeker, thinner device. After owning one myself, I’d say the current thickness of the Apple Watch Series 2 is an issue for many customers, and by reducing the size of the Series 3, Apple will be able to more easily cross over into the mainstream watch market.
As apps become more advanced, it’s likely the Apple Watch Series 3 will also need a new processor, and the one in the new Apple Watch will probably called the S3 chip.
Apple Watch 3: Features
The Apple Watch 2 added many of the features we were hoping for with the original Apple Watch – and that trend should continue with the Series 3. Just before the Apple Watch Series 2 was released, several sources suggested the new watch would be able to determine VO2 max. This feature never appeared on the Series 2, but with any luck, it’ll be on the Series 3.
Smaller, less powerful devices such as the Jawbone UP are able to track sleep, and it’s possible the Apple Watch Series 3 will do the same thing. There’s no actual evidence Apple will do this just yet, but the inclusion of the sleep timer in iOS 10 suggests Apple is paying more attention to sleep-monitoring apps. With that in mind, it’s possible the next Apple Watch will be able to monitor our sleep – without ruining its battery life.
Apple introduced more customisation possibilities with the Series 2, such as a ceramic case and fabric sports straps – and it’s possible this will continue with the Series 3. If so, we should see more straps, and more case materials than ever.
We’ll update this page when we know more about Apple’s next smartwatch.