Apple Plans to Release a Cellular-Capable Watch

Apple Plans to Release a Cellular-Capable Watch

Even though the launch of the original Apple Watch was met with disappointment, it was clear that it was a version one product. It was going to take years and several product cycles to iterate both the hardware and software before it could stand on its own. If the rumors are true, Apple is about to take one step closer to its ultimate vision of the Apple Watch.

Rumors indicate that the next iteration of the Apple Watch will include an LTE modem allowing the watch to operate as a standalone device, without any connection to the iPhone. It is unclear if all new versions of the Apple Watch will have a cellular capability or if only a single model will be a standalone device.

There are ramifications from a software standpoint. Current Apple Watch apps install as part of the phone app and expect updates directly from the phone. Developers will need to write apps from scratch to use the direct internet access from the watch. Also, the watch will need an App Store of its own.

According to the reports, Intel will supply Apple with the LTE modems that will fit in the Apple Watch’s small form factor. The chips will be special low-power LTE modems specially designed for the Apple Watch. This is a big win for Intel, who is trying to get a foothold in the mobile chipset space. It does help that Apple and Qualcomm are in the middle of a bitter legal dispute over royalty payments.