WSJ: Apple Watch 2 will have cellular connectivity

By , Apr 25, 2016

Apple S1 image 002

In its report Monday which details the first full year of Apple Watch sales, the Wall Street Journal newspaper has revealed a previously unknown tidbit pertaining to a second-generation Apple Watch. According to the publication’s sources, the Apple Watch 2 will feature cellular-network connectivity and a faster processor.

Although the Apple Watch can connect to Wi-Fi networks you have previously joined on your iPhone, the Cupertino company is reportedly aware that its wearable device suffers from limited usefulness because it cannot connect to cellular networks on its own and requires an iPhone for network connectivity if there are no known Wi-Fi networks around.

An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment. ​

If the publication’s sources in the know are to be trusted, then the Apple Watch 2 might come in Wi-Fi-only and Wi-Fi + Cellular editions, like iPads. It’s also possible that Apple won’t make such a distinction and will instead sell one version of the Apple Watch 2.

I’m curious to learn if Apple will implement the traditional Nano-SIM card tray on the Apple Watch 2 or use the new embedded eSIM standard, which the company helped develop, that doesn’t require a physical SIM card at all.

Previous reports asserted that the Apple Watch refresh includes a tiny 2mm-long front-facing camera for making and receiving FaceTime calls on the wrist. The forthcoming device should sport the same square display with unchanged resolution.

Samsung, along with other overseas manufacturers like Advanced Semiconductor Engineering, have reportedly secured component orders for the Apple Watch 2, which one analyst believes could be up to forty percent thinner and debut at Apple’s annual developers conference this summer.

In comparing the first year of the Apple Watch sales to the first full year of the original iPhone, analysts have estimated that at twelve million watch units since its April 24, 2015 debut, Apple’s wearable device has sold twice the six million units of the original iPhone in its first year.

It’s important to keep in mind that such speculative analysis should be taken with a grain of salt because the Cupertino firm does not and will not divulge unit sales for the Apple Watch for competitive reasons.

Image: The innards of the Apple Watch.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

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  • Toukale

    We all figured this was coming, the only question was when. Frankly, I did not expect to see it in version 2. More like version 3, since it will hit the battery life hard. But if you are going to charge the watch nightly anyway you might as well include it. My friend has the Apple watch, and he says when he goes to bed there is about 30% battery life left, not enough to last another day.

    • Jamessmooth

      Agreed. I’ve had the watch since day one, and I end each day with between 30-40%, which is down from the 50+% I used to end the day with when the watch was new.

  • ✯Mike✯

    This is not what we need. We need a more simple user interface with less unnecessary battery wasters.

    • armyk

      I cannot say bad thing about UI, what you have in mind? Even about the battery 2 days in row all the time.

    • Toukale

      I am partial to your comment in regards to Apple jamming everything they did into the watch. As a result, it made the watch UI too complicated to use for most. Which is the opposite approach they took with the iPhone. It could be that was because touch interface was new to the consumer space and we all needed the simpler interface to start. IOS is coming to it’s 10th year anniversary and they may feel like we are all accustom to it by now.

  • Jamessmooth

    AT&T: Add Apple Watch to any cellular plan for only $20/mo! :/
    Frankly, I don’t personally see the need to have the watch have cellular connectivity, so if there are two versions, I’ll most likely opt for the “wi-fi only”. What the watch DOES need is a faster processor. The thing feels so slow, and it gets worse when I’m working out trying to check heart rate, end a workout, etc…

    • pnh

      GPS-yes; cell-no.

  • zustroy

    Both GPS and cellular is needed.
    Current version is a joke.
    It needs iPhone for almost anything other than clock.

  • With cellular connection huh, well say good bye to that better battery life lol.

  • Benedict

    So battery life will decrease to 3 hrs?. They should try implementing always on screen first and leave real engineering to Samsung..

  • zebonaut

    Thinner is good; the screen could be even larger; the loading could be faster; facetime is great. More watch faces; more color options…. Shouldn’t have to be tethered to a giant iPhone.

  • Shingo

    will be even hotter with gsm inside

  • Since the Watch needs an iPhone to setup and use adding cellular seems pointless. If the Watch wasn’t so reliant on an iPhone then perhaps I could see a use for it but even then it wouldn’t make economic sense. Carriers wouldn’t classify the Apple Watch as phone so you’d need a special data plan that’s the same as any other plan but more expensive. Since it’s also likely that an Apple Watch won’t use much data (after all you won’t be using it to watch Netflix and browse the web) you’ll be paying a lot of money on a plan of some sort for little return.