Apple is planning to release an LTE-flavored version of its smartwatch later this year, reports Bloomberg. Citing people familiar with the matter, the outlet’s Mark Gurman says that the wearable will feature an LTE modem from Intel that will reduce its reliance on the iPhone.

In current Apple Watch models, a connection with a smartphone is required for tasks such as streaming music and sending messages. An LTE chip would obviously allow the Watch to complete these tasks independently, meaning users could opt to leave their phone at home.

Apple is already in talks with carriers in the U.S. and Europe about offering the cellular version, the people added. The carriers supporting the LTE Apple Watch, at least at launch, will be a limited subset of those that carry the iPhone, one of the people said. However, AT&T Inc., Verizon Communications Inc. and T-Mobile US Inc. in the U.S. plan to sell the device, according to other people familiar with the matter. 

It’ll be interesting to see how carriers price their Apple Watch data plans, given the device’s tiny display and limited capabilities. You would think it’d be relatively inexpensive. The report also notes that it’s possible the LTE-flavored Watch could be delayed beyond this year.

Additionally, Daring Fireball’s well-connected John Gruber claims he has heard this year’s Apple Watch will also feature an all-new form factor. He doesn’t offer up any details, but if true, it would mark the Watch’s first change in design since its initial debut two years ago.

Source: Bloomberg

  • Shlomy Malka

    Will you need new sim with data plan or you can get copy of the exist sim card and use it with the watch and the phone?

    • Chris Roach

      Apple sim most likely

    • Vinnie Bones

      Nah you just need Mach Portal lol

    • Mr.Coolfreak

      Most likely carriers will have a data plan especially for the watch, will obviously cost extra with the phone but won’t be expensive like the phone.

  • Vinnie Bones

    Too small, unless they’re coming out with a bigger version like Sammy

    • T. Allen

      Exactly. That is thee only reason I never bought one. I love em….just need a bigger option

  • rick_beyers

    Just wait 10 years. You’ll be able to get an implant.

  • Diego Milano

    This is good for those using Spotify.

    • techfreak23

      Yeah, it would be great if Spotify actually released a companion Watch app… they are supposedly working on one, but I have not heard or seen any updates on that since I first read about it earlier this year. I’ve been waiting for a Watch app for over two years now and Spotify seems to not give a damn about their Apple customers. I thought surely after WatchOS 2 came out that they would build one. I was even considering making one for myself using the API, but I didn’t pursue it when I found out one was supposedly in the works.

  • techfreak23

    Hopefully it remains compatible somehow with the current watch bands if they do change the form factor somewhat. I don’t have any super expensive bands for mine (my most expensive one is like $50-60), but still. People have spent far more than that on bands and other accessories.

  • So…battery life?

  • Jay Dee

    I’m ready for a new Apple Watch. I’ve been wearing the original pretty much every day since it came out. I’m looking forward to a complete redesign.

    • Franklin Richards

      I’ve always wanted to get the Apple Watch but never really took the dive. So I curious as to how much you actually use apps on the Apple Watch? Or do you just end up using it as just a watch?

      • Jay Dee

        Honestly at first I was using apps fairly often but the novelty wore off pretty quickly. On the original Apple Watch at least, apps are just too slow to use regularly.

        I mostly use it as a fitness tracker/HR monitor, a quick timer for cooking and work, and of course, to tell time. It’s also useful to glance at it for weather. But the most useful part of the Apple Watch is getting your notifications. Occasionally I’ll answer calls with it when my hands are full (I’ll answer the call with the tip of my nose).

        I feel most of the 3rd party apps aren’t very practical for a watch, again – at least not for the slow OG one.

      • Franklin Richards

        I see. So it really is more of a companion to the iPhone than an outright product of its own. Hopefully with this new version with LTE it’ll be self reliant enough to be more feature full. In any case thanks for taking the time to reply.

      • :D

        I agree with Jay and use it for the same reasons
        But apps are mostly fine if you’re going to use them for long periods at a time, such as getting through a full journey with Citymapper or completing a workout with Runtastic. It’s mainly loading apps and switching between them that’s too slow. Complications are also really helpful for 3rd party apps – they display a snippet of information on your watch face.

  • diggitydang

    Love the band in the pic!

  • Geoff Druin

    I just don’t see it coming this year. I think it will be shown with the new iPhone SE early next year. Probably March. Don’t think it is something that has to be on a yearly cycle.

  • azherahmed200

    i think is water resistant