Technology 4 min read

Apple Watch Series 3 to Include Cell Connectivity Feature

Sirichai Puangsuwan /

Sirichai Puangsuwan /

Apple Inc. is planning to release its third generation of Apple watches, and its latest features will make fans love the product more!

According to people familiar with the wearables, the new series of Apple smart watches will sport new features, and one of them is cellular network connectivity.

Yes, ladies and gents: a truly connected smart watch.

#Apple to release third gen, standalone #AppleWatch !Click To Tweet

The third gen Apple watch will receive a major overhaul to boost its functionality. Currently, all Apple smart watches are reliant on an iPhone for connectivity.

So, what should we expect from this?

Apple Watch: Connectivity Issues

If you are a proud owner of an Apple smart watch, you probably know that the gadget is not that useful if not connected to your Apple iPhone.

For instance, if you want to stream music, download maps, or send messages, you need to be wirelessly connected to your iPhone. An Apple watch connects to iPhone through Bluetooth 4.0.

Taking that into consideration, you have to be within 330 feet, or approximately 100 meters of an iPhone for your Apple watch to connect to it.

Also, Apple made it possible for an Apple watch to connect to an iPhone through WiFi. At an Apple event in 2015, Kevin Lynch, Apple’s current Vice President of Technology, said:

“Apple watch communicates with your iPhone over WiFi as well as Bluetooth. So when you’re home, you don’t have to be within Bluetooth range of your phone, you can be anywhere in your house and still get all your messages and take your phone calls.”

Apple Watch connectivity issue. | Image courtesy of MacRumors |
Apple Watch connectivity issue. | Image courtesy of MacRumors |

However, there are still some drawbacks to this wireless connectivity feature. While some people who bought the Apple watch never encountered any issues with it, there are others who do not share the same experience and started airing their frustrations on forums.

Screenshot from Apple Discussion |
Screenshot from Apple Discussion |

Apparently, Apple wanted to address this issue in the next generation of Apple watches.

Apple Watch Series 3: New Feature, New Functionality

Some reliable sources confirmed that the new model of Apple watch would enable users to conduct many tasks without an iPhone device in range. For instance, users would even be able to download new songs, use apps, receive messages and calls without their phones.

In a report published by Bloomberg, the third gen Apple watches will be equipped with LTE chips supplied by Intel Corp, not Qualcomm. For years, Qualcomm has been the primary modem supplier of Apple. However, the two companies have a falling out a year ago over issues of overcharging and royalty fees.

According to reports, Apple sued Qualcomm in three countries for its alleged overcharging of royalties for the use of its tech.

In the United States, Qualcomm has been sued by Apple for a staggering $1 billion USD. The tech giant also filed separate lawsuits in China and the United Kingdom, both amounting to $145 million USD.

Going back, further reports stated that Apple is now already in talks with some major network carriers in the U.S. and Europe. However, sources said that the carriers that will support the LTE Apple watch might only be a limited subset of those that are carrying the iPhone–at least at launch.

Some network carriers did mention that they are planning to sell the gadget in the U.S. This list includes AT&T Inc., Verizon Communications Inc., Sprint Corp., and T-Mobile US Inc.

Nevertheless, the Apple watch remains a small part of the company’s overall revenue. However, Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, stated that ‘by a very wide margin,’ Apple watch is still the best-selling smart watch.

Within the wearable band category, Apple watch ranks third, following its strongest competitors Xiaomi Corp. and Fitbit Inc.

Gene Munster, co-founder of Loup Ventures and a long-time Apple analyst, believes that making the next gen Apple watch more of a standalone can significantly boost the company’s sales profit.

“If they could deliver an experience that isn’t tethered to an iPhone, it could kick start a new direction for the business.” he said.

At its Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple announced that its WatchOS 4 will be released this fall and will include more Siri voice command features, connectivity to other devices like gym equipment, iMessage payments, and display news stories.

Were you impressed by the new features of the latest Apple watch? Let us know in the comment section below!

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Chelle Fuertes

Chelle is the Product Management Lead at INK. She's an experienced SEO professional as well as UX researcher and designer. She enjoys traveling and spending time anywhere near the sea with her family and friends.

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