Despite some speculation regarding a new Apple Watch design being on the horizon, reputed analyst Ming Chi-Kuo issued a new research note (via Mac Rumors) claiming that the addition of LTE connectivity will be the main selling point for the upcoming Apple Watch refresh. The third-generation Apple Watch, expected to be introduced alongside new iPhones this fall, does not feature an obvious change to form factor, according to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. According to Kuo, the Apple Watch 3 will ship later this year with both LTE and non-LTE models offered. Kuo also expects the next Apple Watch will retain the same general design. August moves on, and new Apple Watch 3 details leak, highlighting the potential for a new design and new information about an Apple Watch with built-in LTE connectivity.
Sure, the smartwatch market isn’t exactly on fire, but Apple is still a leader in the space and a new effort to make the Watch more health focused will surely pay dividends in terms of being more than just another phone screen to become obsessed with. The rumors are trickling out for the Apple Watch 3, but we’re still not seeing anything concrete that the device will appear alongside the iPhone 8.
Apple doesn’t seem to see the Apple Watch as a device which needs refreshing every year, so don’t count on seeing the Apple Watch 3 before next year.
Aside from the addition of cellular in some models, rumors are light on what to expect for non-LTE models although a speed boost should be expected. Talking about numbers, KGI predictions Apple will ship 17.5-18 million Apple Watches across this year with 8-9 million units being new models later this year. Kuo expects fewer than half to be LTE, however, at 35-40% of those units.