An all-new Apple Watch 2 with GPS, a barometer, a new faster 16nm TSMC-built processor, better waterproofing and a higher capacity battery will likely be released in the second half of 2016, claims KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo in a research note, according to MacRumors. Kuo did not confirm if the watch 2 will have expanded Wi-Fi capabilities and a FaceTime camera, as rumored previously.
New Apple Watch 1 to exclude significant additions
Kuo, who is well-connected within Apple’s supply chain, stated that the second-gen watch will retain the same thickness and screen sizes as existing models. Despite adopting a thinner display tech, the Apple Watch 2 will come with a similar form factor overall, says Kuo. The analyst, however, does not anticipate LTE support until 2017, even though the second-gen watch has already been rumored to include cellular connectivity.
In addition, the analyst predicted that upgraded first-generation watch models will debut with the same waterproofing upgrades and processor in the second half of 2016. But he added that it will come without the most significant additions that are expected for the Apple Watch 2, like a barometer and GPS.
Based on Kuo’s analysis, it can be said that the Apple Watch 1 model sounds like a smaller upgrade as it will not get the new features of the new Watch 2. In addition, the industrial design will remain similar with some updated components.
New iPhone and watch could come around same time
The analyst expects another price cut once the new models are released, but he remains quite conservative about prospective shipments next year. As per Kuo, watch shipments could increase further between 2018 and 2020 with help from 5G network commercialization, FDA approvals supporting more health and medical applications, and significant form factor changes.
Apple has been pushing sales of watches and iPhones together, hence, updated models of each device releasing in tandem would be better. The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus are rumored for release on September 16, while preorders could possibly start a week earlier on September 9. Therefore, the upgraded Apple Watch 1 and the all-new Apple Watch 2 models could debut around the same time.
Another model with the same form factor is expected to come next year with LTE support. If consumers are waiting for a more substantial design overhaul, then they should know that Kuo does not expect this to happen until 2018.
In premarket trading today, Apple shares were in the green. Year to date, the stock is up less than 1%, while in the last year, it is down almost 7%.