LATEST: Apple has announced the Apple Watch Series 3 at the event which is also expected to herald the unveiling of the iPhone X and iPhone 8. This third generation smartwatch is the first ever to include LTE compatibility, meaning that consumers will be able to stream music and make phone calls without an attendant iPhone.

Apple Watch Series 3
Image: Screenshot from Keynote

Number one watch

Jeff Williams, Apple COO, describes the new Apple Watch Series 3 as “the ultimate expression of Apple Watch”. Meanwhile, Tim Cook declared the new smartwatch to be the number one watch in the world in terms of revenue, outscoring the likes of Rolex and Omega.

And the excellent news for consumers is that the Apple Watch Series 3 is rather affordable. It had been hoped that the price of this device could enter at under $400, and indeed the cellular connective version of the smartwatch costs $399. Meanwhile, the model without cellular connectivity is even more affordable at just $329.

With the smartwatch being made available on September 22, alongside the iPhone 8 in all probability, Apple also slashed at the pricing of previous Apple Watch releases. The first generation Apple Watch can now be purchased for just $249, becoming a very affordable device.

New processor

Among the other significant specifications of the Apple Watch Series 3 is a new dual-core processor, which Apple claims delivers 70 percent faster performance. This will enable the Siri system included in the smartwatch to talk to users, improving the usability of this personal assistant.

Wi-Fi speeds have also been increased significantly, thanks to the new W2 chip, which delivers 85 percent faster wireless connectivity speeds than the previous Apple Watch releases. The consumer electronics giant also points to the fact that this chip is 50 percent more power efficient than previous releases, which will be particularly important due to the cellular collectivity of the Apple Watch Series 3 depleting battery life extremely rapidly.

Nonetheless, Apple estimates that the new Apple Watch will deliver 80 hours of battery life on a single charge, meaning that it should last through a whole day. Meanwhile, new watch bands from Nike and Hermes along with a space grey design offer consumers new customization and aesthetic options.

It will be interesting to see how the new Apple smartwatch copes with its LTE capabilities, but it seems that Apple wishes to make the Apple Watch Series 3 a more functional and useful device.

PREVIOUS UPDATES:

UPDATE 09-12-2017: Outside the predictable iPhone releases, the Apple Watch Series 3 promises to be a highlight of the forthcoming Apple event. Believed to feature some particularly significant updates, the smartwatch should deliver an outstanding package that will enable Apple to continue to define this mobile technology niche.

New features

Apple Watch Series 3 features will undoubtedly be headlined by the new 4G and LTE ability of the smartwatch. This will mean that the third generation of the Apple smartwatch range is no longer dependent on being paired with an attendant iPhone. This will enable all manner of new capabilities, meaning that the Apple Watch Series 3 can send and receive messages, emails and access online applications.

If the Apple Watch Series 3 features do include 4G capability then Apple will be following the trend of the industry. Huawei has already added this form of connectivity to its second smartwatch release, with Samsung delivering the same feature in the Gear 3 and LG in the Watch Sport LTE.

Apple Watch Series 3

Voice calls

While some smartwatch users hope that the Apple Watch Series 3 will deliver voice calling, this is perhaps somewhat unlikely. This would imbue the Apple Watch with the same capabilities as the iconic iPhone smartphone, which would threaten a device that is hugely important to Apple commercially. 9to5Mac thus says that it is unlikely that the new Apple Watch will be able to make telephone calls.

Design

Although the Apple Watch Series 3 has been linked with circular faces, something that has been murmured about since the first generation of the Apple Watch range, we should not necessarily expect this to come to fruition. Ultimately, Apple has established the Apple Watch as an instantly recognizable item of technology, and it is thus likely that the consumer electronics giant will make significant changes to the design of the watch.

Ming-Chi Kuo of KGS Securities states that the Apple Watch Series 3 will only be available in the current sizes, with the design of the smartwatch likely to be extremely similar to previous releases. While Apple has patented designs for a watch with a screen that extends beyond the watch face, and also a circular design, we shouldn’t expect either of these concepts to emerge in 2017.

watchOS 4

One of the most important aspects of the Apple Watch Series 3 reveal will be watchOS 4; the latest operating system for Apple smartwatches. Apple will deliver new features in this smartwatch operating system that will improve the general user experience with the Apple Watch Series 3, while also increasing customisation options.

Central to the new Apple Watch Series 3 features will be improved health and fitness tracking, with auto-sets for swimming workouts, improved heart rate algorithms for HIIT workouts, and the ability to pair the fitness app Gymkit with a specific fitness equipment central to this functionality.

The Apple Watch Series 3 will thus become closer to the serious health-tracking device that Apple marketed the smartwatch as from day one.

Payment system

The Apple Watch Series 3 will also make it possible for users to make personal payments. This will enable users to send money within messages, or via voice technology with the Siri personal assistant. With mobile payments becoming an increasingly important and lucrative market, it is clear that Apple is fully committed to supporting this technology.

Apple Music

It has also been reported that the Apple Watch Series 3 can be synced with the Apple music service. With several smartwatches now attempting to offer consumers ways to store music, it is clear that Apple must up the ante this department. While the Apple Watch may never be viewed as a replacement for the sadly defunct iPod, it could become a useful music playback device.

Siri

A new Siri mode will also be included in the Apple Watch Series 3. This is based around a new Siri watch face with notification cards that resemble the Google Now system. This will enable users to benefit from daily reminders and other useful information, effectively turning the Apple Watch Series 3 into an intelligent assistant. The ethos behind this is to make the smartwatch a more useful and functional device, a criticism that has been levelled at the smartwatch previously.

Battery

One area where many consumers would love to see significant improvement is with regard to the Apple Watch Series 3 battery. A better and more efficient cell would result in a vastly improved smartwatch, with the battery life of the device sometimes rather paltry. This is obviously essential for a watch, which needs to be worn at all times, so if Apple could double the battery life of the Apple Watch Series 3 in comparison to previous releases, it would be a major step forward.

Wireless range

With Apple making major improvements to the iPhone range in terms of its wireless charging capabilities, many wonder whether this could migrate to the Apple Watch Series 3 in a similar capacity. Not so much with regard to wireless charging, but rather whether Apple could increase the wireless range of this device.

If it was possible for the Apple Watch Series 3 to remain connected to an iPhone from a longer distance, it would certainly increase the usefulness and practicality of this smartwatch.

Price and release date

We can expect the Apple Watch Series 3 release date to be before the end of September, with the smartwatch likely to launch alongside the iPhone 8, rather than the iPhone X, which will probably be delayed until October.

With regard to the price of this smartwatch, it is possible that the device could be reduced in order to make it more competitive. This could see the Apple Watch Series 3 price set at $399 in the United States, while Apple is also likely to slash the price tag of previous models.

UPDATE 07-27-2017: A new report from China suggests that Apple has already finalized the primary manufacturer for the forthcoming Apple Watch Series 3. Quanta Computer has worked on the smartwatch range previously, and is expected to be retained for the third generation of the device.

Analysts already believe that this will be a massive financial boost for Quanta, and will drive growth in the remainder of 2017. Chinese-language Economic Daily News has broken this latest tidbit on the Apple smartwatch.

iPhone 8 debut

Other reports are suggesting that the Apple Watch Series 3 will debut alongside the iPhone 8, probably in September. There is still some debate over precisely when the next-generation Apple handset will appear, with logistical difficulties related to OLED displays possibly delaying the iconic device.

But a September unveiling is still expected by virtually all sources, and it seems that the iPhone 8 could be accompanied by the Apple Watch Series 3 at this date. International Business Times has named this as a particular possibility.

Cellular connectivity

Apple has also sought out the opinions of consumers regarding the Apple Watch Series 3, and this could lead to cell phone connectivity functionality in the next-generation smartphone. Feedback from 1,500 existing Apple Watch owners indicated that this is the most valuable feature that Apple has yet to include in its smartwatch, and thus this could debut in the Apple Watch Series 3.

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has already indicated his belief that Apple will solve the problems associated with this technology by the time that the third-generation Apple Watch hits the stores. Previously it has been problematical for Apple Watches to provide the battery capacity and physical space in order to deliver a mobile phone subsystem.

LTE could also make the Apple Watch Series 3 considerably more independent than the previous smartwatches in the range, reducing the extent to which it needs to be paired with an attendant iPhone.

Sleep tracking link

Another rumored feature for the Series 3 is the inclusion of built-in sleep tracking; already a popular feature in numerous other wearable devices. Apple is expected to focus far more on health-tracking functionality with its third smartwatch release, and this could also provoke the consumer electronics giant to include a non-invasive glucose monitor.

Eager Apple Watchers have also noted the supremo of the company, Tim Cook, wearing a special Apple Watch accessory, which has led to rumors that Apple will instigate a smart band system with the Apple Watch Series 3. A respiration sensor has also been linked with the third Apple Watch release, as the functionality of the smartwatch range is stepped up significantly.

RFID expected

Another rumor related to the third Apple Watch release suggests that the manufacturer could include Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tracking. This would provide a variety of consumer and health-related features, but one particular suggestion is that the tracking system will provide nutritional information about food. This would neatly fit into the health-related ethos of the smartwatch range.

Camera mooted

Apple may also include a front-facing FaceTime camera, if the latest reports are to be believed. The Apple Watch is hardly an ideal device for photography, but the aim of this snapper is obviously to provide users with a selfie-capturing platform. Absolutely critical in these social media-driven times, and the feature could even have gaming tie-ins.

Design rumors

Consumers of the Apple Watch Series 3 can also expect the developer to slim down the bezels included in the device significantly. This is, of course, becoming a massive trend in the general consumer electronics industry. However, Apple will probably retain the same basic design from previous generations.

UPDATE 06-30-2017: The Apple Watch Series 3 will undoubtedly be the most important smartwatch yet, with Apple having established its series as the completely dominant brand. While smartwatches perhaps seemed a little gimmicky and lacking in substance originally, the general public has now begun to embrace this concept more enthusiastically.

Release date

And it is believed that Apple will build on this momentum by releasing the Apple Watch Series 3 in the coming months. A release date of September this year has been linked with the smartwatch, which would mean that it would launch at an extremely similar time to the forthcoming iPhone 8.

Design

Apple is not expected to diverge much at all from the existing Apple Watch releases when the Apple Watch Series 3 hits the stores. Some consumers would like to see a circular face included in the 2017 release, but Taiwan-based Quanta, reportedly already handed the manufacturing contract for the Apple Watch Series 3, will probably produce a quadrilateral design once more.

Consumer choice

When the Apple Watch Series 3 hits the stores, Apple will once again focus on providing consumers with a wide range of different designs and purchasing options. This will result in a considerable range of models and colors, while the consumer electronics giant will also probably extend the range of straps available.

Display

The US Patent and Trademark Office has published a patent application which suggests that a flexible display may appear in this smartwatch range eventually. However, it is unlikely that this will materialize in the Apple Watch Series 3, and we should reasonably expect a similar design and size of display to previous releases. This will mean OLED technology will be included once more, perhaps a precursor to its introduction to the iPhone range later this year.

Camera

Cameras will never be the most important aspect of smartwatches, but it is suggested that the camera in the Apple Watch Series 3 could play a critical role. Not only will it deliver selfie photographs, but FaceTime video calling could also be supported.

Modular straps

Recent patents have also indicated that Apple is working on modular bands, enabling larger batteries, GPS, improved cameras and other features to be added to a base model. This could conceivably appear in the Apple Watch range this year.

Medical function

Another interesting feature linked with the Apple Watch Series 3 is the inclusion of new medical functions that enable the smartwatch to monitor blood sugar levels of users. This could be considered particularly timely given the diabetes epidemic that has been well-publicised.

Embedded battery

Apple certainly seems to be considering many different strap options for the Apple Watch in the future, as another leaked patent reveals a strap featuring an innovative embedded battery design. It is probably too early for this to feature in the Apple Watch Series 3, but such an eventuality is not inconceivable.

Price

Finally, there will be a wide range of pricing for the Apple Watch Series 3, with so many different versions and customization choices available. But it is expected that the smartwatch will be in a similar ballpark to previous releases in terms of pricing.

According to Tim Cook, Apple CEO, the company’s wearable business is now the size of a Fortune 500 company. Which means, the Apple Watch is selling like hot cakes, in fact, during a recent earnings call he revealed, sales have doubled. And that means an Apple Watch Series 3, although not officially announced will hit the shelves this year. Here’s the latest from the rumor mill, which includes the release date, a smart band, improved battery, and LTE connectivity.

Apple Watch Series 3
Image shot for ValueWalk by Sheeraz Raza

Apple Watch Series 3

Now that Apple’s wearable division has been given a boost due to better than expected sales figures, what does the future hold? Unlike with its iPhone line of smartphones, its smartwatch is still a player in a relatively new market. As such, it’s seen as rather dangerous for a manufacturer to rest on its laurels. So, you should expect to see an Apple Watch Series 3 launch with additional features which make it stand out from its predecessor.

LTE Conectivity

According to the rumor mill, if change is what future owners of the Cupertino-based giant’s next wearable want. That’s what they may be getting, with connectivity being one of the wearables key upgrade areas.

Now, you should be aware that these rumors are not, based on any leaked Apple documents, so their validity can’t be verified. However, imagine an Apple Watch Series 3, freed from its iPhone shackles. It would be the born of a new era for the device, and the rumor suggests a SIM Card slot will make that possible.

Furthermore, what that would mean for an owner of the smartwatch is, they could leave their smartphone at home. Why? Because the watch would be able to handle all incoming calls and messaging, it’s also a possibility that 4G connectivity could be included.

As for murmurings about this actually being true, a recent report by Christopher Rolland, an analyst for Susquehanna Financial Group Semiconductor. Revealed that the Apple Watch Series 3 would have “4G Skills”. However, in a comment that casts doubt on this, Paul Reynolds, of the Health Care startup Gliimpse (now owned by Apple) said there would be no LTE connectivity.

In his report, he pointed out that the costs, and hurdles to cross before a future Watch could have this feature are significant. However, none of this negativity outright suggests Apple won’t make the next Apple Watch LTE Connectable.

Battery

If the Apple Watch Series 3, is to see LTE connectivity, its battery can not be the same as in the previous. Why? Battery power is at a premium on such small devices, and the inclusion of such a power hungry feature as LTE means problems. Recently, the DigiTimes reported that Apple had appointed Quanta Computer to look after battery development and production. Will this then mean a battery with better performance and a longer life is produced?

Apparently, one of the key goals Apple has set for Quanta is efficiency, meaning that should LTE be included. It may have a battery that can sustain a reasonable among of web surfing, calling and messaging before needing a charge.

Smart Band

Recently it was reported that Apple will incorporate health monitoring into a Smart Band. These apparently are to be accessories beyond the standard strap delivered with the Apple Watch Series 3.

Additionally, possibly due to this leak/source, the rumor has cropped up about glucose monitoring. The rumors suggest the Smart Band would be able to monitor a wearer’s blood sugar without having to be invasive. This is something which many industry watchers were quick to criticize, as impossible, well not in a small band.

To make this work, it’s said that Apple has employed 200 PhDs to make it work, each focussing on health. However, it is not clear if all of them are working on glucose measuring or not. Although if cracked this would be a great solution for people living with diabetes.

New Design

Hot off the press today also comes news that a completely new design many be on the way for the next Watch. The US Patent & Trademark Office has published an Apple patent application, which shows a design that is radical.

Within the details that have been made available by Patently Apple. It talks about a possible future Apple Watch Series 3 with continuous rollable and flexible display.

The images included in the Patent, reveal that such a display would include a continuous display that would also encapsulate the band. According to industry insiders, Apple has been working on this since back in 2015.

If you want to stay up to date on this, watch out for our detailed patent report, coming asap.

Apple Watch Series 3 Release Date

Finally, what about a release date? As you know, Apple keeps its secrets as close to its chest as possible. Which, unfortunately, means, there’s no official information. About the only thing we can point toward is that Apple is a stickler for keeping release dates almost the same. As such, if you look back the Series 2 launch date, that was in September last year along with the current iPhones. That means, it’s likely that the Apple Watch Series 3 will also launch is September alongside the iPhone 8.

Final Thoughts

It goes without saying that the above rumors should be taken with a pinch of salt. Especially considering Apple has not confirmed the existence of the next Watch yet. Although, we think cellular connectivity is a must and probably the most likely of the rumors to make it. Do you agree? What if any, improvements would you like to see in the Apple Watch Series 3?