Apple only released its first wearable device, the Apple Watch, a couple of short months ago, but already the corporation is preparing for its sequel. The overwhelming success of the Apple Watch has ensured that Apple will be investing a lot of resources and energy in this niche in the coming years, and it is thought that the Apple Watch will ignite the wearables market in general. Predictions already indicate that the wearables marketplace will be worth $80 billion per annum by the end of the decade, and Apple is already in an extremely strong position to be the leading player in this market.
Apple working on Apple Watch 2
So it is entirely unsurprising that Apple is already making preparations for the release of the Apple Watch 2. The first Apple Watch release already garnered a good deal of positive headlines for Apple, with the $10,000 Apple Watch Edition proving particularly noteworthy and popular. Numerous celebrities have already been pictured wearing this luxury watch, and this has unquestionably played a significant part in the positive perception of the smartwatch.
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Apple clearly intends to up the ante with the release of the second Apple Watch, as 9to5Mac is already reporting that Apple will include a video camera in the next generation smartwatch, on the top bezel of the watch. This is apparently intended to make it possible to participate in live video chatting with the Apple Watch.
More independent Apple Watch mooted
Additionally, the publication also suggests that Apple is looking to ensure that the next generation Apple Watch is more independent from the iPhone by including a wireless chip that will enable the wearable device to utilize Wi-Fi to handle a wide range of advanced tasks. Although Apple has viewed the Apple Watch as very much a companion to the smartphone iPhone range, some people were critical of this perception and suggested that there is little point in owning an Apple Watch if one needs to carry around an iPhone at all times in order to carry out certain functions. While the next generation Apple Watch will still retain this collaborative element, it is thought that Apple will be looking to produce a device that is significantly more independent than the initial Apple Watch.
Apple happy with battery life
9to5Mac also reports that Apple is satisfied with the battery life of the Apple Watch, and has no plans to significantly increase this in the next generation release. This may be viewed as something of a surprise, as the length of battery life that one can obtain from the existing Apple Watch has been criticized in some quarters. Apple has also been placed under scrutiny regarding the battery life of its devices in general, and there have already been a significant number of reports emerging that suggest that the iPhone range will be redesigned in the next generation in order to enable a longer battery life.
Apple is also likely to include new health-tracking functionality when the second model of the Apple Watch is released. Some of the health functionality that Apple has planned for the initial Apple Watch was scuppered by technological issues, and Apple will be beavering away behind the scenes to ensure that it can be included this time out.
It is clearly extremely important for Apple to produce an outstanding device in terms of health-tracking functionality, as the Apple Watch was initially marketed as being a health-related device. Although Apple was able to deliver some useful features in this regard, it was perhaps a little underwhelming compared to what was promised, so the consumer electronics giant will be looking to step this functionality up with the next model of the Apple Watch.
In addition to attempting to fulfil its promises, Apple will also be keenly scrutinizing the recent stock market floatation of Fitbit. The obvious competitor to the Apple Watch enjoyed an extremely profitable first day of trading as it was floated on the stock exchange for the first time, and Apple will doubtless be wary of the competition that this rival represents.
Mid-range models expected
It has also been suggested that Apple will introduce several new premium priced models when the Apple Watch 2 is released. The existing Apple Watch can be purchased in Sport, Steel, and Edition varieties, but Apple produced a large range of face and strap options in order to satisfy as many consumer bases as possible. But 9to5Mac reports that Apple is considering utilizing new materials in the next generation Apple Watch, and this could include the usage of new materials such as titanium, palladium and platinum.
As Apple attempts to attract more people to the smartwatch niche, a new range of models that sit between the more affordable versions of the Apple Watch and the $10,000 Apple Watch Edition are considered essential. The Apple Watch has certainly been a commercial success, but consumers are currently attracted to the Apple Watch either as an affordable device, or as a true luxury smartwatch. Apple would like to attract a large raft of customers between the $1,000 and $10,000 price points, in order to create a mid-price consumer niche.
It isn’t clear at the time of writing precisely what shape these mid-range Apple Watch variants would take, and whether they would encompass different bands and faces, or versions with entirely new materials, or both. What does seem certain is that Apple will continue to place a large emphasis on consumer choice, which was clearly a central ethos of the original Apple Watch release.
As Apple continues to work on the next generation Apple Watch, fans of the corporation will be wondering when it is likely to release. At this point in time, it seems likely that Apple will stick to a similar release schedule as for the initial Apple Watch, which would mean an April 2016 launch is on the cards. With other new product releases also predicted for Apple during this calendar year, it could be a very busy twelve months for the consumer electronics giant.