Amid the usual iPhone rumors, the clock is ticking down to the release of the Apple Watch 2, if the views of many analysts are to be believed. It is expected that the California-based corporation will unveil the second iteration of the smartwatch series at its annual World Wide Developers Conference in San Francisco. This major event in the technology calendar is just weeks away, so this means that the Apple Watch 2 may also appear in a relatively short timeframe.

The first Apple Watch has not been a massive success for the consumer electronics giant, but at the same time it represents a good foundation for development as well. It is known that the Apple Watch already control 95 percent of the smartwatch marketplace, and even though this is a relatively embryonic niche, this still is obviously statistically significant.

Apple Watch 2: Everything We Know So Far

Apple Watch 2 – Original failure

But the original Apple Watch didn’t quite deliver the sort of features that which Apple had perhaps promised. Numerous aspects of the smartwatch failed to materialize, and the most common complaint about the Apple Watch was that it lacked a clear purpose. Additionally, many users grumbled that the smartwatch was too reliant on the iPhone; surely something that Apple will need to rectify with the Apple Watch 2.

Even the CEO of Apple has admitted that the first generation of the smartwatch was something of a learning experience. Tim Cook said that while the original Apple Watch was an important stepping stone to understanding the smartwatch niche, the second release in the range should be considerably more impressive. “You’ll see the Apple Watch getting better and better,” Cook asserted. “I think that in a few years, we will look back and people will say, ‘How could I have ever thought about wearing this watch?'”

Release date

So what can we expect from the Apple Watch 2 when it is released? Well, the first thing to address may be when the second Apple smartwatch will indeed emerge. Media reports suggest that the Apple Watch 2 could launch alongside the iPhone 7, which would mean a September release date.

Pricing

One would expect pricing to be fairly similar to the first iteration of the Apple smartwatch, but it has also been widely reported that Apple will introduce an entirely new Apple Watch variant when the Apple Watch 2 hits the stores.

Currently, there is a gulf between the $10,000 Apple Watch Edition, and the next smartwatch down in pricing, with a metallic version of the Apple Watch costing around $1,000. It is believed that Apple will introduce a new variant of the Apple Watch 2 which will be positioned somewhere between these two price points, with the intention of competing with entry-level wristwatches from the likes of Rolex and Omega. This would point to a price tag in the region of $4,000 – $5,000.

Standalone

The preview version of watchOS 2 earlier this year suggested that the Apple Watch 2 will indeed be considerably more independent than the previous release in the series. Numerous features that relied on an attended iPhone in the Apple Watch will be standalone in the Apple Watch 2, and this will probably be one of the most welcome aspects of the smartwatch. How Apple deals with the relatively obsolete Apple Watch that this would seemingly produce remains to be seen.

Cellular connectivity

Central to this independence are recent reports which have suggested that the Apple Watch 2 will feature true cellular connectivity. This would make it possible to make calls, send texts and connect to the Internet without utilizing the iPhone. Existing smartwatches already feature 3G and 4G connectivity, and it is expected to migrate to the Apple Watch as well in his second iteration.

Waterproofing

It is believed that the Apple Watch 2 will be significantly waterproof, in an attempt to improve the health-related functionality of the smartwatch. This was a major disappointment with the original smartwatch, and it seems that Apple has been working on this with the intention of ensuring that the Apple Watch 2 acquires an IP67 rating.

Health-tracking features

Apple is also expected to implement numerous health-tracking features which were excluded from the original Apple Watch. The Cupertino-based manufacturer encountered numerous technical difficulties when attempting to include these last time round, but it is expected that many of the features that were intended for the original Apple Watch will appear in the second generation,

Circular face

One of the most requested aspects of the Apple Watch 2 is for the consumer electronics market-leader to introduce a version of the watch with a circular face. This would seem to be completely logical, after all this design is the one most associated with wristwatches. It is extremely unlikely that Apple would dispense with the quadrilateral Apple Watch, but it could consider an alternative to this design, possibly as a distinct product line.

Hardware upgrades

Another obvious aspects of the Apple Watch 2 is that Apple will upgrade the device to deliver a superior experience. This will mean a faster processor and more RAM, while a GSM antenna has also been linked with the Apple Watch 2 as well.

Battery life

Finally, one of the most important aspects of the Apple Watch 2 will be improved battery life. Another criticism of the original smartwatch was that it ran out of battery life rather too quickly, which is hardly ideal for an everyday item such as a wristwatch. Records indicate that Apple has worked hard to improve the battery life of the Apple Watch 2, and it could double or even triple over the previous version of the smartwatch.

Prospects

There are conflicting views on whether or not the Apple Watch 2 will be a success, but notably arguably the most esteemed of Apple analysts, Ming Chi Kuo, suggests that the smartwatch will only deliver moderate improvements over the original Apple Watch, and that this will see sales of the device plummet significantly.