Apple released its first smartwatch in April 2015, and since then, there has been no update on its successor, the Apple Watch 2. However, recent rumors gave some hints on what the Cupertino-based company is planning for the new iteration of its smartwatch and when we could expect the new variants.
No official news on Apple Watch 2
Apple announced the much-anticipated watch in September 2014, getting people very excited about an Apple-designed smartwatch. Twenty-one months later, the watch has been on sale for more than a year, and consumers are now wondering about the second-gen watch.
The Apple Watch 2 was not one of the topics at Apple’s March 21 press event, and it was not announced at WWDC 2016 in June. But there was lots of news about WatchOS 3 and what it means for the smartwatch. The tech giant introduced the upcoming watchOS 3 software at the WWDC event in June and claimed that the update would make the watch feel brand new with improvements in performance, new features, and better app access.
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Apple Watch 2: release date, pricing and specs
Trusted analyst Ming-chi Kuo of KGI Securities has come with new information on Apple’s next-gen watch. As per Kuo, the tech giant is planning to launch two new versions of the Apple Watch later this year. The first version will reportedly be similar to Apple’s current smartwatch with big changes in the internal hardware. The latest watch is rumored to include a GPS radio, faster processor and barometer. In addition, according to Kuo, the second-gen watch is also expected to sport a larger battery and a thinner display.
The second version will reportedly have a similar design as well but with fewer new features. This means the iPhone maker will be offering both smartwatches at different prices. The second watch will probably be cheaper. Kuo says the upcoming Apple Watch would be cheaper; however, it is known if the company will cut prices across the board or only slash the price of the updated version to make it more affordable.
Kuo predicted the release of the Phone SE accurately, and now he reports that the smartphone maker will be shipping two new watches during the second half of 2016. Since the company has been pushing iPhone and Apple Watch sales together, it would be appropriate for the new versions of each device to launch in tandem, notes MacRumors. Apple’s new iPhone (the iPhone 7) is expected to go sale on September 16, while preorders are likely to start September 9, so it wouldn’t be a stretch to expect the new watch models to debut around those dates.
Overall, the Apple Watch 2 sounds like the perfect watch, so now we just have to wait for its actual launch date.
Design change expected in 2018
Kuo also believes that the Cupertino-based firm will release an LTE-supported smartwatch in 2017 as an update to the second-gen watch, and a change in design isn’t expected until 2018. LTE support would negate the need to connect the watch to a smartphone or Wi-Fi. However, Kuo did not confirm or specify if the new variants will come packed with a FaceTime camera or have expanded Wi-Fi capabilities.
In the second quarter, worldwide smartwatch sales declined by 32%, according to IDC. Such a massive drop is partly believed to be caused by potential buyers delaying their purchase in anticipation of the Apple Watch 2. Nevertheless, the Cupertino-based firm is still the top-selling smartwatch vendor.
Apple Watch variants are not the only gadgets that the KGI Securities analyst reported on. Kuo also hinted that the smartphone maker will be introducing a massively overhauled MacBook Pro in the last few months of 2016. The new iteration is expected to boast an Organic Light-Emitting Diode (OLED) touchscreen, replace the function keys, and add USB-C support and Touch ID, according to Kuo.
On Monday, Apple shares closed up 0.83% at $108.37. Year to date, the stock is up almost 1%, while in the last year, it is down more than 6%.