In a note to clients — as noted by AppleInsider — KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says the upcoming Apple Watch Series 3 — expected in September —will offer LTE cellular connectivity, but won’t sport a new form factor, as some have rumored.
Apple currently requires its smartwatch to be connected wirelessly to an iPhone to stream music, download directions in maps, and send messages while on the go. Equipped with LTE chips, at least some next gen Apple Watch models will be able to conduct many tasks without an iPhone in range, according to Bloomberg. For example, a user would be able to download new songs and use apps and leave their smartphone at home.
Kuo says the next gen smartwatch come in 38mm and 42mm and will be available in LTE and non-LTE versions. He predicts that Apple will ship 8-9 million Apple Watch Series 3 models in the second half of 2017, with the LTE model to account for 35% to 40% of shipments. Overall, the analyst forecasts 17.5 to 18 million units shipped in 2017; that’s up 70% year-over-year.
Apple's Apple Watch Series is expected to focus on improving battery life and overall performance, but will probably sport no major redesign. It may also pack ambient display technology for better visibility and additional sensors for even better health and fitness tracking.