Apple Watch 3: News, new features, and rumors

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Apple Watch 3: News, new features, and rumors

The Apple Watch is the best-selling smartwatch ever released, but there’s always room for improvement. The Apple Watch Series 2 tweaked the Apple Watch Series 1 for the better in a few key areas, and the Apple Watch Series 3 — which is likely to be unveiled during an event on Sept. 12 with the iPhone 7S, 7S Plus, and anniversary edition iPhone 8 — is shaping up to be just as transformative.

So what exactly will the release of the Apple Watch 3 bring? Here’s everything we know about it so far.

Release date and new colors

It’s official — Apple’s next event is happening Tuesday, September 12, at 10 a.m. PT. The keynote will be the first held at the Steve Jobs Theater on the grounds of Apple’s new campus in Cupertino, California. The company is expected to unveil the the third-generation Apple Watch, iPhone 8, 7S, and 7S Plus, a 4K-capable version of its Apple TV set-top box, and new AirPod wireless earbuds.

When will you be able to buy the Apple Watch series 3? The two previous models arrived at different times — the original Apple Watch in spring 2015 and the Apple Watch Series 2 in fall 2016 —  so there’s no release window to go by. But industry sources tell Mac4Ever and DigiTimes that the Apple Watch Series 3 will launch in 2017, and might go on sale sometime in the third quarter of 2017 — potentially as soon as September 22.

When the Apple Watch series 3 does hit retail, it’ll likely come in two new case colors: blush gold and grey ceramic. Firmware references spotted by 9to5Mac show an aluminum gold Apple Watch Series 3 Sport model and a new ceramic material for the Apple Watch Edition, alongside colors like yellow, rose, and black. Lending credence to the rumor, at least one new iPhone is expected to come in a similar “ceramic gold” shade.

Carriers like Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile might sell the Apple Watch Series 3 directly, according to 9to5Mac. They might also offer free months of service for LTE-capable models, or limited-time promotional plans with reduced pricing.

Design

apple watch series 3

Many are hoping that the Apple Watch Series 3 will bring with it a major redesign. If recent reports are anything to go by, that won’t be the case.

A render spotted by 9to5Mac appears to show an Apple Watch Series 3 with a red-accented digital crown. It’s reportedly the LTE model, and it shares the same rectangular shape as the Apple Watch Series 2. But unlike the Series 2, it appears to have a signal strength meter and complications for navigation.

The leak dovetails with reports from DigiTimes (via the Economic Daily News) and analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, which claim the the overall design of the third Apple Watch will remain the same. Ming-Chi Kuo says the Apple Watch Series 3 will ship in two size configurations, 38mm and 42mm.

A SIM card and LTE

nfc explained apple pay with watch

The Apple Watch Series 3 may be the first in Apple’s wearable portfolio to support cellular LTE.

According to 9to5Mac and CNBC, at least some models of Apple Watch Series 3 will be able to make and receive calls, send messages, and stream music without being tethered to an iPhone. It might be an LTE-only affair, apparently. Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities claims the Apple Watch Series 3 will not support 3G, but only LTE, limiting the markets it can be sold and used.

Here’s how it’ll reportedly work: When you set up the Apple Watch Series 3 for the first time, it’ll reportedly detect your iPhone’s phone number and try to figure out if you’re already setup to use an Apple Watch. If not, you’ll be prompted to add the watch to your existing data plan, and the Apple Watch will switch to your carrier’s network automatically.

That’s all thanks to an embedded SIM card and LTE modems built by Intel, according to Bloomberg. That in and of itself is a big deal: Qualcomm has long been the primary modem supplier for Apple’s iPhones.

Sensors

Rumor has it that Apple may be stepping up the health tracking capabilities with the Apple Watch Series 3.

According to a report from BGR, the new Apple Watch may be able to monitor blood glucose levels, and new reports indicate that Apple CEO Tim Cook is testing the new accessory personally. Cook has reportedly been spotted on the Apple campus wearing a prototype device, and while it’s currently unclear if the device is Apple-built or built in partnership with a medical company, reports from CNBC suggest that it’s a blood glucose monitor.

Apple has reportedly been interested in helping tackle diabetes for some time, and a glucose-monitoring feature could be a game-changer for diabetics. Around 30 million people in the U.S. alone suffer from diabetes.

Currently, the only way to monitor blood glucose is to get a blood sample. The Apple Watch Series 3’s glucose monitoring is said to be noninvasive.

Smart bands

how to change an Apple Watch band

Apple may introduce a whole slew of new functionality with the Apple Watch Series 3 through a series of interchangeable “smart bands” that will add different functions to the Apple Watch quickly and easily. That will give the Apple Watch a modular design, and allow users to add features without having to pay more for the Apple Watch outright.

It’s possible that the glucose monitoring system will be introduced as a smart band rather than as core functionality to the Apple Watch itself.

Display

The Apple Watch Series 3 won’t use the same touch panels as its predecessors. Apple will source capacitive glass from Biel Crystal or General Interface Solutions, according to DigiTimes,

The reason? Apple is reportedly unhappy with the yields of its current glass manufacturer, TPK. The firm has been unable to produce the Apple Watch’s particular brand of glass at scale, reportedly because of the smartwatch’s curved surface.

apple extends watch warranty

Moreover, a new report suggests that Apple will not be using OLED in the Apple Watch Series 3. Rather, it will be employing a new display technology called micro-LED. Back in 2014, Apple acquired LuxVue, a company that specializes in the technology, and now it appears that the company is leveraging the acquisition to bring micro-LED screens to market.

Battery

The Apple Watch Series 3 is likely to boast better battery life than its predecessor.

Apple engineers have reportedly developed in “low-power cellular data chips for LTE variants of the Apple Watch Series 3, according to an analyst from Susquehanna Financial Group and Bloomberg. And a recent DigiTimes report corroborates those claims. Taiwan’s Quanta Computer, one of Apple’s manufacturing partners, has reportedly focused specifically on improving the Apple Watch’s battery life.

Update: Added information about availability, pricing, LTE models, and Blush Gold and Ceramic Grey case colors. 

Published at Sat, 09 Sep 2017 19:28:30 +0000

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