A new iPhone isn’t the only Apple product that’ll see daylight in September, as the company is also planning to take the wraps off new Watch models at the same event, according to a well-known Apple analyst.
KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has explained that the second-generation Apple Watch is very likely to see daylight in the second half of this year, probably in September. It will boast several upgrades, including a GPS and a new processor developed by TSMC, the same provider of iPhone chips who’ll also be in charge of building the CPUs for the upcoming generations of the phone.
Additionally, Apple is planning to add a barometer to measure elevation more accurately, better waterproofing, and a bigger battery that’ll be absolutely necessary, given all the other new features. The GPS sensor, for instance, is often considered the main battery hog on today’s wearables, so a bigger battery should provide better autonomy when used with GPS.
By adding a GPS module, however, Apple makes the Watch capable of running independently of the iPhone, as the device currently uses the phone for location tracking. With a GPS, the Apple Watch can provide additional stats, such as distance covered (such information is currently offered based on an estimate or using a calibration previously made with the iPhone) and mapping data.
At the same time, it can also help the company offer additional services, such as emergency services calling and automatic transmission of coordinates - SOS calling will be available with Siri in the next OS update, so such a feature would perfectly align with this new direction that Apple seems to be embrace.
For calling capabilities without an iPhone in the proximity, however, the Apple Watch would need LTE support, but according to the analyst, this new feature won’t arrive this year. This could be a sign that Apple is just laying the foundation for more future improvements that could be provided in the coming years.
As far as the design of the new Apple Watch is concerned, the second generation will have almost the same look and dimensions as the existing model, but it’ll be a bit thinner and feature a new display.
While Apple is working on improving waterproofing, the second-generation Apple Watch won’t be fully waterproofed, so it won’t support swimming. Apple will continue not to recommend showering with the Watch, so it’ll just be water-resistant with additional protection.
In addition to the second generation, Apple is also planning to unveil upgraded models of the existing version featuring new hardware, such as the TSMC processor and waterproofing.
The device will lack new features such as GPS and the barometer, but the plan here is most likely to offer a more affordable device that would help expand the Apple Watch and reach more customers.
Most likely, the price of the Apple Watch will drop by $100 once the second generation goes live, in a strategy similar to what Apple is doing with the iPhone. The Apple Watch 2 could retain the price of the existing model and sell for $299 for the entry-level version.