Report: Next-gen Apple Watch will not support cellular connectivity

Apple has been struggling with attempts to incorporate cellular connectivity into the new Apple Watch, according to a new report from Bloomberg. In an attempt to make the new version of the Watch less dependent on the iPhone, the company has been trying to implement wireless cellular hardware, but has been unable to resolve the power consumption of current cellular chips, which would make the battery life on the new Watch unacceptable, according to sources familiar with the matter. Apple has apparently begun looking into the use of lower-power cellular data chips for future generations of the Apple Watch, but no timeframe was provided for when this might happen other than that it won’t be making into this year’s models — sources revealed that even with an “aggressive” schedule, the earliest possible shipment for cellular models would have been this December.
The report goes on to note that Apple is still planning a new version of the Apple Watch for release this year, expected to include GPS chips for more accurate location tracking with satellites — the new chips would provide more accurate running and walking distance information as well as improving navigation and health tracking data. Sources for the report indicate that while the short-term plan is to partially untether the Apple Watch from the iPhone, the company’s ultimately working to eliminate any need to connect the two devices at all.


Jesse Hollington was a Senior Editor at iLounge. He's written about Apple technology for nearly a decade and had been covering the industry since the early days of iLounge. In his role at iLounge, he provided daily news coverage, wrote and edited features and reviews, and was responsible for the overall quality of the site's content.