Rumor: Apple may add cellular capability to next Apple Watch, create USB-C/Lightning hybrid

A new blog post from Barron’s suggests Apple is still working on a cellular version of the Apple Watch and is considering creating a hybrid USB-C/Lightning connector to be rolled out in iPhones as early as 2018. After a trip through Asia meeting with members of Apple’s supply chain, analyst Christopher Rolland said the USB-C won’t replace the Lightning jack in 2017’s iPhone line up, but that his contacts “believe Apple may be creating an interoperable hybrid that mixes the best of both technologies.” And while Apple is still working out the battery life and size problems related to delivering a cellular Apple Watch after failing to get one working for 2017, Rolland said the next version will include a SIM card to allow it to make calls independent of the iPhone and provide the ability to sync up with the company’s AirPods.
As far as this year’s remaining product launches, Rolland said he’s confident Apple will produce a 4.7” iPhone 7s, 5.5” iPhone 7s Plus and 5.8” OLED iPhone 8, all featuring wireless charging, but said ” there is some skepticism regarding charging efficiency as it may take 3 hours to receive a full charge.” He also said he expects Apple to eliminate the home button as plenty of others have predicted, but warned that move “may be in limbo as Apple has had some technical issues validating the technology.” He expects the 7s and 7s Plus to begin manufacturing in June and the iPhone 8 to hit assembly lines two months later—possibly to provide more time top work out the kinks in Apple’s prototypes.


Dan Pye was a news editor at iLounge. He's been involved with technology his whole life, and started writing about it in 2009. He's written about everything from iPhone and iPad cases to Apple TV accessories.