Analyst Christopher Rolland from Susquehanna Financial Group suggests based on his recent supply chain analysis trip to Asia that the third-generation Apple Watch will come with cellular connectivity.
The analyst believes that the new Apple Watch — due to be unveiled later this year — will feature a SIM card slot and LTE connectivity. To ensure that the hit to the battery life is minimal, Rolland believes that Apple will be making use of “VOIP and data across a CAT-M1 connection for superior battery life.”
Apple will tout interoperability with the company’s AirPods (now on back order till May) to make and receive phone calls (perhaps a small win for Maxim with amps in each ear bud). Positive QCOM, MXIM.
To promote the cellular capabilities of the Apple Watch, the Cupertino company will be marketing it alongside the AirPods since you will be able to make and receive calls without having access to your iPhone.
A cellular modem will ensure that the Apple Watch will not rely on the iPhone for a data connection. This will translate into the smartwatch being able to do more by itself and is not rendered useless when it is not connected to an iPhone.
The analyst also made some comments on the iPhone 8. As per the supply chain sources he talked to, Rolland believes that Apple is trying to “bridge” its own Lightning cable with USB-C — which is fast becoming an industry standard — though he believes that Apple will debut this in a 2018 model.
In addition, he notes that there is some skepticism around the wireless charging efficiency on the upcoming iPhones as they can take as much as 3 hours to be fully charged through it. The transmit pads for all the three iPhones will be manufactured by Pegatron and Foxconn. His sources also suggest that Apple’s plan of ditching the home button on the iPhone 8 might get stuck in limbo due to some technical issues the company is facing on validating the technology.
Finally, Rolland believes that while the iPhone 7S and iPhone 7S Plus from Apple will enter into production in June, the premium 5.8-inch OLED iPhone will not enter into production before August.
So, are you looking forward to Apple launching the third-generation Apple Watch later this year with cellular connectivity? Or do you want the smartwatch to offer better battery life first?
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