(AAPL) Watch Could Hurt iPhone Sales

by Lawrence Cooper August 8, 2017, 0:07
(AAPL) Watch Could Hurt iPhone Sales

The LTE-enabled smartwatch is touted to do a lot more work than the current Apple Watch (when it's not wirelessly connected to the phone). After adding Global Positioning System functionality to the second generation wearable, it's said the Apple Watch Series 3 will feature an integrated LTE modem so that it can connect directly to high speed cellular networks without going through the iPhone.

Apple is due to launch the iPhone 8 in September, and it's possible that we'll hear more than about not only watchOS 4, but also the Apple Watch LTE. For example, a user can send text messages, check notifications, download songs or use the maps, even if they've left their phone at home. Bloomberg reports that the LTE modems will be supplied by Intel Corp. Apple added Intel as a modem supplier for some iPhones previous year. However, till now Qualcomm has been the primary supplier of the chips for Apple.

Like previous year, Apple could choose to debut its new Watch models alongside the new iPhone.

Back to the report, Apple was said to have already been talking to United States carriers about its connected wearable. According to sources, the 2017 Apple Watch will come with LTE capability, which means it no longer has to rely on a wireless connection to an iPhone. The company had reportedly been working towards releasing an LTE smartwatch a year ago, but battery life issues lead to a delay. Apple, Intel and the carriers declined to comment.

Taking that into consideration, you have to be within 330 feet, or approximately 100 meters of an iPhone for your Apple watch to connect to it. Sales of the device grew more than 50 percent in the third quarter, Cook added. We probably don't know exactly how this kind of tech is going to play out yet - like whether it needs a separate data plan or would be more expensive.

Gene Munster, co-founder of Loup Ventures and a long-time Apple analyst, believes that making the next gen Apple watch more of a standalone can significantly boost the company's sales profit. Still, he's concerned about battery life in such a device.

Presumably Apple will still sell models of the Watch without LTE - like it does with the iPad - and charge a premium for this feature.

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