Usually reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities has updated a previous report in which it was claimed that Apple will launch LTE-equipped Apple Watch models with a few details as to what we can expect to be treated to when the new smartwatches are announced.
Those details, predictably, relate to that new LTE capability in that Kuo believes a new eSIM will be used, replacing the need for a hardware SIM and saving valuable space within the Apple Watch as a result. It is also thought that the new LTE capability will only be used for data transmission rather than to allow telephone calls to be made.
The eSIM approach is not a new one and Apple first used the embedded SIM card when it launched the 9.7-inch iPad Pro last year. The tablet did also include a hardware SIM tray however, allowing the device to be used with carriers that do not support the new eSIM. That is not expected to be the case with Apple’s wearable however.
Kuo has previously suggested that the LTE capability will not include a 3G connection option, limiting the carriers and markets that are able to take advantage of the new watch. New KGI claims today say that Apple could decide to use Qualcomm for the baseband chip ahead of Intel, with the former company offering a smaller, lower-powered solution. Kuo also predicts that the wearable will not be getting Android support.
On the belief that the Apple Watch will not include telephone call capabilities, it is important to note that as a data connection will be available, services such as Skype and FaceTime should still work without issue, assuming the app support is built in to allow such a thing to happen. An Apple Watch with no requirement for an iPhone to be connected in order to do basic tasks would be a real boon for users, although the added costs will need to be weighed up before any purchasing decision is made.
If Apple follows past timescales, then new Apple Watches could well be announced next month alongside new iPhone hardware.
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