Apple has a plan to restore its smartwatch’s short-lived fame. According to Fierce Wireless, Apple is reportedly working on an LTE version of the Apple Watch, which means the watch would no longer be paired with a smartphone, and will ideally bring carriers a brand-new source of revenue.
Current Apple Watches are unable to retrieve data out of range of the user’s iPhone. They connect by Bluetooth, which means they probably have the same range as your portable speaker. The watch is neat in that it can use maps, iTunes, calendars, and other iOS features, but without your iPhone nearby it isn’t very useful. An LTE watch would, as stated above, function separately from the phone, and hopefully be able to perform all the same tasks just as well.
Essentially, an LTE Apple Watch would mean you have an additional device to manage your life. You can bring your watch out with you while your iPhone is charging, and vice versa. Or, if you want the Apple Watch, but not the iPhone, that would also be an option. Alternatively, if you’re going to the gym or for a run, you don’t have to have a clunky phone in your pocket if you want to use the Watch’s features.
For those in the U.S, Verizon, Sprint, AT&T, and T-Mobile have all agreed to carry the LTE Apple Watch. Experts think this is a good move for both Apple and the carriers already signed on.
“It would be a game changer,” Gene Munster, co-founder of Loup Ventures, told Bloomberg. “If they could deliver an experience that isn’t tethered to an iPhone, it could kick-start a new direction for the business.”
Apple has not disclosed exactly when this new watch will be ready, or how much it will cost.