Apple Plans to Release Cellular Apple Watch Later This Year [Report]
Intel Corp. will supply the LTE modems for the new Watch, according to another person familiar with the situation. That’s a big win for the chipmaker, which has been trying for years to get its components into more Apple mobile devices. Qualcomm Inc. has been the main modem supplier for iPhones and other Apple mobile gadgets, but the two companies are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute. Apple added Intel as a modem supplier for some iPhones last year.
Apple is reportedly in talks with carriers in the U.S. and Europe about the cellular version. Initially, only a limited subset of carriers will support the LTE Apple Watch; however, all the major carriers in the United States are set to carry it.
Making the Apple Watch into a standalone device “would be a game changer”, says Apple analyst Gene Munster. “If they could deliver an experience that isn’t tethered to an iPhone, it could kick start a new direction for the business.”
The new Apple Watch will run watchOS 4 which brings numerous improvements including a proactive Siri watch face, personalized Activity coaching, an entirely new music experience, and more.