With a faster processor (or “System in Package”) under the hood, standalone GPS connectivity, super-bright display and enhanced water resistance, last fall’s second-generation Apple Watch provided just enough meaningful upgrades over the original model to consolidate Cupertino’s early market domination.
But now Google is on the offensive again, looking stronger than ever, with a much more complex Android Wear 2.0 OS under its belt, as well as dozens of hardware-making partners from both tech and traditional fashion backgrounds.
Let’s not forget about Samsung either, with its Tizen-powered Gear S3 officially available in LTE-enabled configurations with both Classic and Frontier designs. Coincidentally (not!), that’s one of the key improvements this year’s Apple Watch Series 3 should bring to the table, according to a growing number of well-connected analysts and insiders.
To keep inherent battery life issues in check, Apple is expected to “employ VOIP and data across a CAT-M1 connection”, fitting an LTE-capable SIM card on the “next Apple Watch”, and among others, touting “interoperability with the company’s AirPods.”
Sounds intriguing, albeit far from groundbreaking, and the same goes for the oft-rumored wireless charging support of all three 2017 iPhones. In other news, the widely anticipated “elimination of the home button” may be “in limbo as Apple has had some technical issues validating the technology.”
Last but not least, Susquehanna Financial Group semiconductor analyst Christopher Rolland believes the iPhone 8, 7s and 7s Plus will all retain their predecessors’ Lightning port before the 2018 generation possibly moves to an “interoperable hybrid” of sorts mixing the best of Apple’s proprietary connectivity and USB Type-C. Interesting, though way too distant and vague to say more.