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Upcoming Apple Watch May Not Feature Cellular Connectivity

Apple is facing challenges incorporating cellular connectivity into its Apple Watch, according to a Bloomberg report.

Bloomberg has cited people with knowledge of the matter as stating that obstacles have arisen in making the changes that would make the Apple Watch less dependent on the iPhone, with Apple still planning to unveil new models later this year.

Apple executives during discussions with mobile phone carriers expressed concern cellular models may not be ready for release this year, and that the feature could be pushed back to a later generation, according to people familiar with the talks, Bloomberg reported.

The delay is due to current cellular chips consuming too much battery life, according to three of the people, Bloomberg reported.

It has previously been reported that two new Apple Watch versions could be released in the 2016 second half, one with GPS and a larger battery.

Bloomberg has also reported its sources as stating that the updated versions will be able to integrate GPS-based location tracking, and will feature improvements to health tracking.

Recent International Data Corporation (IDC) figures showed that smartwatch shipments slumped in the 2016 second quarter, falling 32 per cent year-on-year.

The IDC, however, expects the market to rebound to growth in 2017, noting that exactly when this happens “will depend heavily on when vendors drive a better use case”.

“Continued platform development, cellular connectivity, and an increasing number of applications all point to a smartwatch market that will be constantly changing,” Ramon T. Llamas, IDC Wearables team research manager, commented.

“These will appeal to a broader market, ultimately leading to a growing market.”

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