As technology moves to reduce too much reliance on smart phones, Apple Inc. has unveiled its plan to release a version of a smart phone that can make calls, Mark Furman reported from Bloomberg.
The idea is for users to be able to make calls, download new songs and use apps with the watches on their wrist without having to be with their phones. To make this possible, Apple requires the smartwatch to be connected to an iPhone. Equipped with the LTE chips, users will be able to conduct many tasks without an iPhone handy.
The LTE chips for the smartwatch will be supplied by Intel Corp. This is great one for the chip maker which has been trying to be a vendor for Apple. Qualcomm Inc. which has been the main chip supplier is currently in a legal scuffle with Apple.
The iPhone maker is currently in business talks with carriers in the US and Europe about offering the cellular version. Bloomberg reported further:
“The carriers supporting the LTE Apple Watch at least at launch, may be a limited subset of those that carry the iPhone, one of the people said. However AT&T Inc., Verizon Communications Inc., Sprint Corp. and T-Mobile US Inc. in the US plan to sell the device, according to other people familiar with the matter”
However, the new smartwatch could still be delayed beyond 2017. Apple didn’t give an immediate response to a request for comment while Intel refused to make any comment.
Apple doesn’t publicly break out number of sales for the watch unlike it does for their other gadgets- iPhone, iPads and Macs. Nevertheless, Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple confirmed that the smartwatch maintains a wide margin with similar products as the bestselling smartwatch. Tim Cook added that “sales of the device grew more than 50% in the third quarter”.
The greatest factor that’s likely to delay the production of the devise may be the issue of the battery life. Gene Munster, a long time Apple analyst and a co-founder of Loup Ventures suggest Apple would experience a bang in sales if it made the smartwatch an independent device to reduce the burden on battery.
Last year, the company planned to release an LTE capable device but decided to hold off on the plan because of battery issues. Nevertheless, Apple has been seeking means to improve on the battery life span on their devices even though cramming an LTE radio into a watch remains a challenge.