LTE-connected Apple Watch 2 coming soon?

“When Apple announces the Apple Watch 2 — presumably this fall — it’ll have been more than a year and a half since the original Watch went on sale,” Mark Sullivan writes for Fast Company. “As I’ve argued before, the next great leap forward for Apple Watch is the addition of a cellular radio, which would give the device more independence from its paired iPhone. The Watch would become far more than an accessory.”

“My guess is that Apple will trot out a number of new Watches in the fall,” Sullivan writes. “You might see a sleeker and slimmer second-generation Watch that has roughly the same feature set as the original Watch, but everything will be faster and more battery-efficient. These new Watches might be made of new materials, like titanium, silver, or ceramic.”

“And I’m betting Apple will also announce a new Watch with a cellular radio inside (LTE, hopefully). This Watch would be a little larger — maybe the same size as the first Apple Watch—to fit the new radio and additional battery,” Sullivan writes. “It might even include a GPS radio, which would be great news for runners who yearn to map their runs without a big smartphone strapped to their arm.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take:

Apple Watch Sport with Apple's Activity and Workout apps
Apple Watch Sport with Apple’s Activity and Workout apps
As runners, the lack of GPS sans iPhone is Apple Watch’s biggest drawback. No matter how painstakingly we calibrate our Apple Watches, they’re just not accurate enough for our use without iPhone along for the ride. Sans iPhone, the Apple Watch (accelerometer-based pedometer) is off by a 1/10 of a mile or more every three miles. It’s equally awful on treadmill or outdoors. That’s just not copacetic for any runner beyond the beginner stage.

We’d love to be able to slap Apple Smartband GPS units on our Apple Watches and take off running while measuring accurately without carting along our iPhones!

Also, can we have an Apple Workout app that simply lists our monthly progress (how many miles we’ve done to date this month)? Is that too much to ask for? Go to the Nike+ app and companion website for ideas. (Hey, Jay, didn’t you come from Nike?! Cripes, at least keep the good stuff, will ya?) Beyond that, we’d love for iCloud to gain a Workout section that will do what the Nike+ website does, including a social component – the ability to share and compete with friends (yes, we know, Apple+social=GULP!)

For runners: The lightest possible Apple Watch / Apple Band combo – March 11, 2015
Apple’s fitness guru Jay Blahnik opens up about Apple Watch – August 7, 2015
Why Apple’s watchOS 2 is brilliant news for runners – June 13, 2015
Apple nabs Nike design director Ben Shaffer to work on wearable devices – September 27, 2013
Apple hires Nike+ FuelBand developer Jay Blahnik – August 19, 2013


  1. Heh. Not good enough? Losing (or adding) 1/10th of a mile every 3? If you ever catch me running 3 miles, I’ll be happy to still be alive!

    (Sorry. I know that means this feature isn’t for me in the first place. I get it. 🙂 )

    1. Actually, I think accuracy cited by MDN is good enough — unless you are maniacal over calculating every meter you ran.

      GPS/GLONASS version, let alone LTE/GPS/GLONASS version will run out of battery much faster, and will cost higher.

      In the end, I wish Apple would release three version:
      1) no GPS/GLONASS and LTE — just as now;
      2) GPS/GLONASS without LTE;
      3) GPS/GLONASS with LTE.

      With ever higher item number of this list, price will grow, and battery life will decrease — but there will be choice for everybody.

  2. Why? So our phone bill can increase again? Maybe if it’s only $5 for unlimited watch data. We already pay for Internet 4 times for my home’s main line, two iPhones, and an iPad. I don’t need to pay for Internet again.

  3. How big is GPS? The Apple Watch is already tight on space. GPS is only good when it can detect three satellites. The iPhone also uses cell towers to be accurate, try to squeeze that into a watch too. Don’t forget the antennas. Every time I read about the battery getting smaller and/or longer life I write the writer off. They should not be paid to write anything tech. Battery tech doesn’t follow Moore’s Law. The only reason smartphones got better battery life is by making the phone bigger. This person may be one of those Apple haters who tells people that Mac’s only have a one button mouse. Or one of those who say Apple will put a bunch of stuff in a new iPhone then when Apple releases the phone say It’s so disappointing because it doesn’t have what they said it would while hiding the advances it does have.

    1. “The iPhone also uses cell towers to be accurate”
      The primary function of aGPS is to increase the speed of getting a fix with the GPS satellites, not accuracy. It works by making a quick cell connection to find the general area and then being able to focus on what GPS satellites reach that area instead of having to do a broad search and fix on all of the GPS satellites.

      “try to squeeze that into a watch too.”
      The good news is that LTE/GPS components are mostly integrated these days. If they’re going to add one, they might as well add the other… especially if they intend to add LTE, in that case GPS easily comes along for the ride.

      “The only reason smartphones got better battery life is by making the phone bigger.”
      That’s not true at all. Battery tech itself doesn’t improve as rapidly as other tech (like CPUs), but it does improve. Furthermore, smartphones got a lot of their battery improvement since the original iPhone from improved efficiencies in other components, not just from an increase in the overall size of the phone. Take a look at MacBook battery life increases over the past 10 years despite being the devices (in each display-size category) getting smaller.

      The bottom line is that while I doubt LTE/GPS is coming this Fall, it’s not beyond the scope of possibility, and it’s definitely coming at some point (my guess 2 years).

    2. You don’t even need cellular at all for GPS. My GPS units for my car before smart phones never had any sort of connectivity even as a possible option at all, nor do my DSLR’s.

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