Why Apple Watch 2 doesn’t need its own cellular capability

“Many garments were rended and much hair torn last week over a report in Bloomberg that the next version of the Apple Watch would not arrived with cellular networking,” Dan Moren writes for Macworld.

“Setting aside some of the questions about the reporting of that story and Apple’s development timelines,” Moren writes, “allow me to share with you my nuanced, carefully considered, and thoughtful reaction to that news: meh.”

“Look, I get it: the ability to have your Apple Watch connected no matter where you are and let it function untethered from your iPhone seems like a nice addition,” Moren writes. “And I’m sure Apple will get there some day, but there are a few reasons why I think this is much ado about nothing.”

Apple Watch will within weeks feature watchOS 3 is faster and simpler with breakthrough health features
Apple Watch will within weeks feature watchOS 3 is faster and simpler with breakthrough health features

“Will the Apple Watch get cellular networking eventually? Sure,” Moren writes. “But when Apple’s working on a device, it’s always a matter of priorities—and right now there are things that are higher up on the list.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The people most obsessed with an Apple Watch that’s fully independent of iPhone do not own an Apple Watch.

Users of the device understand that things like onboard GPS and devoting excess battery power to performance gains are far more important right now. Apple Watch will get the ability to connect to cellular networks eventually – and that’ll be useful for when you’re out on a run with just your GPS-capable Apple Watch and you need to make a quick phone call or text a brief message, but Apple Watch’s display is just too small to be relied upon all by its lonesome most of the time. You’ll want to pull out your iPhone when encountering longer text, viewing photos and videos, etc.

What to expect from Apple Watch 2 – August 23, 2016
Nike+ Running app update suggests Apple Watch 2 will sport GPS – August 23, 2016
Apple Watch 2 will entice the masses with built-in GPS – August 15, 2016
Faster Apple Watch 2 with onboard GPS, barometer, better battery and more water-resistance coming this year – August 8, 2016
Apple Watch 2 rumored to feature built-in GPS, swim tracking – June 27, 2016


    1. GPS watches have existed for several years and have always been fanless. I’ve run for marathons with them on and getting ‘constant’ location data and never noticed a noteworthy temperature from them.

    2. GPS watches have existed for several years and have always been fanless. I’ve run marathons with them on, getting ‘constant’ location data and never noticed any noteworthy temperature from them.

  1. I’m an Apple fanboy, but Geez Samsung has a watch with cellular and GPS (might be assisted), but nevertheless for the last 2 years. I bought to test it out. If your worried about how long it hold power, just buy a second or third charger. Or, another used AW to switch over while the first one is charging.

    1. That 3G Samsung is cheaper than the Apple watch but doesn’t sell as well. Why? It can’t last even half a day on standby and only a few hours of active use, and shuts itself down when it overheats. It’s not really innovation if it doesn’t work. Reminds me of the useless Samsung innovation of scrolling with your eye movements – sounds good but never worked right.

  2. It doesn’t need cellular because nobody wants an extra $30 on a phone bill. It’s ridiculous enough that we have to pay for Internet access so many times as it is. I pay close to $150/month just for data and internet.

    1. Between home internet and iPhone data (both much faster than what I had in California) I pay about $30/month here in Poland. One of the government’s primary roles is preventing monopolies and they’ve dropped the ball in the US.

  3. The Apple Watch is a complement to my iPhone NOT a replacement. Do people not like having an awesome camera, web browser, reading device, and a million other apps available in their pocket?

  4. I bet one function Apple would love to implement would be the 911-SOS function in watchOS 2 using direct cellular. As it stands, It will only work if there is WiFi or your iPhone nearby. Sometimes I’m out walking without my iPhone.

  5. As someone commented, the feature in Watch OS 3 which demands cellular to be effective is the SOS function (a function I’m actually quite wary of as it looks like it could be accidentally triggered too easily for me). However, as the music industry moves into the era of streaming as the primary mode of consumption, the idea of only being able to access music on the watch without a phone too will start to seem anachronistic.

    However, personally, I’m not fussed about the cellular capability either. I don’t use the watch as a fitness device and I’m not out running so I don’t have the issue of not having my phone with me. I’m more concerned that they DON’T add things like a camera and that they keep the exact same form factor and make the watch a device you keep for 3-5 years before needing to upgrade or else it needs to add some fantastic new life changing capability to justify that level of investment.

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