Apple Inc. is expected to release two new Apple Watch versions in the second half of 2016, with one of them being a minor upgrade to the current model of the smartwatch while the other one may have advanced features like support for Global Positioning System (GPS), barometer and more, according to an analyst.
Although both new versions of the Apple Watch are likely to offer moderate improvements over the existing model of the wearable device, the first unit is more likely to have the same aesthetics. However, it is also expected to feature an improved TSMC processor built on the 16nm process and better waterproofing, Apple Insider reported, citing KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.
The other upcoming version, dubbed the “Apple Watch 2,” is also likely to come with the same design as the current model, but with new features such as a GPS radio and a barometer, offering improved geolocation capabilities to users. In addition, the Apple Watch 2 could also sport a higher capacity battery to power the advanced components of the smartwatch, according to Kuo.
The analyst also said that Apple is unlikely to change the form factor of its flagship smartwatch in 2017. According to him, the company could introduce more radical design changes in 2018, a year that could also witness inclusion of improved health apps and a potential FDA approval.
The first Apple Watch was launched last year, and while Apple has never revealed sales figures, it is thought to have captured the top position in the smartwatch category. The device has also been criticized by many, pointing to limitations, including a single-day battery life and the need to have the device tethered to an iPhone at most times for some apps to work properly.
Apple is rumored to launch new iPhones — presumably called the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus — on Sept. 16, with pre-orders expected to start a week earlier on Sept. 9. If the ongoing speculation is correct, the new Apple Watch models could also be launched around the same time.