Apple’s next smartwatch could find its way into the limelight in early 2016. The iPhone maker may be planning an event for its “Apple Watch 2” in March, according to unnamed sources speaking to 9to5Mac.
Supply chain murmurs have pointed to new features such as a thinner display, a built-in camera and new materials for the second-generation Apple smartwatch. But exact details about the anticipated Apple Watch 2 have been relatively sparse since the release of the first model, in April.
In addition to the smartwatch, Apple may also unveil its 4-inch “iPhone 6C" during its March event, according to 9to5Mac. The handset is expected to take some of its design cues from the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus, as well as bringing upgraded performance features compared to the iPhone 5S.
The iPhone 6C is expected to come with an A9 chip, support for the Apple Pay mobile payment service and a Touch ID fingerprint reader. But it may lack some of the newer iPhone features, such as the pressure-sensitive 3D Touch display found in the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus and the latest camera sensors.
The addition of the 6C would also allow Apple to satisfy customers who prefer the 4-inch display iPhone compared to the larger 4.7-inch iPhone 6S and the 5.5-inch iPhone 6S Plus. According to a research note issued by KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the iPhone 6C could contribute 20 million to 30 million additional Apple smartphone sales in 2016. Sure, that’s a drop in the bucket compared to the 231.2 million iPhones sold in Apple’s fiscal 2015 ended Sept. 27, but with global smartphone sales expected to slow to single-digit growth rate this year, according to IDC, any addition in sales will be welcome.
As for its Apple Watch, the company doesn't intend to release revenue and unit data, "for competitive reasons." But FBR Capital Markets analyst Daniel Ives forecasts sales to reach 12 million by year-end.